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National Historic Register
Persisting as a living legacy of more than a century of the maritime culture of the Great Lakes region, Fishtown exists as a collection of weather-beaten fishing shanties and shops, concrete block smokehouses, overhanging docks, fishing tugs, net racks, artifacts, and charter boats along the Leland River that represent the culmination of its dynamic past. Originally inhabited by the Ottawa tribe and covered in a vast virgin forest filled with ample game and wildlife, the area was settled by European immigrants pursuing farming and fishing in 1853. Shortly after their arrival, the industrial revolution spurred interest in lumber production and pig iron smelting. After these industries ceased production, the economy transitioned into one centered on commercial fishing, which has evolved over the past 130 years into the working waterfront and tourist destination seen today.
HopkinsBurns served as historic preservation consultant in the development of a master plan for the preservation and restoration of the site and its structures. Services consisted of a cultural resource assessment, a survey of 10 structures to evaluate existing conditions and historic integrity, a digital survey of the site, development of design guidelines and standards for sympathetic infill and adaptive reuse, as well as public outreach and facilitation during public charrettes.