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The City of Menominee, Michigan is in the southern Upper Peninsula, across the Menominee River from Marinette, Wisconsin.

Menominee is the fourth-largest city in the UP. It is the county seat of Menominee County. Menominee Township is north of the city, but politically autonomous.

The chief route through the city is US-41, which connects with Escanaba and Marquette to the north, and with Marinette and Green Bay, Wisconsin to the south. US Highway 41 runs from Miami, Florida to Houghton, Michigan. Other routes include M-35 and CR-577.

Menominee abuts Marinette, Wisconsin in the center of the bridge crossing the Menominee River. Peshtigo, Wisconsin is about eight miles south of Menominee, and the city of Stephenson, Michigan is about twenty miles to the north. The unincorporated Michigan communities of Carbondale, Wallace, and Ingalls are eleven, fifteen, and eighteen miles, respectively, north of Menominee, along US-41. There are no other incorporated cities or villages within twenty-five miles.

Known as twin cities, Menominee and Marinette has always had a close relationship with one another, and currently share a hospital, newspaper, and chamber of commerce. Several organizations work together for the benefit of the Menominee-Marinette common area. For a time, when time zones placed Marinette in a separate time zone from Menominee, state and federal offices in Menominee were on one time zone, while everyone else in Menominee opted to use the same time zone as Marinette.

Menominee's peak population was 12,818 in 1900. At that time, Menominee produced more lumber than any other city in the United States. With the decline of the lumber industry, the city began a decline that has included every census year since 1900, with the exception of 1930, 1950, and 1960, when there were increases of 15.9%, 9.0%, and 1.2%, respectively. The city currently has a population of just over eight thousand.

Historically, the area was inhabited by the Menominee people, now a federally recognized nation of Native Americans with a reservation in Wisconsin. However, their traditional lands included about ten million acres in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Menominee was derived from the Ojibwa word for "wild rice people," as the Menominee were known to harvest it. Their name for themselves, however, is Mamaceqtaw, meaning "the people."

The Menominee were forced to cede about four million acres of their territory to the United States in the 1836 Treaty of the Cedars. In exchange, they received about $700,000. They had previously ceded about 2,500,000 acres along Lake Michigan in the 1831 Treaty of Washington.

The current city of Menominee had its start as a lumber town, which brought about population growth from 1,597 in 1870 to its peak population of 12,818 in 1900. Currently, under restoration, the Menominee Opera House was built in 1902, in its heyday, largely brought about through funding by a group of lumber barons.

With the decline of the lumber industry, manufacturing became an integral part of the city's economy. From 1913 to 1915, the Dudly Bug, a brass-era, gas-powered cyclecar, was manufactured by the Dudly Tool Company in Menominee. Only about a hundred vehicles were built.

The Menominee Electric Company began in 1892, producing and selling crank telephone generators, telephones, and switchboards. It was reorganized in 1919 as Signal Electric Manufacturing Company, expanding its product line to include telegraph instruments and wireless radio devices. In 1952, King-Seeley Thermon Company purchased the company and announced its closure in 1964. Acquired by Vernco Corporation in 1977, the company operated until 2004, when its operations were moved to Mexico. On a personal side, my second job was with Vernco in 1969.

Marshall Burns Lloyd opened Lloyd Manufacturing in Menominee, producing furniture in 1910, and this soon became the base of operations for the company until its closure in 1982. However, it was soon reopened as Lloyd Flanders Industries, manufacturing all-weather wicker furniture.

Founded in 1941, the L.E. Jones Company is a major manufacturer of valve seat inserts for high-performance engines and other products.

Founded in 1959, the R.J. Enstrom Corporation is still in operation at the Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport, manufacturing helicopters for police, military, commercial, and private users.

Yar-Craft was opened in Menominee by Jack Dallman in 1967, producing fiberglass fishing boats, and occasionally canoes and kayaks. Still in business, the company moved to Arkansas under new ownership in 2004, where it continues to produce the Yar-Craft line of boats. My third job was as a chopper operator for Yar-Craft in Menominee.

The focus of this category is on the city of Menominee, Michigan, as well as any businesses, schools, churches, organizations, or attractions within the city.


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