Marinette, Wisconsin

Marinette, Wisconsin
Motto: "Your city on the bay!"

Location of Marinette, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 45°06′00″N 87°37′50″W / 45.10000°N 87.63056°W / 45.10000; -87.63056Coordinates: 45°06′00″N 87°37′50″W / 45.10000°N 87.63056°W / 45.10000; -87.63056
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County Marinette
  Type City
  Mayor Steve Genisot
  Total 8.13 sq mi (21.06 km2)
  Land 6.83 sq mi (17.69 km2)
  Water 1.30 sq mi (3.37 km2)
Elevation[2] 594 ft (181 m)
Population (2010)[3]
  Total 10,968
  Estimate (2012[4]) 10,862
  Density 1,605.9/sq mi (620.0/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
  Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-49300[5]
GNIS feature ID 1569039[2]

Marinette is a city in and the county seat of Marinette County, Wisconsin, United States.[6] It is located on the south bank of the Menominee River, at its mouth at Green Bay, part of Lake Michigan; to the north is Stephenson Island (Wisconsin), part of the city preserved as park.[7] During the lumbering boom of the late 19th century, Marinette became the tenth-largest city in Wisconsin in 1900, with its peak population of 16,195.

Marinette is the principal city of the Marinette, WIMI Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Marinette County, Wisconsin and Menominee County, Michigan. The population was 10,968 at the 2010 census. Menominee, Michigan is across the river to the north, and the cities are connected by three bridges. Menominee, Michigan, and Marinette are sometimes described as "twin cities."


Welcome sign

The town and county were named Marinette after Marie Antoinette Chevalier (1793, Langlade County, Wisconsin – 1865, Green Bay, Wisconsin),[8][9][10] an influential Métis woman who ran a trading post near the mouth of the Menominee River. She came to be known as "Queen Marinette."[11] Her father was Bertrand Chevalier, a British trader of French Canadian ancestry, who was involved with an early trading post at Green Bay. Her mother was Lucy, the daughter of a Menominee chief, Wauba-Shish (Great Marten).

Marie Antoinette Chevalier's family moved with her father to Green Bay. He took a young trading partner, John Jacobs, whom Marie Antoinette later married. They had three children together. In 1823 John and Marie Antoinette came to the settlement that became known as Marinette. Their son John B. Jacobs later plotted the town. Chevalier's husband disappeared during a trading trip. She later married his partner William Farnsworth of the American Fur Company. They also had three children together. Marie Antoinette Chevalier Farnsworth continued with the trading post after Farnsworth left the area for the next frontier at Sheboygan. She was known for her business sense, fairness, and influence in the region, with ties to both the Menominee and European communities.

After her death, Chevalier was buried in Allouez, Wisconsin. In 1987 her descendants had Chevalier reinterred in a sarcophagus at the Forest Home Mausoleum in Marinette. Her original tombstone is on display at the museum on Stephenson Island in Marinette.[12]


Marinette County Courthouse
Stephenson Public Library

The site of Marinette was first settled by a small Algonquin band of Menominee people, known to the neighboring Ojibwe as "the wild rice people" for their staple crop. It consisted of 40 to 80 men and their families. They lived at the mouth of the Menominee River in the 17th and 18th centuries, which, according to their creation story, was the tribe's place of origin.

Before 1830, French Canadians established a fur trading post at the settlement. The first European settler was Stanislaus Chappu, also known as Chappee. After the War of 1812, the United States took over this area and the fur trade, refusing to license Canadian traders, with whom the Americans had previously passed back and forth across the border. John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company became most prominent in the region, although the fur trade was declining after 1830.

In the late 19th century, the city developed rapidly as a port and processing area for lumber harvested in the interior. Logs were floated down the Menominee River and shipped out on Green Bay to communities around the Great Lakes and to the East. In 1853, the population was 478; by 1860 the number of people in the growing community had reached 3,059. Due to the lumbering boom, between 1890 and 1900, the population more than doubled from 7,710 to its peak of 16,195.[13] At that time, it was the tenth-largest city in Wisconsin. It had a wide variety of businesses and a

"new courthouse, city hall, opera house, two hospitals, a street railway, more than a dozen hotels and boarding houses, thirty saloons, and major industries, including the Marinette Iron Works, Marinette Flour Mill, the A.W. Stevens farm implement company, and the M & M Paper Company."[13]

The saloons accommodated the many single men who worked in the lumber industry.

Although lumbering trailed off at the start of the 20th century, with clear cutting of some areas, the town has continued to take advantage of its position along those bodies of water. Five bridges cross the river to connect Marinette to Menominee, Michigan. Lumbering still contributes to the area economy but jobs and population declined when the industry slowed.

