The town of Leland in the Leelanau Peninsula is known for historic Fishtown. It draws many tourists to the seaside village but few of them know about this old brick building that stands near the center of town. The bars on the windows gives a clue about what it was used for. In the early days of the county it served as the jail. I am sure it has held many people but one person in particular made this little building world famous in the early 1900s.
Sister Janina, a nun in the small town of Isadore went missing, Years later her remains were found under the church and the local law enforcement believed the priests house keeper Stanislawa “Stella” Lipczynska committed her murder. She was held in this old brick jail while the prosecutors built their case.
The trial garnered national attention as people read about the case in newspapers. Lipczynska was found guilty of murduring Sister Janina because she was jealous of the affair between the church’s priest, Father Andrew and the nun. When her body was found it was discovered that the nun was pregnant. Lipczynska denied having any involvement in the nuns death until they day she died. Exactly what happened will never be known but if you want to know more you can check out my post from a few years ago HERE
For the whole story I recommend reading Isadore’s Secret by Mardi Link. It was interesting not only for the murder, but understanding the lives and history of people living in the Leelanau Peninsula at the turn of the century.
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