Summer Hours (June-October)
Tuesday-Friday 11:00am -4:00pm
Saturday 10-4pm

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

General Admission: $5/person.
FREE for LHS Members  and children under 18.

*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: info@leelanauhistory.org

Current Museum Exhibits

 

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.

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.

 

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, an important meeting and fishing grounds for the Anishinaabek, developed into a manufacturing center with a sawmill, dam and the Leland Iron Works. Eventually the era of industry faded at 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 http://www.fishtownmi.org/

 

Rotating Exhibit Case:

Currently Featuring: “Maro the Prince of Magic!”

Prominent from 1892-1908, Edward Maro was a an impressive magician with many talents. Explore his variety of tricks and learn about Maronook, the home in Leland, MI, where he and his wife would spend their time when not touring.

Coming Soon!

Sugar Loaf – A Retrospective (Opening July 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.

Learn more about this exhibit and how you can be a part of itLearn More 

James B. Hendryx – Author of Western Fiction

The Leelanau Historical Society is home to the James B. Hendryx Collection. Items from this collection will soon be on display. Learn about this famous author and his connection to Leelanau County, MI, where his home still stands today. 

Virtual Exhibits

Exhibits On Loan

-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.
-North To Leelanau Land of Delight!
 On Display at the Suttons Bay Township Offices. 

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