North Manitou Island Day Trip – September 11th, 2023

*Registration for 2023 will open in July

North Manitou Island – Monday, September 11th, 2022
$85 for members or $115 for non-members
The cancellation fee is 50% within 15 days of the trip.
Pack your own lunch. Cold beverages and snacks will be provided

This event is hosted by the Leelanau Historical Society showcasing the unique history of the Manitou Islands.  Amenities on the island are primitive, this includes pit toilets and one source of potable water. Unforeseen circumstances do occur that cause us to alter our plans, we kindly ask for your patience and flexibility if we need to change our agenda while on the island. We promise you will have a unique historical experience. 

In previous years the North Manitou Island site tours have focused on the history of Cottage Row, the Life-saving Station, the lumber industry, history of rural agriculture and other aspects of island life. We will have interesting guides and interpreters volunteering their time who will share their knowledge of North Manitou Island.

2022 TOURS – for example

SITE TOURS – The following are your Site Tour options. You will have the chance to participate in 3 tours. When you check in on Monday morning you will receive a flyer that includes the schedule, tours, and a map. No signup for individual site tours needed.

1. Life Saving Station History 
Led by Kim Kelderhouse, LHS – Explore the National Historic Landmark US Life-Saving Service Complex.

2. Cottage Row History
Led by Kim Mann, NPS – Walking tour (½ mi total) of the summer cottages first established in 1880 by Chicago families.

3. Boardman Cottage Architecture (aka “Monte Carlo”)
Led by Thomas A. Heinz – Built in 1894, this simple cottage is suspected to be the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

4. North Manitou School Site
Led by Nick Seguin, Leland Public School – Walk down to the  island school site (1mi total) and learn about recent changes and the future plans being considered by Leland Public School, the property owner. 

5. Island Botany & Antique Apples
Led by Tom Adams & Collin Oosse, from the Leelanau Conservation District & Jim Kelderhouse – Hear about the island’s rich agricultural history from its first commodity to its tastiest fall treat.

6. Island Life Recollections
With Michael Cole – Relax and listen to boyhood memories of the island and its residents. You are welcome and encouraged to share your own island stories at this time.

8:00am Check-In at the Dock

8:45am Board the Boat (Mishe-Mokwa)

9:00am Depart for the Island

10:00am Arrive on North Manitou Island

10:00am Disembark, bathroom break before tours begins

10:45am  TOUR CHOICE #1 (Duration 30 minutes) – See concurrent Site Tour list above

11:30am TOUR CHOICE #2 (Duration 30 minutes) – See concurrent Site Tour list above

12:00 -1:30pm Lunch break in the village 
(Cold Beverages & Snacks available at the picnic area) 

1:45pm TOUR CHOICE #3 (Duration 30 minutes) – See concurrent Site Tour list above

3:00pm Board boat

3:30pm Boat departs to circle the North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse, “The Crib” (Weather permitting)

5:30pm We should return to Leland no later than 5:30 (if not earlier)

First and foremost, please be aware that although scheduled for Monday, September 12th, this trip will be determined by the weather. High wind or heavy rain (among other conditions!) will cause us to travel on Tuesday, September 13th. The boat captain makes this decision the morning of the trip. We will be riding aboard the MISHE- MOKWA, so definitely bring a jacket and hat if you plan to sit on the top deck!

Dress: Good walking shoes/boots are essential; dress in layers and include a light jacket, depending on the weather. Hats, backpack/bag, bug spray, binoculars, walking sticks, water bottle, sunscreen come in handy. A watch is recommended.

Food: Remember that you must bring your own sandwich. We will provide beverages (water and soft drinks), snacks and cookies. This eases the process in case of cancellation or using the rain date. Cash bar and additional snacks are available for purchase on the boat. If you like, you can contact the Village Cheese Shanty ahead of time to order a sandwich and they will have it ready for you in the morning for pick up. 231-256-9141. They have requested that you place your order prior to 3pm the day before the trip.

If you have questions, please call Kim or Elizabeth at the Leelanau Historical Society at 231-256-7475.

Photo Gallery from Past Trips:

  • Discover more history behind North Manitou Island prior to your trip. Check out the historically detailed Map & Book in our gift shop created by Rita Hadra Rusco, the last person to live on the island before it became part of the National Park.