Located in Leelanau County, Michigan, Lake Leelanau is the reported home of a unique creature known to the locals as Leelanau, obviously after the name of its home lake and county. Reports of Leelanau are rare, but most seem to agree that the creature has a long neck, equally long tail and two large eyes.
According to local legend the creature first appeared shortly after the Lake Leelanau Dam was built in the late 1800’s. The dam, which was designed to provide power to the Leland Sawmill, effectively sealed off the lake’s largest outlet, and, according to some, sealed Leelanau in the lake. After the dam was finished Lake Leelanau’s water levels rose roughly 10 to 12 feet, flooding large portions of land and creating a marsh like environment around the lake.
One of the better known accounts of a run in with Leelanau occurred in the summer of 1910 when a teenage boy by the name of William Gauthier was perch fishing from his row boat in the shallow reeds along the shore of what was then called Carp Lake. After hours of no luck William decided to row a little further out into the lake, towards a section he had never fished before. As he rowed William passed several dead cedar trees jutting out of the water. Thinking one of these trees would be a good spot to tie off his boat and continue fishing William began to row towards the nearest one.
The tree that he choose was approximately 5 feet tall and 6 inches wide. When he was close enough William went to tie his boats rope around the tree, however as soon as the rope touched the branch two eyes suddenly popped open at face level with the shocked teenager. The two starred at each other for several moments before the animal dove into the water and under the boat. It was then that William noticed the creature’s length as he watched the head of the creature appear on the far side of his boat while its tail remained above water on the other side.
Several other encounters with the creature where apparently reported around the turn of the century, the majority of which where not formally reported by those who saw Leelanau for fear of being ridiculed for repeating what they saw. Sadly, sightings of Leelanau have all but stopped and some researchers have concluded that what ever may have been trapped in Lake Leelanau at the end of the 19th century may have since passed away.
There is currently no physical evidence that would suggest a creature like Leelanau is or ever was living in Lake Leelanau.
In the summer of 1910 a teenage boy by the name of William Gauthier was perch fishing from his row boat in the shallow reeds along the shore of what was then called Carp Lake when he reportedly had a face to face encounter with Leelanau.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Lake Monster
• Size: Unknown
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: Lake Leelanau, Michigan
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: Marshy Lake Shore