The Fishtown Preservation Society seeks to preserve the historical integrity of Leland, Michigan’s Fishtown property and ensure that it continues as a publicly accessible and authentic connection to local and regional history, Great Lakes commercial fishing, and maritime traditions and experiences.

About Us

The Fishtown Preservation Society, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of dedicated community volunteers who have come together to save this historic site.

The Fishtown Preservation Society (FPS) was originally created in 2001 through the efforts of local citizens dedicated to promoting and preserving the historical and fishing heritage of Fishtown. In 2004, the Carlson Family decided to sell Fishtown and hoped to sell it to an entity which would preserve it. FPS soon after became the vehicle for the community to acquire Fishtown. In June 2006, FPS reached an agreement to purchase Fishtown for the amount of $2.8 million for the Fishtown real estate and $200,000 for the two fishing boats, and related fishing licenses and equipment from the Carlson family.

Thanks to the outpouring of support from individuals and foundations, FPS announced it had acquired Fishtown on February 7, 2007.

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.

Amanda Holmes, Executive Director
More Information
Book documenting the historic fishery of Fishtown in Leland, Mich.
Book, and report on historic structures and site design in the Fishtown cultural landscape (Leland, Mich., Summer 2011)
book and oral history, sharing voices from the Leland Fishery at Fishtown, 1940-2006