After having been instrumental in the completion of the Soo Canal in 1885, Charles T. Harvey was granted several thousand acres in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Part of this land included the mouth and both sides of the Manistique River, and in 1860 Harvey established a community there and built a dam to power a lumber mill. The settlement was initially named Epsport, after his wife’s family name, but its name was later changed to Monistique to match the river. When this name was registered with the state, an “a” was used instead of an “o” and the town became Manistique. Monistique is derived from Onamanitikong, a Native American word meaning “vermilion” that was applied to the river on account of the reddish hue of its water.
Today the Manistique area is known for several of our famous tourist attractions, one being Kitch-iti-kipi, also known as Big Springs. Manistique is a family friendly city located along the 200 beautiful miles of lake Michigan and has truly transformed since the 1800's.
To learn more about our area's rich history, we invite you to discover our local Historical Society's below.