Winter Hours (Nov. – May)
Wednesday-Friday 11:00am -4:00pm

Enjoy a variety of exhibits pertaining to the history of Leelanau County and its people. No appointment is necessary to view museum exhibits.

Admission is $5/person.
Children (under 18) & Members are free.

*Please note, if you are visiting to research your family and other local history topics, an appointment needs to be made in advance. Visit our Archives page to begin your research. Contact museum staff to make an in-person archives appointment:

Current Museum Exhibits

Sugar Loaf – A Retrospective (Opening Summer 2024)

This exhibit will be a culmination of community curated stories and artifacts of the beloved Sugar Loaf Ski Resort. A mini exhibit is currently up featuring the European farmers who once lived off the land before the Sugar Loaf Winter Sports Club came into existence in the 1940’s. Items from its conception, through the following decades during it’s hay-day are displayed. View what community members have collected and cherished from their connections to what was once Leelanau County’s largest employer and the region’s center for winter activities. New artifacts added periodically.
Have Sugar Loaf memorabilia, or stories to contribute?
Fill out this survey: 

Wild Ride On The Steamer Manitou

Can you imagine what it would be like to experience a Lake Michigan storm aboard an unsinkable luxury steamship in 1916, a mere four years after the sinking of the Titanic?

Lighthouses of Leelanau

Leelanau county once boasted five lighthouses and one lightship, each marking their own unique spot within the Manitou Passage, providing mariners with an aid to navigation prior to the advent of radar and sonar technology.

Great Lakes Fur Trade and The Voyageur

View the interpretation of a trapper’s cabin and learn about the first important economy of the Great Lakes region, the intrepid Voyageur, and the beaver.

Shipwrecks of the Manitou Passage

The exhibit illustrates the stories of the lost ships in the Manitou Passage, considered one of the most dangerous waterways in the Great Lakes.  Go beneath the waves and see the work of divers and archeologists, sharing a view of the past.

Traditional Anishinaabek Arts Room

Our extensive collection of black ash baskets and quillwork from Leelanau’s Odawa and other Anishinaabek artists is on permanent display.  The collection, curated by Laura Quackenbush, is the result of more than 20 years of study, donations, purchases and work by staff and volunteers.
Learn More

Historic Leland

Through photographs, visitors see Leland of long ago, over the past 130 years.  Leland, first established in 1853 by Antoine Manseau and his family, developed into a manufacturing center with a sawmill, dam and the Leland Iron Works.  That era of industry faded toward the end of the nineteenth century and Leland gradually became a popular resort destination…as it is today!

For information on Leland’s Historic Fishtown, visit

Virtual Exhibits

Retired Exhibits

-When Winter was Winter On display at the Leelanau County Government Center (lower level).
-Life on North Manitou Island On display at the Leelanau County Government Center (lower level).
-Wreck of the Westmoreland On display at the Leelanau County Government Center (lower level).
-Life on South Manitou Island: Now on display in various spots on South Manitou Island part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
-You Are Here: Maps & Roads of Leelanau: Featured maps now on display in the LHS Research Center.

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