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Steam-propelled boat famous during the early 1900's in Leelanau County, MI


Steamer Leelanau

Explore Facts and History of the

The Steamer Leelanau carried passengers, freight, and mail up and down the 22 mile long inland lake named Lake Leelanau. As far north as Leland, south to Fouch, pausing at Porter’s Landing, Provemont , Fountain Point and Bingham.

Louis Mosier and his sons built the Steamer Leelanau in 1900 at their sawmill in Provemont. The design was created by Louis Hockstead of Bingham. Louis Moiser was one of two captains to operate the Steamer Leelanau. The other was named Captain VerSnyder.

The Steamer Leelanau occasionally made intermediate stops long the lake. These were small docks often in a farmer’s backyard. If the farmer wanted to go to town or had some cargo he’d stand on his dock waving a white shirt, and the steamer obediently would dock. If there was freight to leave, or a message to deliver, the steamer bellowed its whistle as it approached, and the family trooped down to the dock.

The steam-propelled boat answered the need for faster and more dependable transportation instead of the underdeveloped road system of the Leelanau peninsula. Steamers burned cordwood in boilers which created steam for motion.