The Munising area was originally inhabited by Ojibwa who used the area as a summer camping ground. After the first exploration by Europeans, Grand Island soon became a fur-trading outpost, and later a steamship fueling station. In 1895 construction began on the town of Munising.
It wasn’t until the 1870s that a iron blast furnace was built, attracting permanent settlers to the area. Sawmills, a tannery, and the Munising Woodenware Company led to greater development in the area.