Michigan is home to many iconic landmarks, including the Mackinac Bridge, the Soo Locks, and the Michigan State Capitol building. The state also boasts numerous natural attractions, such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

Leelanau County, located in the northwest part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally home to the Anishinaabe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes who thrived on the bounty of the land and practiced a unique spiritual connection with nature. In the 1600s, French traders arrived in the region, establishing fur trading posts and making early contact with the Native American tribes.

In the 19th century, European settlers began arriving in Leelanau County, drawn by the region's natural beauty and abundant natural resources. Lumbering became a major industry, and the area was heavily logged during this time. The timber industry played a significant role in the county's economy, leading to the emergence of towns like Leland and Empire.

By the late 1800s, the timber resources started to dwindle, leading to a shift in economic focus. Orchards and agricultural activities became prominent, with cherry farming becoming particularly popular. Today, Leelanau County is considered one of the nation's major cherry producers and is known for its scenic orchards and wineries.

In recent years, Leelanau County has also become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its stunning landscapes, charming small towns, and vibrant arts and culture scene. The county offers outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, boating, and fishing, as well as opportunities to explore its rich historical heritage. Leelanau County continues to honor and celebrate its history while embracing progress and welcoming visitors from around the world.

  • 1839: Leelanau County is established by the Michigan Legislature
  • 1850s: European-American settlers begin to arrive in the area
  • 1852: Leland, the county seat, is founded
  • 1860s-1870s: Timber and logging industry flourishes in Leelanau County
  • 1880s: Agriculture becomes a major economic activity with the establishment of cherry orchards
  • 1897: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is designated as Michigan's first National Lakeshore
  • 1900s: Tourism becomes an important industry as visitors flock to the county's natural beauty
  • 1970s: Environmental awareness leads to the preservation of natural areas in Leelanau County
  • Present: Leelanau County continues to thrive with a mix of agriculture, tourism, and natural preservation