Congratulations Leelanau Historical Society!

The Leelanau Historical Society was honored with the "2014 State History Award for Outstanding Local Society" the Historical Society of Michigan – Michigan's oldest cultural organization – at the recent 140th Annual Michigan Historical Society state history conference in Big Rapids, Michigan. The presenter shared, "With determination, donations and grants, the Leelanau Historical Society continues it's mission to inspire people to explore the past, understand the present and envision the future of the diverse cultures in Michigan's little finger and its five islands. First housed in Leland's original jailhouse, the society moved into a state-of-the-art museum and research center that hosts exhibits and programs throughout the year. Two staff members are augmented by a very active board and a cadre of volunteers." The State History Award is presented to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history.       

"We are very proud of the Leelanau Historical Society. What an honor to receive such a prestigious award! This award not only honors our present staff, board of trustees, members and volunteers, but all who have been involved with the Society in the past 57 years of operation, beginning with our founder, Amelia Schaub. We thank the Historical Society of Michigan, and dedicate this award to the entire community of Leelanau County!"
–Francie Gits,
LHS Executive Director
Above: LHS staff Kim Kelderhouse, Julie Rhodes,
Trustee Norbert Gits & Executive Director Francie Gits

LHS was launched in 1957 by a group of local residents dedicated to collecting and preserving Leelanau’s history. The old Leland County Jail became the LHS Museum's first home in 1959. Thanks to generous donations and grants, the current LHS Museum was built in 1985, and then later expanded. Today, LHS collections and archives contain more than 13,000 items, and visitors to the Museum can learn about Leelanau life and maritime history from exhibits, educational programs and publications.

Bravo Leelanau Historical Society! We are honored to have the LHS Museum located in Leland, and encourage locals and visitors to take advantage of every opportunity to visit, donate historical Leelanau items, support, and pass on the importance of this top-rate community cultural organization. 

Norb Gits, Bob and Julie Rhodes, Francie and Paula Gits, Liz and Kim Kelderhouse and Bob Brown at the State History Awards banquet. (Laura Paine taking photo)

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