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Manistee in Manistee County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

U.S.S. Michigan

Historic Manistee, The Victorian Port City

 
 
U.S.S. Michigan Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 24, 2016
1. U.S.S. Michigan Marker
Inscription.  

An 1818 Treaty allows the United States and Canada to each maintain one warship of limited armament on the Great Lakes. For most of a century the U.S.S. MICHIGAN served as the U.S. warship.

The MICHIGAN was built on the frontier in 1843 at Pittsburgh from wrought iron, the first iron ship in the U.S. Navy. After the initial temporary construction, the vessel was disassembled and the pieces were carted by oxen 60 miles north to Erie, Pennsylvania. There the ship was reassembled and launched on Dec. 5, 1843. It spent the majority of its career at Erie waiting for something to happen. Each summer it made a training cruise throughout the Lakes and it usually spent the fall in the upper lakes assisting vessels wrecked by fall storms.

In 1853 the United States government declared war on Manistee and other lumbering communities on Lake Michigan because they felt that too much timber was disappearing from federal lands. On August 28th of that year the MICHIGAN came in the dark of night to land a U.S. Marshal at Bar Lake so he would be in Manistee at sunrise. In similar actions the following month at least five Manistee lumbermen were arrested

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and delivered by the MICHIGAN to federal courts where they were tried for timber theft.

After the turn-of-the-Twentieth Century the MICHIGAN was removed from active duty and turned over to the Naval Reserve on the Great Lakes. In that role the WOLVERINE, as the MICHIGAN had been rechristened, returned to Manistee a number of times. For several years the Michigan National Guard held their statewide annual encampments at Manistee and each year the WOLVERINE would be in the local port during the encampments.

After an engine failure in 1923 the WOLVERINE was laid up to await her fate. Many felt the vessel was a national monument and should be preserved as such. Eventually it was decided to preserve only ten feet of her bow and at the age of 106 the historic vessel was cut up for scrap after a long and glorious career.

[Photo caption reads] The WOLVERINE, formerly the U.S.S. MICHIGAN, outbound from Manistee after a National Guard encampment.

For more on the history of Manistee, visit the Museum at 425 River Street.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesPeaceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is December 8, 1843.
 
Location. 44° 14.914′ N, 86° 19.302′ W. Marker is in Manistee, Michigan, in Manistee County. Marker is

U.S.S. Michigan Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., August 24, 2016
2. U.S.S. Michigan Marker
Looking west toward the Maple Street Bridge
along the Manistee River South Riverwalk, about 700 feet east of the Maple Street Bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manistee MI 49660, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Furniture Factories (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Maple Street Bridge (about 600 feet away); The Haley Block (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Tunnel (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lyman Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Thompson Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Gardner Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Manistee City Library (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manistee.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wolverine (IX 31), ex-Gunboat Michigan. NavSource Online website entry (Submitted on September 3, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 

2. NH 73676 USS Wolverine (ex-Michigan, 1844-1946). Naval History and Heritage Command website entry (Submitted on September 3, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 

3. USS Michigan (1843). Wikipedia entry (Submitted on September 3, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.) 
 
The iron sidewheeler USS Michigan (1843), as USS Wolverine (IX-31) late in her life. image. Click for full size.
via Wikipedia, unknown
3. The iron sidewheeler USS Michigan (1843), as USS Wolverine (IX-31) late in her life.
U.S.S. Wolverine bow on display at the the Eire (PA) Maritime Museum image. Click for full size.
Brian Powell, via Flickr, unknown
4. U.S.S. Wolverine bow on display at the the Eire (PA) Maritime Museum
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 18, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 539 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 3, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3, 4. submitted on January 18, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.

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Jun. 23, 2024