Historical attractions in Manitowoc & Two Rivers
Take a trip through history in Manitowoc and Two Rivers—the area is home to unique museums and other attractions where you’ll learn about everything from Wisconsin’s maritime history to the stories and legends of Native Americans and early settlers of eastern Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Maritime Museum & WWII Submarine
Did you know that Manitowoc is home to the Midwest’s largest maritime museum? The Wisconsin Maritime Museum—a Smithsonian-affiliated museum that houses the USS Cobia, the nation’s most completely restored World War II submarine—tells the story of Wisconsin’s shipbuilding industry and takes visitors through a recreated 19th century shipbuilding town, allows them to operate a steam engine, and more.
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
View printing and type-cutting demos and see wood-cut advertisements from the 1930s to the 1970s and other interesting displays at this museum in Two Rivers, which is dedicated to the study, preservation, production, and printing of wood type. (If you need an example of wood type, think of the classic Old West “Wanted” posters.) The museum houses a collection of more than 1.5 million pieces and 1,000-plus styles and sizes of patterns.
Manitowoc County Historical Society
This living history museum spans 60 acres just north of downtown Manitowoc and highlights the people, events, and cultural history of Manitowoc County. The historical society also holds workshops throughout the year highlighting historic skills like blacksmithing.
Pinecrest Historical Village (open May through October) is part of the Manitowoc County Historical Society and is home to 25 historic buildings that tell the story of village and farm life in Manitowoc County from the 1850s to the early 1900s.
Manitowoc County Courthouse
Completed in 1906, the Manitowoc County Courthouse sits at the heart of downtown Manitowoc’s iconic historic district, which includes nearly 75 other buildings. Visitors can arrange tours of the iconic courthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Washington House
A former 1850s inn, this historical building now houses the Two Rivers Visitors Center as well as several exhibits, including an antique toy collection, a Victorian dollhouse, and rare murals in the second-story ballroom. Be sure to stop by for an ice cream sundae in the old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Rogers Street Fishing Village
Open daily from Memorial Day through mid-October, Rogers Street Fishing Village and Great Lakes Coast Guard Museum tells the story of commercial fishing and the Coast Guard in Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Take a tour of this historical complex and you’ll find a lighthouse from 1886, shipwreck artifacts, a restored fisherman’s house, and much more.
Find more historical sites and attractions here.