Essay Contest 1st Prize Winner – Logan Kraatz

Manistique High School Senior, Logan Kraatz, is congratulated by Larry Peterson of the Schoolcraft County Historical Society. Logan won 1st place in the recent essay contest and received an award of $350. He will attend the University of Michigan in the fall.

Manistique High School Senior, Logan Kraatz, is congratulated by Larry Peterson of the Schoolcraft County Historical Society. Logan won 1st place in the recent essay contest and received an award of $350. He will attend the University of Michigan in the fall.

Historic Siphon Bridge and River Flume

By Logan Kraatz

           Anyone traveling through downtown Manistique is sure to cross the Siphon Bridge and massive paper mill flume. This bridge crosses the concrete flume and Manistique River. Not only are these structures cool to look at, they also fill a very important part in the history of Manistique. Many will just look at them and think nothing more. However, some will look at them and instantly be filled with questions. Questions like: why are they here, what did they do, what happened to them, and why were they needed? Manistique is divided east and west by the Manistique River. The river was an obstacle for citizens as well as a source of power and industry for the town. Naturally a bridge had to be constructed to connect the two sides. The first bridge to fill this need was the “Red Bridge.” It was a simple wooden flat bridge constructed in the mid to late 1800s. The bridge was condemned in 1890 and replaced by a [metal] bridge dubbed the “Iron Bridge.” This bridge was ultimately replaced by the siphon bridge and scrapped to be used for other projects.

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Historic Bridges of Manistique

The Red Bridge (wooden bridge) was condemned in 1890.

The Red Bridge (wooden bridge) was condemned in 1890.

The old ‘Wood Bridge’ called the Red Bridge was condemned in 1890, the ‘Iron Bridge’ was built parallel to the old wood bridge.

Once the new bridge was completed, the old wood bridge (‘Red Bridge’) became firewood.

Once the Siphon Bridge was built in 1919, the steel girders of the above bridge was used for various building projects throughout the county.

The iconic Siphon Bridge was built across the Manistique River in 1919 by the Manistique Pulp and Paper Company, which was owned by the Minneapolis Tribune Publishing Company.

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Manistique Water Tower And The Efforts To Save It

The historic water tower was built in 1921 and 1922 by a local contractor Fridolph Danielson.  A native of Sweden, Danielson came to Manistique in 1897.

The historic water tower was built in 1921 and 1922 by a local contractor Fridolph Danielson. A native of Sweden, Danielson came to Manistique in 1897.

From 1922 to 1966, the historic water tower and pumping station served Manistique. The new pumping station station was located at Intake Park. With some renovations, the water tower became the home of the Manistique Hall of Justice from 1966 to 1968.

In 1968, the Chamber of Commerce installed a circular drive around the tower and made it their home for only a couple of years. The tower began its down-hill slide with a leaky roof and episodes of vandalism.

The first effort to get it names to the National Register of Historic Building’s began in 1979. It was names to the state register of historic sites in 1980.

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