Native Americans first called the land between the Leelanau lakes “ke-ski-bi-ag,”which means “narrow body of water.” The village was then named Provemont (supposedly from the word “improvement”) as the settlers claimed the land for farming and vineyards. One of the stories behind the settlement of Lake Leelanau says that in 1871 a Frenchman was seeking his fortune drilling for oil, and instead, hit an enormous artesian well that still flows today. The sleepy little town of Lake Leelanau is comfortably situated at the narrows between the North and South Leelanau lakes. Warm weather months bring visitors for boating and other water recreation, there are divine restaurants that have developed a following, and the rest of the village is self-sustaining with unique stone buildings, a bar to tell stories in, and other necessity stores that maintain the daily routines of life. The romance of this town and its locals is celebrated in the quiet essays of Kathleen Stocking’s book, Letters from Lake Leelanau, that express a way of life fast disappearing in America.
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