Historical Society hosts Leelanau Maritime History Festival

From staff reports

Join the Leelanau Historical Society on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 am to 3 pm for a celebration of Leelanau’s dynamic maritime past. Come learn about the peninsula’s vital and sometimes tragic connection to the Great Lakes. The second annual Leelanau Maritime History Festival will be hosted at the Leelanau Historical Society Museum, located at 203 E. Cedar St in Leland.

Enjoy free museum admission, Shipwrecks of the Manitou Passage, lighthouse and ship models, maritime demonstrations, and displays by area nonprofits and organizations whose missions are to preserve and share the region’s maritime culture, past and present. 2023 Festival Partners include but are not limited to: Leelanau Historical Society, Lake Leelanau Lake Association, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, historian and author Kathy Firestone, Fox Island Lighthouse Association, Leelanau Clean Water and Maritime Heritage Alliance.

Highlighted at this year’s festival will be Leelanau Clean Water with the Leelanau School’s replica Montreal canoe. There is a long history of this type of vessel on the Great Lakes. The design for this boat is a modification of a traditional birchbark Montreal canoe. The Leelanau School students crafted the vessel as part of their lessons in teamwork, leadership, and communication within the senior class.

Another highlight will be the Leelanau Historical Society’s 18th annual live exhibit “Wood Boats on the Wall”. Stroll the boardwalk along the museum to view classic wooden boats from around the region beginning at 10 am. Chris-Craft, Century, Garwood and other vintage watercrafts will be present with their captains for viewing and questions.

Live music starts at 1 pm by Billy & The Kid—a new and exciting dynamic guitar and mandolin duo rocking the Leelanau Peninsula. Bring a lawn chair/blanket for this free family-friendly event. Donations are welcome. Learn more at LeelanauHistory.org/Events or call 231-256-7475.

Interested in being an event partner? Demonstrations and informational topics must be representative of local maritime history, knowledge, and/or skills, past or present. Contact Kim Kelderhouse at 231-256-7475.