John Houdek arrived in the Leelanau area in the 1860s with wife Barbara and brother Wenzel, all from Bohemia, writes Rebecca Carlson in the latest installment in her series about the legacy of Leelanau farming families. The brothers settled and homesteaded in the area north of Leland and south of the Gills Pier Saw Mill, owning around 400 acres of land, according to the 1880 plat map. The farms and acreage of these two brothers got passed down through the next three generations. John and his wife Barbara were parents to nine children who became integral parts to the family farm and Gills Pier community.

Bohemian Valley, Bohemian Beach, Bohemian Road, the Bohemian Settlement, and the Bohemian Cemetery. From where does the name Bohemian originate and why do we find it in Leelanau County? Rebecca Gearing Carlson asks this question in part six of our Leelanau Farming Family Series. “When I think of the word Bohemian, the social and cultural movement of the 19th century comes to mind: writers, journalists, painters, actors, and other creative people living outside the norms of society. Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Puccini’s La Boheme, and Bizet’s Carmen are beautifully written stories about the Bohemians who purposely pushed the accepted limits of societal practices and despised conventionality. The only similarities, however, between Bohemianism and the central European Bohemians are the names.”

Tom Skowronski from Leelanau County’s Office of Emergency Management sent an email this morning to Northern Michigan media, warning that ice caves on Gill’s Pier Road between Leland and Northport are no longer safe to visit.

The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail carries on a great holiday tradition in Northern Michigan with the 2013 Toast the Season wine tour either of the first two weekends of November. Choose your weekend to tour the wineries of Leelanau — either Nov. 3-4 or 10-11. The tour is self guided and participants may visit member wineries each day in any order desired, between the hours of 11am to 5pm Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The 11th annual Harvest Stompede Vineyard Run & Walk and Wine Tour is a great way to experience the beauty of the Leelanau Wine Trail at harvest time, with local food pairings and wine from the exceptional 2011 vintage. The event takes place the weekend of Sept. 8-9 and is considered one of the most scenic running & wine touring events in the Midwest.

The Spring Sip & Savor returns to the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail the weekend of May 5-6. This annual celebration features food and wine pairings at 19 wineries along with the “Sip-o de Mayo Hat Contest” — a chance to show off your best hat and win prizes including a fantastic getaway to Michigan’s Wine Coast.