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Helen MacLeod II Background

The Helen MacLeod II was built in Bayfield starting in 1923 by Louie Macleod and his brother Jack and launched in 1926. She was designed on the lines of the old Machinac lumber hookers (other times called Great Lakes Schooners) Her construction assured sturdiness, but her design gave her grace.

She sailed as a fishing vessel until 1945, long after other commercial sail fishing had disappeared from the Great Lakes, when Louie MacLeod suffered a stroke. In 1950 she was sold to two Detroit historians who used her as a private yacht renamed the Anna S. Piggott. In 1955 she was rebuilt by the Detroit Historical Museum, and used a a training vessel for sea cadets. In 1969 the Trenton Rotary Club donated her to Saugatuck's marine museum. In early 1970 it moved to the Peterson Boat Yard in Douglas Michigan. It remained there until 1994 when Doug Prothero of the Great Lakes Schooner Company bought her and moved her to Stoney Creek, Ont. intending to restore her. Having decided against that, a flyer Artifact or Firewood was printed hoping to attract someone to save the Helen MacLeod II.

The members of the Bayfield Historical Society were excited by the opportunity to acquire an incredible piece of Bayfield (and Great Lakes) history and immediately set about bringing the boat home. She was acquired in April of 1996 and in June, thanks to a quick response by various donors, she returned with in yards of where she was first built, awaiting restoration.


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