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.