Menominee / Main Street Historic District
French-Canadian voyager Louis Chaput (Chappee) came here during the late 1790s. Chaput, an agent for the American Fur Company, was the first white settler in Menominee, which was named for the Menominee Indians who inhabited this area. Within the next one hundred years Menominee developed into a prosperous city, built along the waterfront with money from the booming lumber industry. By 1890 twelve steam powered mills operated here. The fishing and paper industries and the production of pig iron contributed to a broadening economic base. By 1902 the population had reached thirty thousand. As the pine forests of the Upper Peninsula were deleted, the population declined. During the 1990s it stabilized at nine thousand.
Main Street Historic District
The Main Street Historic District comprises buildings dating from the prosperous era of lumbering and shipping that began around 1890 and continued until the timber supply was depleted in the early twentieth century. Local architects and others from Chicago, Minneapolis and Green Bay designed buildings constructed of native red sandstone and locally made brick. The general store of Ludington, Wells and Van Schalk Company at 501 First Street, served employees of the second largest lumber company in the county. The Paalzow Building at 409 First Street was built in 1895 and displays the only example in the district of a cast iron facade. The Main Street Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.