The city began with the Stronach Brothers mill site in 1840. When Manistee County was organized in 1855, the city of Manistee became the seat of county government. By 1867 twenty-one sawmills were operating around Manistee Lake. The city harbor was improved for lake vessel travel, a light station was built, and later a lifesaving station was added to further aid navigation. In 1871, a particularly dry year, fires occurred throughout the Midwest, most notably in Chicago and Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Most of the buildings in Manistee also burned that summer. Consequently, the city was rebuilt with more durable materials, and the city's existing downtown buildings date to 1870–1910. The lumbermen of Manistee regularly transacted business in Chicago. As a result of this connection, Chicago architects received commissions to design churches, houses, and civic buildings in Manistee.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.