Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Manistee County Introduces 3 Ways to Explore Its Newly Updated Historic Buildings Tour
Four self-guided routes take visitors through the historic central business district of Downtown Manistee, East and West historic home district, as well as destination sights throughout the county. Each tour starts and ends at one of the Historic Museums, where you can stop in and the experienced staff can assist you in learning more about any one of the great historic sites you have explored.
These detailed routes are outlined in a 52-page printed pocket-sized directory, available for free at the Visitor’s Bureau office. It can also be requested by calling 877.626.4783 or by requesting it online at VisitManisteeCounty.com, while supplies last (3,000 copies were printed).
A digital version of the publication can be downloaded in a flip-book format by clicking here.
The Historic Building Tour routes can also be accessed remotely, via the Manistee County mobile app, available in Apple and Android platforms, by following the links below.
The first settlers arrived in Manistee County in 1841 and it was formally organized in 1855. During its first census, in 1860, the county recorded 975 residents. In 1871, the year of the “Great Fire” in Chicago also proved devastating to Manistee, when over half of the city’s buildings were destroyed. The town quickly rebuilt itself and by 1885, the region was flourishing with nearly 15,000 people. In fact, at the time, the area claimed to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States. Lumbering was the first major industry here, given the flowing rivers and Lake Michigan access. Salt mining followed, as did agriculture and fishing, among other smaller commerce operations.
Today, approximately 25,000 people call Manistee County home. The city of Manistee is the county seat, and the only actual city in the county. There are, however, five incorporated villages, eight unincorporated villages and 14 townships in the county. While there are some ties to past industries here, tourism is now driving the local economy—with an emphasis on natural resources, agriculture and historic preservation.
There are 28 properties in Manistee County listed with the State of Michigan as Historic Sites or as having Michigan Historical Markers; 15 properties are listed with the National Register of Historic Places, through the National Park System.
Located along 25 miles of sugar-sand Lake Michigan beaches, Manistee is a Pure Michigan destination, nestled in the heart of the Manistee National Forest. The scenic M-22 highway begins here, at the intersection of US-31, as it heads north 116.6 miles through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The Manistee County Visitors Bureau is an official travel and tourism organization, incorporated in 1997, as a non-profit agency, to promote Manistee County. Its mission is to promote Manistee County as a travel destination, to increase overnight visits and be the lead organization focusing on building the local tourism economy.