Michigan Roadside Attractions: Manistique Water Tower
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
Manistique is a great Upper Peninsula destination for travelers looking for outdoor recreation. Here you’ll find Indian Lake State Park, Palms Book State Park and the Big Spring Kitch-iti-kipi, the Manistique Boardwalk and East Breakwater Lighthouse, and the Haywire Grade Trail. The city is also full of history, and most of that history is tied to the water that surrounds the city. Manistique is located at the point where the Manistique River meets Lake Michigan, which made it a great setting for shipping out lumber and setting up industry. The historic Manistique Water Tower dates back to the 1920s and remains one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks in town. It is easy to visit, as today it is part of the Schoolcraft County Historical Park.
The Manistique Water Tower was built in 1922 and held a 200,000 gallon water tank. Its uniqueness lies in its architecture – it is an octagonal red brick structure that is 137 feet tall, while most water towers are basic steel structures that lack the detail found here. While no longer used for water storage, the tower still stands strong and proud and is now part of a complex of historical buildings in the Schoolcraft County Historical Society’s collection.
Other buildings here include the historic 1895 log cabin, the Post House, and a garage building that houses some historic fire engines. Find out more about the Schoolcraft County Historical Society on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SCHistoricalSociety) where they share historic photos, upcoming events, and any changes to the operation of the museum and tours of the water tower. The Manistique Water Tower is located on Deer St. between Weston St. and the river (map below).