Fishtown Tugs

In the 1800s Leland's fishing vessels were primarily open, wood mackinaw boats, rigged with sails. By the early 1900s, fishermen began to replace the sails with gas-powered engines, and eventually gas was replaced with diesel engines. The new engines enabled more room onboard for protective cabins, which gave the fishermen the ability to safely fish farther from port, and longer into the season.

Eventually the wood tug fishing boat design was developed, and helped the fishermen to be even more efficient. In 1958 the Steffens and Stallman families added two new fish tugs to the Leland fleet, the Janice Sue and the Mary Ann, both made of steel. The steel tugs were more durable than the former wood tugs, and became the preferred fishing boat in Leland. Janice Sue has served in Leland ever since. Trap net fishing began in Leland in 1982, with the launch of the hand-crafted steel tug, the Joy. As you walk the docks in Fishtown, you will likely see the working Janice Sue and Joy, which have become Leland's icon.