This special program was created for the Leelanau Historical Society, honoring the women of the North and South Manitou Islands.

women on boat manitou islands

Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning about the strong and determined women of the Manitou Islands. The North and South Manitou Islands are places of mystery, with many shuttered old homes and ruins, evidence of a once-thriving community. Now a destination for summer vacationers on day visits or camping trips, its rich history is frozen in time in the aging structures, hidden roads, agricultural landscapes and remote beauty. Join us as we explore island life in the late 1800s through the late 1900s, through the stories of the women who lived and worked there, building families and communities on the islands. From the women who arrived with early European settlers to those who stayed
well into the establishment of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, hear the history of the islands through their stories. Featuring North Islanders Arlene Fluelling, Rita Hadra Rusco, Katie Shepard, and Zella Hutzler; and South Islanders Florence Hass, Mollie Anderson, Bertha Peth, and Margaretha Hutzler.

Stacie is a Board Member of the Leelanau Historical Society, and Vince and Stacie are members.

To learn more about the Islands, visit our Research and Resources page.