Our mission is to inspire people to explore the past, understand the present and envision the future of the diverse cultures in the Leelanau peninsula and its islands.

The Leelanau Historical Society was launched in 1957 by a group of residents dedicated to collecting and preserving Leelanau’s history.  Leland, first established in 1853 and later the county seat (1883-2008), seemed the natural location for the Society.  When the old county jail became available in 1959, the museum found its first home.  Through generous donations and grants, a new museum was built in 1985 and later expanded – and in 2015 expanded again!

The Society is recognized as an established non-profit 501(c)(3) by the federal government and the State of Michigan.  Governed by a board of trustees, the Society’s support primarily comes from the generosity of donors from the extended community.  Grants from organizations and family foundations, such as the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation, the Norbert and Paula Gits Foundation,and the Tom and Cathy Reahard Family Foundation have helped support the museum’s projects.

Visit Us

The museum is located at 203 E. Cedar Street in Leland, Michigan on the banks of the Leland River.  Just two blocks from historic Fishtown and Lake Michigan, you will find us behind the Old Art Building and next to the Leland Township Library. View Map

Hours: June-October the museum is open Wednesday-Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.  Tuesdays are by chance or appointment.

Please call for other seasonal hours and research by appointment.

Mailing Address

Leelanau Historical Society, PO Box 246, Leland, MI 49654