The Steffens & Stallman Shanty project sets the standard for future work at Fishtown. It represents the first phase of work on buildings as set forth in the Fishtown Preservation Society?s master historic preservation plan.
Fishtown is a unique historical attraction composed of weather-beaten fishing shanties and small shops lining the mouth of the Leland River. The site has endured and adapted over the last 150 years as an ever-evolving working waterfront that still operates as one of the only unmodernized commercial fishing villages in the state of Michigan.
One of the most important characteristics of Fishtown is its core of historic shanties. Though only a few are still used for commercial fishing operations, most of the structures in Fishtown had their origins as commercial fishing buildings. These buildings served many purposes, including net-mending sheds, ice houses, smoke houses, and storage. Though processes like ice-making are now mechanized in a commercial fishery, running a fishery still requires extensive space for equipment storage and net repairs.
Many buildings have come and gone from the Fishtown landscape with the changing fortunes of the industry, yet Fishtown survives as a rare working waterfront and an authentic and active commercial fishing village.