Fishtown Preservation Society

203 E. Cedar Street
Leland, MI 49654

Fishtown Preservation Society

Fishtown is a collection of weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, overhanging docks, fish tugs and charter boats along the Leland River in Leland, Michigan. Once the heart of a commercial fishing village, the structures and docks are real places where people can walk through, see and feel a connection to Lake Michigan’s fishing heritage. For the past half-century it has been enjoyed and appreciated by thousands of visitors and regional residents who find the shanties, fish tugs and docks that make up the property a living legacy of our maritime culture. Even fish tugs are like family in Fishtown. In 1958 Louis Steffens launched the newly built Janice Sue, which he named for his three-year old niece. Better able to endure ice and waves, steel-hulled tugs replaced hand-built wood tugs. The Janice Sue has since been owned by other Leland fishermen, including the Carlson family, but Leland has always been her home. The Joy, a trap-net tug, was launched in 1981. The Janice Sue and the Joy are Fishtown icons that were purchased by the Fishtown Preservation Society. In Leland’s historic Fishtown, today’s visitor can experience one of the few remaining commercial fishing complexes on the Great Lakes.