When Kasson township was organized in 1865, it was named in honor of Pam Peplinski’s great-great grandfather, and its eldest resident, Kasson Freeman, Jr., who was then 46. Many years later, the annual “Old Settlers Picnic,” held at the beginning of each August in Burdickville at Old Settlers Park, originally commemorated Kasson Freeman’s Aug. 3 birthday, which was coincidentally also the date our first white settlers, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Fisher, landed on Leelanau’s coast in 1854. They decided to celebrate with a picnic, then made it an annual affair.

This week, under little fanfare, Leelanau County celebrated it’s 150th birthday. That is, on Feb. 27, 1863, the Michigan State Legislature create the county of Leelanau with three townships — Centerville, Glen Arbor and Leelanau. The peninsula that looks like the mitten’s pinky finger had previously been part of Grand Traverse County (along with what is now Benzie County).