The commercial fishing district of Leland(Fishtown) has provided a livelihood for residents of the town for over a century. Fishermen reached the fishing grounds of Lake Michigan by way of the Leland River using small sailboats until the introduction of primitive gas-powered oak boats around 1900. Small fishing shanties and related buildings such as ice and smoke houses were constructed during the peak years of the industry which spanned the first three decades of the 20th century. Now gray and weather-beaten, some still serve their original purpose. Other buildings in the district date back to Leland’s lumbering and iron smelting era in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Leland continues to be a commercial fishing area as well as the headquarters for transportation to the Manitou Islands.