Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2000 census, Manitowoc had a population of 34,053 people, and over 50,000 people in the surrounding communities. Its Japanese sister city is Kamogawa.
In 1820 Matthew Stanley was the first to settle in the area with his wife. In 1835, President Andrew Jackson authorized land sales for the region, drawing the interest of land speculators. William Jones and Louis Fizette were the two first recorded buyers on 3 August 1835, with the majority of the land being procured by the Chicago firm Jones, King, & Co. Benjamin Jones, brother of William, took the Wisconsin property as his share and is considered the founder of Manitowoc. Early immigrant groups included Germans, Norwegians, British, Irish, and Canadians. The first school in Manitowoc was held in the Jones warehouse, with S.M. Peake instructing the twelve children of the community. The first religious organization in the county, St. James' Episcopal Church, first met in 1841. Manitowoc was chartered as a village on 6 March 1851. On 12 March 1870 incorporated as a city.
In 1847, Joseph Edwards build the first schooner in the area, the Citizen, 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 contributions to U.S. efforts in World War II. Manitowoc was the landing site of a piece of Sputnik IV on September 5, 1962.
The mayor of Manitowoc is Kevin Crawford, a Democrat, serving his 6th term since being elected in 1989. The city also has a 10 member common council.
Since the late 1990s several new shopping centers have opened in the city, mostly on the south west side of the city along Interstate 43, including the new Harbor Town Center shopping complex. The downtown area has also seen a resurgence, with several new restaurants opening, and the recent announcement of new $100,000+ condominiums on the Manitowoc river, along with a completion of the riverwalk trail. The bulk of the redevelopment in the city has been undertaken by the public/private partnership the Manitowoc County Economic Development Corporation.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.2 square miles (44.5 km²), of which, 16.9 square miles (43.7 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (1.86%) is water.
The nearest other cities are Green Bay, 35 minutes away, Sheboygan 25 minutes away, Appleton 60 minutes away, and Milwaukee 90 minutes away. Together with Two Rivers and the surrounding towns, the Manitowoc micropolitan area was, according to the 2000 census, home to 52,197 people. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Manitowoc Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Manitowoc County (2000 population: 82,887).
There were 14,235 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $38,203, and the median income for a family was $47,635. Males had a median income of $35,176 versus $22,918 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,954. About 5.0% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have their mother house in Manitowoc.
In 2005 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay merged several Catholic parishes in the city into one parish, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, with a 4-person pastoral team lead by Father Dan Felton. In a 2005 article about the merger in the Herald Times Reporter the paper reported that the city has roughly 22,000 Roman Catholics.
Comcast holds the city's cable franchise, and the city has the only presence of Comcast in all of Eastern Wisconsin.
Manitowoc is also a part of the Sheboygan/Manitowoc Arbitron radio market.
The Manitowoc area is served by two main medical groups:
The St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish also maintains three Catholic PK-8 schools in the city, while also managing Roncalli High School with more than 300 students in grades 9-12. The WELS maintains Manitowoc Lutheran High School with approximately 250 students in grades 9-12.
The city has three colleges and universities within its limits, including:
Public Transportation in the city been provided by Maritime Metro Transit since 1978, covering both Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin. MMT currently has a fleet of 12 buses serving over 40 stops on 8 routes.
Commercial, charter, and cargo air transportation is available through the Manitowoc County Airport.
The Manitowoc Mariners Trail is a 5.5-mile paved recreational trail running along the shore of Lake Michigan between the cities of Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
Several major highways serve the city including: