2016-09-22 / Local News

Van Raalte family donates bench for township library, historical society


THE DESCENDANTS of John K. and Luella Van Raalte have donated a bench for public use to the Leland Township Library and Leelanau Historical Society. Pictured (back row, from left) are Christine Van Raalte Johnson, Virginia Van Raalte Logan, John D. VanRaalte; (front row, from left) Rosie Van Raalte Flannigan and Elizabeth Van Raalte Clark. THE DESCENDANTS of John K. and Luella Van Raalte have donated a bench for public use to the Leland Township Library and Leelanau Historical Society. Pictured (back row, from left) are Christine Van Raalte Johnson, Virginia Van Raalte Logan, John D. VanRaalte; (front row, from left) Rosie Van Raalte Flannigan and Elizabeth Van Raalte Clark. Descendants of John and Luella Van Raalte have donated a bench for public use in Leland.

As a “thank you” to the Leland Township Library and the Leelanau Historical Society, the VanRaalte family provided a bench near their entrance.

The library and museum co-hosted the local “release” of the VanRaalte book, “Stories of a Leland Family: John K. and Luella M. VanRaalte” in 2015 when it was first published. The release event was attended by individuals who shared life stories about the two senior Van Raaltes.

The book is the result of a family collaboration that draws upon letters written by Luella Nelson Van Raalte as well as her diaries, and from audio recording of John Van Raalte’s stories.

The recollections in their own words describe growing up in the early 1900s, marriage in Leland during the Depression, starting the Van’s Garage business, helping to build the local fire department and raising a family in Leelanau County.

Van’s Garage has become a working icon in the Leland community. It’s owned by John P. “JP” and Tracy Van Raalte.

The book is available at the Leland Library and for purchase at the museum gift store.

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The Van Raalte family is

The Van Raalte family is pleased to provide this bench. Our parents were very interested in history and were avid readers, so the placement between the Library and Historical Society is perfect. For those not in Leelanau, the book is also available on Amazon.com Elizabeth