Marinette has a major paper mill (Kimberly Clark), and other plants such as Marinette Marine, a shipyard owned by the Italian firm, Fincantieri; Ansul/Tyco, a manufacturer of fire protection systems; Waupaca Foundry, KS Kolbenschmidt US Inc. formerly known as Karl Schmidt Unisia, Inc.,[14] cast and machined automotive parts; and Silvan Industries, a manufacturer of pressure vessels and part of the Samuel Pressure Vessel Group.[15]

The county seat includes what is now the eastern neighborhood of Menekaunee, formerly an independent village.[16] The first European-American settlers came to Menekaunee in 1845.[17] For some time Menekaunee was also known as East Marinette.[18] The name Menekaunee is of Menominee origin, from Minikani Se'peu, meaning 'village or town river'.[19]


Marinette is at 45°5'31" North, 87°37'43" West (45.091983, -87.628714).[20]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.13 square miles (21.06 km2), of which, 6.83 square miles (17.69 km2) is land and 1.30 square miles (3.37 km2) is water.[1]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201510,799[21]−1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[22]

Population peaked circa 1900, and vacillated for a few decades. With the decline in lumbering and restructuring in industry, the city has lost jobs and population since 1940, as shown in the table at right.[5]

2010 census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 10,968 people, 4,934 households, and 2,801 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,605.9 inhabitants per square mile (620.0/km2). There were 5,464 housing units at an average density of 800.0 per square mile (308.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 0.3% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

There were 4,934 households of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.4% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.81.

The median age in the city was 41 years. 22.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 17.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there are 11,749 people, 5,095 households, and 2,975 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,598 inhabitants per square mile (671.1/km²). There are 5,553 housing units at an average density of 821.7 per square mile (317.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 97.43% White, 0.37% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 5,095 households out of which 28.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% are married couples living together, 10.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% are non-families. 36.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 17.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.24 and the average family size is 2.94.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $31,743, and the median income for a family is $41,996. Males have a median income of $32,161 versus $21,750 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,852. 9.0% of the population and 6.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.2% are under the age of 18 and 12.7% are 65 or older.



No interstate highways pass through Marinette.


C&NW locomotives.


Historically, the Chicago and Northwestern Railway served Marinette. There is currently no passenger rail service in Marinette. Freight rail service is still available. Freight railroad service is now provided by Wisconsin Central Ltd. which is the legal name of the Canadian National Railway Company in Wisconsin. However, the railroad right of way between the crossing of U.S. Hwy. 41, just north of Velp Avenue in Green Bay, and the WCL right of way, is also legally known as the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company right of way, also known as the "Super Sam." The Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad Company also provides freight railroad service to Marinette by means of an Agreement with CN to use CN trackage from Escanaba to Marinette. The E&LS line from Wausaukee to Marinette is currently not much used by E&LS to serve Marinette, but is property of E&LS, on the former Milwaukee Road (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co.) right of way.


The nearest airport is the Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport in Menominee, Michigan. Historically, commercial service was provided by North Central Airlines. This airport no longer has commercial service but is available for private aircraft.

The closest airport offering commercial transportation is Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, about an hour away.


Historically, a ferry connected the twin city of Menominee, Michigan to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. There is currently no ferry service to Marinette or Menominee.


USS Fort Worth sliding into the Menominee River during her christening ceremony at the Marinette Marine shipyard on 4 December 2010

The Marinette area is home to a variety of industries, including shipbuilding, auto parts, chemicals, helicopters, airplane components, pressure vessels, and paper making. Marinette is also a regional health care center.

The Marinette Menominee Area Chamber of Commerce plays an active role in area tourism efforts, and provides venues for small businesses, young employees and professional women to network and learn. The organization also provides opportunities for business people and educators to work together to enhance opportunities for students. The organization merged with a chamber in neighboring Menominee, Michigan in 2005, and now includes more than 400 member businesses.[24]

Median household income in Marinette is $31,700, compared with $43,800 for the state of Wisconsin.[25]

Housing market

Most housing in Marinette was constructed during the historical years of growth of the early 20th century. More than half of all homes (53%) were built before 1950, with a majority of those (45% of all homes) having been built prior to 1940. These numbers are about twice the rate of older homes in the rest of the state of Wisconsin. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Marinette is $58,100, compared to the state average of $112,200.[25]


Marinette is served by the Marinette School District. Marinette High School shares a historic football rivalry with the neighboring high school in Menominee, Michigan. The two have hosted the oldest interstate rivalry between two public high schools in the country, dating back to 1894.[26][27][28]

Parochial education in Marinette is provided by the Catholic St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (K-12) and Trinity Lutheran School (K-8).

Marinette is home to the University of Wisconsin–Marinette, a two-year campus of the University of Wisconsin Colleges. UW–Marinette produces Theatre on the Bay, a community theatre program.[29] The city is also home to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College-Marinette Campus.


Marinette shares a hospital, community foundation, newspaper and chamber of commerce with Menominee. Numerous city groups work together to benefit the entire, two-city, two-county community.

