Named for the Menominee Indians who inhabited the area along the river, where fish and game were plentiful, Menominee developed at the mouth of the Menominee River on Green Bay. By 1890, twenty-three steam-powered lumber mills operated at the twin cities of Menominee, Michigan, and Marinette, Wisconsin. The fishing and the paper- and iron-producing industries broadened Menominee's economic base. These industries were aided by the construction of a harbor in 1874. People of Menominee have always associated closely with Wisconsin, Chicago, and the West. Investors and managers of Menominee lumbering concerns frequently resided in Chicago, where they maintained lumberyards supplied by shiploads from Menominee. Immigrant Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Poles, and Germans settled in Menominee to work as laborers, but many left for the newly active lumber centers in the Gulf and Pacific regions, when the local stands of pine were depleted during the first decade of the twentieth century.
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