Visit us and explore Leelanau cultural and maritime history in our newly expanded museum!

North to Leelanau “Land of Delight”
A visual journey through the small towns of Leelanau County as they went from centers of logging and industry to beloved destinations for summer retreat.

Leelanau Weddings Through the Decades
Wedding dresses, accessories, photos, and love stories from 1860-1950.

Wild Ride on the Steamer Manitou – Debuting June 2018
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 – Debuting June 2018
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.

Native Treaties – Shared Rights
On loan from Central Michigan University, June – September 2018
Land. Rights. Education. These were some of the things affected when the United States and Native governments signed treaties.  The documents created agreements that profoundly changed both the Federal Government and the Native tribes.  Europeans gained perpetual right to the land they called the United States.  In return Native Americans gained many guarantees, some granted for as long as the United States existed.  Explore how land, rights, and education came together as indigenous people and the United States Government created the legal understanding that underlies today’s State of Michigan.

Wood Boats of Leelanau – Back by popular demand!
Vibrant color photos of the beautiful wooden power boats that left their wake in Leelanau’s lakes beginning in the 1910’s.

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 PassageThe exhibit illustrates the stories of the lost ships of 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 Anishnabek Arts Room Our extensive collection of black ash baskets and quillwork from Leelanau’s Odawa and other Anishnabek 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.

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

Retired exhibits on display at the Leelanau County Government Center (lower level):
8527 E. Government Center Dr., Suttons Bay MI 49682

When Winter was Winter
Life on North Manitou Island
Wreck of the Westmoreland

This slideshow requires JavaScript.