Connecting you to the stories of this land and its people since 1957.
History nurtures our understanding of ourselves, our community, and our future. In an increasingly modern and technological world, places like museums and archives play a crucial role in connecting us to our past. Your donations provide vital operational funding, laying the foundation for the year to come.


July 5th, Documentary Premiere


The Leelanau Historical Society was established in 1957 by community leaders with the desire to collect and preserve Leelanau’s rich cultural landscape. The first museum opened in 1959, in the historic jail house building located in Leland, MI. Today, the museum sits on the banks of the Leland River directly across from the original site. The new museum building is home to the Society’s offices, many exhibition spaces, a research center, and archives.

LHS is a nonprofit educational archive and museum that preserves, shares and interprets the history of Leelanau County, Michigan, from the period of the original Anishinaabek inhabitants until the present day by the collection of books, documents, artifacts, and other cultural objects pertaining to the history of the region, preserving and interpreting them to the public by means of a museum, educational programs, lectures, public events, and publications and to collaborate with other history based organizations to accomplish the mission of the Leelanau Historical Society.

Today, the collections and archives contain more than 20,000 items. Visitors to the museum learn about Leelanau life and maritime history from exhibits, educational programs and publications. Recipient of the 2014 State History Award for Outstanding Local Society, LHS continues to collect, document and preserve items relating to Leelanau history.


The Leelanau Historical Society is generously supported by the following: