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Few words are adequate to describe the maritime feel of the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area, The unmatched quality of businesses which have operated here for decades, The European heritage evident in cultural events or the strength of agricultural tradition. You have to experience it all.

From the native people who hunted large animals, pulled fish from teeming waters or gathered natural foods from the landscape, to the first French explorers, fur traders and missionaries of the 1600s, this region provided for its inhabitants in abundance. When European and Canadian folk, pioneering beyond the Atlantic coastal developments two centuries ago, were attracted to the region, they found hundreds of streams and rivers pouring into an inland sea through vast uncharted forests and wilderness. They established settlements, along with restless residents of the eastern United States who were searching for cooler climates or a new livelihood.

The legacy of these pioneers is manifested by the lakeshore cities of Manitowoc (pronounced Ma-nih-toe-wok') and Two Rivers, on the eastern edge of the state of Wisconsin.

A fishery, established near the site of today's Rogers Street Fishing Village in Two Rivers by French Canadians from Quebec, put in place a thriving commercial fishing industry which continues today. The County of Manitowoc, established in the 1830s, was also home to missionaries from various Protestant denominations. These religious pioneers laid the foundation for the vibrant spiritual community in modern Manitowoc/Two Rivers.

In 1847, the first wooden sailing vessel was crafted in the area, a modest precursor to the shipbuilding industry which produced schooners and clippers used for fishing and trading in the Great Lakes and beyond the St. Lawrence Seaway. In addition, landing craft, tankers and submarines became the local contribution to U.S. efforts in World War II. You'll find more than 100 years of Great Lakes maritime history and adventure at the Maritime Museum.

But the citizens of Manitowoc county have not been too content to rest on past laurels. In fact, preserving the past and making it work in the present go hand in hand here. Pinecrest Historical Village, with 25 buildings preserved in a natural setting, features original log homes, a general store from the 1870s, an 1890s cheese factory and much more. A wide variety of seasonal programs and events keep the county's past alive.

One of the fine examples of commemorating cultural history is The Masquers, a community theater group which worked to save the Capitol Theatre. The venue staged its original opening-night gala in Manitowoc in 1921. Today, the Capitol Civic Centre complex includes meeting and reception areas, a movie museum and facilities for more than a dozen arts, music and theater groups, thanks to The Masquers and the generosity of Mrs. Helen Schuette, as well as many other patrons.

Mix a long tradition of quality education, dating from our earliest schools, and the enjoyment of our beautiful outdoors over the decades, and you'll find that Manitowoc County (from the Chippewa word "Munedoo-owk" meaning "The Place of the Good Spirit") has always been and continues to be a wonderful place to live, build a business and raise a family.

Take a few minutes to "visit." We're sure you'll find what you're looking for.

Pinecrest Historical Village

You'll find more than 100 years of Great Lakes maritime history and adventure at the Maritime Museum.

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