University of Wisconsin-Marinette is the home to both Theatre on the Bay and Children's Theatre. All performances are held in the Herbert L. Williams Theatre on the UW-Marinette Campus. Together the two organizations traditionally present 2 musicals and 3 straight plays to the community.



Marinette's daily newspaper is the EagleHerald.[30] It was formed as a result of a merger between the Marinette Eagle-Star and the Menominee Herald-Leader. Printing facilities are at the former Eagle-Star location in Marinette. Owned by Bliss Communications Inc., the EagleHerald has a circulation of just over 10,000.[31] The paper traces its origins back to 24 June 1871, when the Marinette and Peshtigo Eagle was founded. It became a semi-weekly paper in 1885 and a daily in 1892. In 1903 the paper took over the Marinette North Star and renamed itself the Marinette Eagle-Star.[32]


WMAM radio station in 2011.

The following radio stations are licensed to Marinette:


Frequency Callsign[33] Format[34] Notes


Frequency Callsign[35] Format[34] Notes
95.1WLSTCountry music


There are no broadcast television stations broadcasting in the Marinette micropolitan area. All area television is handled by the Green Bay television stations.

Recreation and tourism

Marinette City Hall and Police Department

Marinette offers a variety of recreational activities and major events throughout the year. Tourism is promoted by the Marinette Menominee Area Chamber of Commerce.


Marinette has 5 parks[36] that offer sightseeing, fishing, sledding, cross-country skiing, swimming, tennis, ice skating, picnic areas, baseball, and hiking. They are:

Fishing and boating

Marinette is located along the Menominee River and along Green Bay, a major bay of Lake Michigan. Both bodies of water offer fishing and boating opportunities. There are several local events related to these sports, such as fishing derbies and sailboat races.

Visitors to the area are cautioned that county permits are not valid for use at the four city launches.[37]

Major events

In 2003, the Pete Schwaba film The Godfather of Green Bay was shot in Marinette and its neighboring city, Menominee, Michigan.

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  2. 1 2 "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  4. "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  5. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. "City of Marinette".
  8. Beatty, Michael A. 2001. County Name Origins of the United States. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, p. 614.
  9. Johnson, Beverly Hayward. 1995. Queen Marinette: Spirit of Survival on the Great Lakes Frontier. Amasa, MI: White Water Associates, p. 2.
  10. Hintz, Martin. 2000. Wisconsin Portraits: 55 People who Made a Difference. Black Earth, WI: Trails Books, p. 10. (4th grade level)
  11. 1 2 "Marinette County WIGenWeb - "Queen Marinette"".
  12. "Remembering a queen: New floral display graces Queen Marinette’s tomb", EH Extra
  13. 1 2 "A Brief History of Marinette", 2009, City of Marinette website, from Surviving Architecture of a Menominee River Boom Town, © 1990, 1996, City of Marinette, Wisconsin, accessed 21 January 2015
  14. "Karl Schmidt Unisia, Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek".
  15. "Samuel Pressure Vessel Group".
  16. George Wilbur Peck. Wisconsin: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. Madison: Western Historical Association, 1906, p. 265.
  17. 1914. "The State Helping the City," The Municipality 14: 687 ff., p. 691.
  18. Alvah Littlefield Sawyer. A History of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan and Its People: Its Mining, Lumber and Agricultural Industries. Chicago: Lewis, 1911, p. 880.
  19. Virgil J. Vogel. Indian Names on Wisconsin's Map. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991, p. 117.
  20. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  21. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  22. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  23. "HANCOCK-MARQUETTE-GREEN BAY-MILWAUKEE" (PDF). Indian Trails. January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  24. "M&M Chamber of Commerce - Home".
  25. 1 2 Trulia. Marinette Community Info. Retrieved 28-Nov-2011.
  26. "ByeLines by Larry Ebsch: M&M Game spirit can't be beat"; September 10, 2006; Eagle Herald; Retrieved September 10, 2007.
  27. Kimmerly, Geoff (2007-10-12). "M&M rivalry conjures sweet memories". HighSchool Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  28. "Life's Visit: Menominee vs. Marinette". Life, volume 27:20 (Nov 14, 1949), pp. 150-155. Retrieved 06-Sep-2011.
  29. Theatre on the Bay
  30. Marinette Menominee EagleHerald newspaper. Retrieved 24-Oct-2011
  31. MondoTimes. Listing: "Marinette Eagle Herald." Retrieved 24-Oct-2011
  32. "Eagle-Star Notes 100th 'Birthday'". The Escanaba Daily Press. April 24, 1971. p. 3. Retrieved August 22, 2014 via
  33. "AMQ AM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  34. 1 2 "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  35. "FMQ FM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  36. City of Marinette. "The Marinette City Park System" Accessed 30-Nov-2012
  37. City of Marinette. "Other Marinette City Parks Information" Accessed 30-Nov-2012
  38. City of Marinette. Logging Heritage Brochure. Accessed 30-Nov-2012

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