Manistee is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,586. It is the county seat of Manistee County. The name "Manistee" is from an Ojibwe word first applied to the principal river of the county. The derivation is not certain, but it may be from ministigweyaa, "river with islands at its mouth". Other sources claim that it was an Ojibwe term meaning "spirit of the woods."
Manistee Township is located to the northeast of the city, but is politically separate. The city is located at the mouth of the Manistee River on Lake Michigan.
Missionaries visited Manistee in the early 19th century, and a Jesuit mission house is known to have been located on the NW shore of Lake Manistee in 1826. In 1832, a group of traders from Massachusetts built a log house up the Manistee River. However, they were soon driven off by the Ottawa.