The Les Cheneaux Historical Museum is unique. It is comprised of two buildings, one a log cabin, donated by Nancy Avery Follansbee, depicting the early days of settlement in the area when lumbering was an important industry. Along with the lumbering, was the wonderful fishing, creating the early tourist industry for the many thriving hotels in the area. Of course the women also kept very busy with quilting, weaving, and other activities.
Attached to the old historical, log cabin is a very modern building. This building, designed by the late Aarre Lahti, a former professor of architectural design at the University of Michigan, depicts changes in the life of the community over the years.
The "marriage" of these two buildings shows the transition from the early lumbering days of the area, to today's interest in recreational boating, fishing, bird watching, and nature walks, along with many winter activities such as ice fishing, snowmobiling and other recreational activities.
- Helen Shoberg
Les Cheneaux Islands
"Located at the northern tip of Lake Huron, on the south shore of Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula, the Les Cheneaux area was once a strategic international northern outpost and center of early exploration. But it was not until the early eighteen eighties that permanent homesteaders came in earnest to Les Cheneaux: Anthony Hamel came over from Mackinac Island, William A. Patrick arrived from Ontario, the Westons migrated north from Chicago, and the likes of Henry Clay Wisner and the McBain-Coryell clan appeared as the area's first seasonal visitors. From this decade can be traced the story of the evolution of the Les Cheneaux area from unwanted real estate into highly desirable timberland and, almost simultaneously, homestead settlement and summer resort community. Our story is an individually distinct as any in American history and as important as the opening and development of the Great Lakes and the integration of two great peninsulas into the State of Michigan."