Patient, selfless, nurturers. The American farmer intrinsically understands these three words 365 days a year without complaint, without dedicated health benefits, and without guaranteed vacations, writes Rebecca Carlson in this feature on the Skeba family, part of her ongoing series on Leelanau farming families and their impacts on the County. The Skeba family farm began in 1877 which translates to 147 years of continuous, single-family management with lots of backbreaking, hard work, but ultimately resulting in a rewarding vocation and livelihood.

WCMU Public Television will air Saving the Barn: The Leelanau County Poor Farm, a locally produced documentary on the history, preservation, and future of the Leelanau County Poor Farm/County Infirmary. The film is a multi-year project of the Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society (LCHPS) and videographer, Joe Vandermeulen. WCMU Public Television has scheduled three broadcast times in March for Saving the Barn: The Leelanau County Farm: Sunday, March 17, at 6:30 pm; Thursday, March 21 at 5 am; and Saturday, March 23 at 10:30 am. The film will be subtitled. Click here to view a 30-second preview.

During 2023, Suttons Bay resident Rebecca Gearing Carlson has researched and written a series of narrative historical pieces about Leelanau County farming families, which we have published in the Glen Arbor Sun. Read those stories here.

The early pioneers of the Leelanau peninsula came from many places and backgrounds. The Farrant family were French Canadians who arrived by 1867, parents and four of their grown sons. Their story began with several of the early log cabins in Kasson township along the Baatz Road. The new release The Farrants of Glen Haven and Empire: A Story Restored chronicles the family over four generations.

North Unity, on the Good Harbor Bay side of Pyramid Point, was settled in 1855 by a group of Bohemians who had emigrated from their homeland in central Europe to seek a better life in America.

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).