city, seat (1853) of Manitowoc county, eastern Wisconsin, U.S. It lies on the western shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. Manitowoc adjoins the city of Two Rivers (northeast) and is about 80 miles (130 km) north of Milwaukee and 40 miles (65 km) south of Green Bay. The city's name is derived from the Ojibwa word meaning "place of the good spirit." The area was explored in the 1670s by French trappers, and in 1795 the Northwest Fur Company established a trading post on the site. After the Menominee ceded their land to the United States, a permanent settlement was made in 1836. The area soon developed as a lumbering, shipping, and shipbuilding centre, and, by the late 19th century, dairying and the manufacture of metal products had also become important.
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