The history of the Marinette, Menominee,
and Oconto area is strongly tied to its natural resources - fur
and lumbering. The first permanent settlement in Menominee was
in 1796 by Chappee, an Indian trader and agent for a fur
Marinette was founded in the late 18th
century as well by French Canadian voyageurs and fur traders.
Many historians believe that French Jesuit Priest Claude Allouez
first established his mission of St. Francis Xavier among local
Indian groups in 1669 along the banks of the lower Oconto River.
Following the first French contact, fur trading became the most
important industry in Oconto until around 1830.
Marinette is the home of Queen Marinette.
For more information about Queen Marinette, please visit the
Wisconsin Historical Society website. They have preserved
a Tourist Brochure For Marinette County published ca 1923 by the
Marinette Chamber of Commerce - "Come
to The Land of Queen Marinette."
Once at the website, click on "View
then click on page 3
on the left side of the page to view the page "The Land of Queen
In the mid
1800's, the lumber industry saw its start with the introduction
of water-powered saw mills. By the 1870's, the Tri-County area
was a worldwide shipping point for white pine. In 1871, the town
of Peshtigo was leveled by the worst forest fire in America's
history. Over 800 people lost their lives in the October blaze.
This fire occurred at the same time as the famous Chicago Fire.
The history of the Tri County area is well preserved in museums
open to the public.
Just name a winter or summer sport and
you will no doubt be able to enjoy it here in the Tri-County
area. The weather, with its changing seasons, brings a constant
rotation of interesting things to do or see.
The scenery is unsurpassed at any time of the year. There are
lovely wooded areas, plenty of lakes, rivers, and streams, and
the long sandy shoreline of the bay of Green Bay. The area also
offers several excellent golf courses. Our fishing is some of
the best in the country, and hunting opportunities attract
hunters from near or far. There is an abundance of parks with
beaches, picnic areas, campgrounds, and natural beauty.
Water activities are available, as well as cross country ski
trails, ice fishing, ice rinks, snowmobiling, indoor youth
hockey, indoor tennis, and indoor sports facilities. The three
counties hold a variety of festivals throughout the year
including Marinette/Menominee's Waterfront Festival, Peshtigo's
Historical Days and Oconto's Copper Culture Festival.
One of the area's real
strengths is in the educational opportunities available to area
residents. All three counties have private and public grade
schools and high schools, with nursery schools available as
well. The public school systems also offer complete programs for
exceptional students. The Menominee School's Community Program
offers a wide range of adult education classes and GED classes.
The Northeast Wisconsin Technical College - Marinette campus, is
part of a regional technical and trades college that provides
one-year and two-year certificates & degrees in a wide variety
of skill areas. And the University of Wisconsin - Marinette
County Campus is a two-year campus that offers two-year
associate degrees. Both schools allow Menominee County Michigan
residents to attend at regular in-state tuition rates.
Although all three counties have their
roots in the lumber industry, each has successfully made the
transition to a more diversified economic base.
Major employers manufacture a wide
variety of products including aircraft seating and interiors,
boats, helicopters, ships, wax paper, computer paper, fire
extinguishers, automotive parts, specialty chemicals, pressure
vessels and paper products. This diversity has made for a
relatively stable employment picture.
reason for this successful industrial base is the employees of
the area - they are known as industrious, and hard working,
believing in the old axiom of an honest day's work for an honest