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Leelanau County

Leelanau County is named for the Native American word meaning “delight of life”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Charleviox County

E – Antrim County

S – Grand Traverse County and Benzie County

 Lake Michigan


Created:  April 1, 1840                            Map of Michigan highlighting Leelanau County

County Seat:

Northport      1863 – 1883

Leeland        1883 – 2004

Sutons Bay  2004 – present


County Courthouse – Suttons Bay


Location:  8527 East Government Center Drive / Highway 204

Built:  2007 – 2008

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Landmark Design of Grand Rapids

Contractor:  DeVere Construction Company of Alpena.


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds on the side of a hill in the center of Sutton Bay. The base of the building is concrete. The west front has a long canopy extending from the entrance. A square tower with clock rises on the north side of the entrance. The first story windows are arched. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial District, County District Court and County Probate Court. 


Former County Courthouse – Leeland (demolished)



Location:  301 East Cedar Street / Charles Street

Built:  1966 – 1967

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Field, Graheck, Bell & Kline of Traverse City

Contractor:  Arnold & Tezak, Inc.


Description:  The building faced south and was a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The building was located on landscaped grounds on a rise in the center of Leeland. The south front had a raised portico supported by two brick pillars. There was a recessed glass wall around the entrance. The windows were vertical and the roof line was flat. The building ceased to act as a courthouse in 2008. The building was demolished but the old jail built in 1901 still stands.


See:  The 13th Judicial District includes Antrim County and Grand Traverse County.


History:  The county was created in 1840 and Northport was selected in 1863 when the county was organized. The first court met in a school in 1864 and the county occupied space above a store. In 1883, the county seat was moved to Leland and the first courthouse was a wooden structure that belonged to an ironworks enterprise. A jail was built in 1901 which is still standing. The third courthouse was constructed in 1966 to 1967 and was demolished. In 2004, the county seat was moved to Suttons Bay. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 2007 to 2008 at a cost of $10,600,000.


See:  Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky



County Courthouse – Sutons Bay



















Old County Jail (1901) – Leeland

Photos taken 2008