History of Lake Leelanau

Native Americans first called the land between the Leelanau lakes "ke-ski-bi-ag," which means "narrow body of water." The village was then named Provemont (supposedly from the word "improvement") as the settlers claimed the land for farming and vineyards. One of the stories behind the settlement of Lake Leelanau says that in 1871 a Frenchman was seeking his fortune drilling for oil, and instead, hit an enormous artesian well that still flows today. The sleepy little town of Lake Leelanau (the name taken in 1924 when a post office was established) is comfortably situated at the narrows between the North and South Leelanau lakes. Warm weather months brings visitors for boating and other water recreation, there are divine restaurants that have developed a following, and the rest of the village is self-sustaining with unique stone buildings, a bar to tell stories in, and other necessity stores that maintain the daily routines of life. The romance of this town and its locals is celebrated in the quiet essays of Kathleen Stocking's book, Letters from Lake Leelanau, that express a way of life fast disappearing in America.

Travel out, spoke-like, from the hub of Lake Leelanau includes destinations of Leland, Suttons Bay, Glen Arbor, Northport, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, and the Leelanau Sands Casino. This picturesque village is a beautiful place to stop for lunch, drift the narrows, or meander the antique and eclectic shops.

This page last updated on 3/11/2014.