The Leelanau Historical Society was launched in 1957 by a group of residents dedicated to collecting and preserving Leelanau’s history. Leland, first established in 1853 and later the county seat, seemed the natural location for the Society. When the old county jail became available in 1959, the museum found its first home. Through generous donations and grants, a new museum was built in 1985 and expanded in 2005 and 2015. Today, the collections and archives contain more than 20,000 items. Visitors to the museum learn about Leelanau life and maritime history from exhibits, educational programs and publications. Recipient of the 2014 State History Award for Outstanding Local Society, LHS continues to collect, document and preserve items relating to Leelanau history.