Travel fewer than thirty miles north of Traverse City, Michigan, to historic Fishtown in Leland and be transported more than a hundred years back in time.
The Great Lakes have a strong maritime culture and a long history rooted in the fishing industry. These traditions are preserved in Fishtown, an historic section of the town of Leland, in the form of fishing shanties, docks, and smokehouses. The shanties now house shops and galleries, but walking along the docks, one can really get a sense of all the history flowing through the Leland River out to Lake Michigan. Today, Fishtown is still a thriving fishing community and working waterfront, serving as home to a good number of charter boats.
Fishtown is a living history lesson and allows for a bit of time travel (no flux capacitor required). Add that to the potential for some awesome fishing on Lake Michigan, and Fishtown is a must-visit for me whenever I’m in or near Traverse City. Whether you have never been or have visited several times, I hope my photos provide you a glimpse of this significant part of Great Lakes maritime history.
If protecting a place like Fishtown is as important to you as it is to me, you may make a donation to the not-for-profit organization, Fishtown Preservation.