OUR HISTORY

Lake Leelanau RV Park was originally called Teter’s Little Finger Beach. It was started by Ray & Florence Teter in the 1960’s. The campground had all dirt roads with only rustic, grass-covered campsites. There was a peanut farm, a large garden, and a community camper’s garden on the south side of the park. Located on the northern side of the park were five housekeeping cottages nestled among the campsites. An old barn sat at the entrance where our fountain currently is and was a source of charm to children. There were small aluminum row boats for rent, an aluminum boathouse, docks, and a wonderful sandy beach that remains today.

Don and Marilyn Wilson, long time campers and visitors to the Leelanau Peninsula, purchased the campground from the Teter Family in 1976 and their first summer began in 1977. They modified the name of their park to be Little Finger Beach Travel Park. Leaving behind their city life in Utica, Michigan, they moved to the park in Lake Leelanau with their children to begin a new life as campground owners. Don left behind a career as a field engineer for NCR (National Cash Register) to begin building his bold vision for the park. Marilyn continued to practice nursing as a registered nurse in Northport, Michigan for many years as well as manage the office, business, and home until the campground was firmly established. The early years of the campground were filled with hard work, numerous upgrades, and the establishment of life-long friendships.

In 1994, Don and Marilyn changed the name of the park to better reflect the surrounding area and the beautiful 21-mile long Lake Leelanau that graces the shores of the campground. The new name Lake Leelanau RV Park was chosen. Many campers still remember the name Little Finger Beach with fond memories.

In the mid and late 1990’s, Don and Marilyn decided to make the campground a family affair by inviting their children and their children’s spouses to join them in managing the park. What began as a dream for two became a family affair ensuring that the tradition of camping at Lake Leelanau RV Park will continue for many years to come. Many dramatic changes have occurred over the last 37 years and we are so proud of the improvements we have made. We invite you to join Don and Marilyn, Tim and Donna, Tom and Cheryl, and Jeff and Jennifer for your next camping vacation.

Please come visit us and drive through our resort if you are in the beautiful Leelanau Peninsula area.

Postcard reads: Located on West Shore of Beautiful Lake Leelanau. New Modern Vacation Housekeeping Cottages With New Boats – 100 Campsites Moderns Restrooms – Excellent Safe Beach – Open From Last Saturday in April thru November. Famous Spring and Fall for Brown Trout – Write for Particulars. Postcard image from CardCow.com

Teters Little Finger Beach

LAKE LEELANAU RV PARK HISTORY PHOTOS

The original entrance to Lake Leelanau RV Park

The original entrance to Lake Leelanau RV Park

Original entrance to Lake Leelanau RV Park

Original entrance to Lake Leelanau RV Park

Don Wilson installing the pipe organ into the family office/home.

Don Wilson installing the pipe organ into the family office/home.

The roads inside the park prior to paving.

The roads inside the park prior to paving.

Marilyn Wilson in front of the original office around 1977.

Marilyn Wilson in front of the original office around 1977.

Don and Marilyn Wilson is the first years of owning the park.

Don and Marilyn Wilson is the first years of owning the park.

Changing from Little Finger Beach to Lake Leelanau RV Park.

Changing from Little Finger Beach to Lake Leelanau RV Park.

Dog and Marilyn, winners of the Leelanau County Business of the Year Award in 2013

Don and Marilyn, winners of the Leelanau County Business of the Year Award in 2013.