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Occupying the space where Lake Leelanau narrows into a stream separating North Lake Leelanau and South Lake Leelanau, the unincorporated community of Lake Leelanau, Michigan was designated as a census-designated place (CDP) in time for the 2010 census.

Sometimes known as Carp Lake, the lake itself consists of two separate bodies of water connected by what is referred to as a narrowing of the lake, but which more closely resembles a small river or stream about one mile in length. Native Americans, who first inhabited this land called the area "ke-ski-bi-ag," which means "narrow body of water."

The CDP is mostly on the west side of the narrowed portion of the lake, but it continues to the east as far as North Eagle Highway/South Lake Leelanau Drive, and includes waterfront on the south shores of North Lake Leelanau, as well as the northwestern portion of South Lake Leelanau. However, the CDP boundaries were drawn for statistical purposes only, and have no legal status. Also, these boundaries may not reflect local understandings as to which areas are considered part of the community.

Lake Leelanau is mostly in Leland Township, and partly within Suttons Bay Township, Leelanau County, in the northwestern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

The chief routes through the CDP are East Duck Lake Road (M-204) and South Lake Shore Drive, the latter of which terminates at its intersection with East Duck Lake Road downtown.

The nearest city to Lake Leelanau is Traverse City, just over twenty miles to the south-southeast, while the village of Suttons Bay is four miles to the east, and Northport is just under twelve miles north. Unincorporated communities within ten miles of Lake Leelanau include Cherry Home, Leland, Gill's Pier, Keswick, and Peshawbestown.

The community was founded around a large artesian well that was discovered in 1867 by Andre De Beloit, who was drilling for oil at the narrows of what was then known as Carp Lake. As others settled there, the community became known as Le Naro.

On May 10, 1871, a post office was opened in the community and named Provemont. William Horton was the first postmaster. On March 31, 1924, the name of the post office and community were changed to Lake Leelanau.

Although the community has a year-round population of about two hundred and fifty, summer vacationers come to the area for its scenery, boating, fishing, restaurants, and shops along the narrows area. Additionally, the community can serve as a convenient base for short trips to Glen Arbor, Leland, Northport, Suttons Bay, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The community's economy is largely in support of its residents and visitors, and is related to tourism and travel business.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on the unincorporated community and census-designated place known as Lake Leelanau, Michigan. Appropriate topics include informational websites, as well as those representing local businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, sports programs, and recreational opportunities.



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