Flowing all night long by Mark Smith
While this dam isn’t an actual waterfall, I’m going to overlook it due to seasonal appropriateness. In their excellent overview of the history of Fishtown in Leland, the Glen Arbor Sun shares:
Fishtown is located where there once was a natural fish ladder on these traditional Native American fishing grounds. It is one of only few commercial fishing villages still operating today in Michigan. The Native Americans called this spot Mishi-me-go-bing, or alternatively Che-ma-go-bing or Chi-mak-a-ping, meaning “the place where canoes run up into the river to land, because they have no harbor.”
French Canadian millwright, Antoine Manseau, along with his family, are thought to be among some of the first whites to settle here. They came from North Manitou Island in 1853. The following year Manseau and his family, along with John Miller, built the dam at Fishtown. It raised the water level in the river and in Lake Leelanau by as much as an astonishing 12 feet. Since the dam prevented boat traffic from going back and forth in their daily business, launches were, and still are provided on both sides of the dam.
Lots more in the Sun. You can learn more about the history of the dam from Fishtown Preservation.
Mark took this photo a week ago. See more in his Leland gallery & view and purchase his work at Leelanau Landscapes.
The House at the End of the Dock by Mark Smith
I can’t be the only person who wishes I lived in the Hall Cottage in Leland’s Fishtown!
See more from Mark at Downstreamer on Flickr!
Fishtown’s Joy by Mark Smith
The Leelanau Ticker reports that the Michigan Fish Producers Association (MFPA) has filed a class action lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to protect the future commercial fishing in Leland’s Fishtown and the rest of the Great Lakes:
In its lawsuit, the MFPA alleges that the DNR is retaliating against the industry’s opposition to a series of bills considered by the Michigan Legislature last year. The complaint also alleges that the imposition of new rules under the DNR’s Fishing Order 243.21, which took effect January 8, was an attempt to punish commercial fishers for their involvement in the political process.
Fishtown Preservation Society (FPS) Executive Director Amanda Holmes says the complexities surrounding the laws for commercial fishing is nothing new for the State of Michigan and for Fishtown. “One of the reasons that Bill Carlson and his family decided to let go of Fishtown was because of the challenges to the commercial fishing industry — they fought long and hard and then decided to let it go.” (In June of 2006, the nonprofit FPS reached an agreement to purchase Fishtown for $2.8 million for the Fishtown real estate and $200,000 for the two fishing boats, fishing licenses and equipment from the Carlson family.) Carlson’s Fishery continues to operate as a processor and distributor, buying fish from commercial fishers and selling it locally and through wholesale channels.
Holmes tells the Leelanau Ticker, “Fishtown the place would continue without commercial fishing, but one the things that makes Fishtown so exceptional and special is its unbroken and documented heritage of commercial fishing for nearly two centuries.”
If the new fishing order rules stand: “The limitations on the fishing depths and the season alone will make it a challenge to fish out of Fishtown. What this means is that…a way of life is at risk of closure,” says Holmes.
Read on for more in the Leelanau Ticker.
Mark took this photo back in December of 2018. See his latest at Downstreamer on Flickr
Buoyant Joy by Mark Smith
mLive’s Emily Bingham reports that historically high water levels are closing campsites, harbor slips at popular state parks across Michigan:
During a summer recreation season already hampered by pandemic-related delays and restrictions, many of Michigan’s state parks are now wrestling with another force of nature: historically high water along the Great Lakes.
From the east side to the west side and up north, the record-setting water levels are reshaping shorelines, eroding beaches, submerging docks and piers, and rendering roads and trails inaccessible. The unprecedented situation has manifested in high water-related closures statewide at harbors, parks and boating access sites managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
…A number of boating access sites and fishing piers across the state are temporarily closed on account of high water as well; a full list of closures and updates is available at Michigan.gov/DNRclosures.
Leland’s popular Fishtown is one place with critically high water levels. You can see Mark’s photo of the Joybigger on his Facebook & for sure follow him on Flickr @downstreamer!
Fishtown Sunset by Gary Ennis
The folks @PureMichigan on Twitter thought that this photo of a summer sunset in Leland’s Fishtown by Gary Ennis was a perfect fit for their #SunsetSunday hashtag! I can’t help but agree!!
If you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for this historical treasure, I urge you to check out the Fishtown Preservation Association’s Campaign for Fishtown to raise the funds to resolve critical infrastructure and drainage issues & rehabilitate three shanties: The Village Cheese Shanty, Carlson’s Fishery and the Morris Shanty as well as to replace all docks, address accessibility, and other site issues. The high water has exacerbated an already desperate situation – click through to see how you can help!
You can follow Gary on his Instagram for more great shots!
Summertime 2, photo by Charles Bonham
This is me in my imagination this morning.
This is the reality. -2 in Detroit, -10 in Flint and an eye-freezing -23 in Iron Mountain. In fact, the only places I can see that are above zero are Manistee & Benton Harbor!
I’ll take “My Imagination” for $500 Alex…
Charles took this shot in Leland’s Fishtown. Check it out background big and see more in his Leland MI / Fishtown slideshow.
There’s more SUMMER (and more summer wallpaper) on Michigan in Pictures.
Stormin’ Norman, photo by Fishtown Leland
Here’s a shot an iced-in fishing tug in the Leland Harbor. It was taken yesterday before the latest storm rolled through. Gonna be a while before fresh fish is available!!
View this photo by Fishtown Preservation background bigtacular, see more on their Facebook page and learn about this organization and their mission at fishtownmi.org.
There’s more boats and more winter wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
PS: If you want a look at (or share) pics of the storm impacts across Michigan, mLive is calling for folks to share their photos. Of course you can also share them on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook or by tweeting @michpics!
Cooler Tour … fishtown, dam view by Ken Scott Photography
Ah, November in Michigan. The Fishtown Preservation Society explains:
Fishtown is a unique historical attraction composed of weather-beaten fishing shanties and small shops lining the mouth of the Leland River. The site has endured and adapted over the last 150 years as an ever-evolving working waterfront that still operates as one of the only unmodernized commercial fishing villages in the state of Michigan.
One of the most important characteristics of Fishtown is its core of historic shanties. Though only a few are still used for commercial fishing operations, most of the structures in Fishtown had their origins as commercial fishing buildings. These buildings served many purposes, including net-mending sheds, ice houses, smoke houses, and storage. Though processes like ice-making are now mechanized in a commercial fishery, running a fishery still requires extensive space for equipment storage and net repairs.
Many buildings have come and gone from the Fishtown landscape with the changing fortunes of the industry, yet Fishtown survives as a rare working waterfront and an authentic and active commercial fishing village.
Head over to fishtownmi.org for more.
Click to see Ken’s photo bigger, check out his Cooler Tour photos and be sure to follow him at Ken Scott Photography on Facebook.