Many of the original weathered fishing shanties composing Fishtown, now house small shops along the mouth of the Leland River, as it flows into Lake Michigan. However, these historic shanties were once used primarily for commercial fishing operations, including net-mending sheds, ice houses, smoke houses, and storage. A few Fishtown shanties are still used today to support the current, active commercial fishing operation.
For over 150 years Fishtown has evolved as a working waterfront. The shanties represent the heart and foundation of Fishtown, and are loved for their rustic appeal and enduring functionality. Surviving many a cold, windy, snowy winter in Northern Michigan, these shanties continue to tell their story of endurance.