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Leland's Fishtown Receives National Recognition

Leland's "Fishtown" was listed as a Traditional Cultural Property earlier this month.

A fishing hub in northern Michigan was added to the National Registry of Historic Places earlier this month.

Leland’s Fishtown has been part of the greater Leland Historic District since 1975. But now, the two-acre cluster of fishing shanties and local businesses has been listed as a Traditional Cultural Property — a designation that goes beyond the prior recognition.

“It actually includes falling waters and the cove and the Manitou Transit properties. It includes the boats; they were never included before,” said Amanda Holmes, director of the Fishtown Preservation Society. “So this is an incredible example of what could be possible for other communities.”

Holmes said the addition to the National Registry of Historic Places covers an “entire cultural landscape” tied to a heritage of commercial fishing.

“It’s something that just doesn’t exist in the way that it used to,” said Holmes. “It’s been challenged because lakeshore properties are often desired. And environmental challenges – but here in Fishtown we actually have this continuous history of commercial fishing.”

Holmes said the new listing could help secure grant funding, attract historians and preservationists to the staff and deepen a sense of pride in the community.