Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and the Armistice Day Storm of 1940

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and the Armistice Day Storm of 1940

November storms on the Great Lakes are infamous for their ferocity and violence. Some, such as the Great Storm of 1913, which sank 12 ships and killed over 250 people, or the 1975 storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald, are well known. In November 1940, another strong storm struck the Great Lakes and caused widespread damage, including in the Straits of Mackinac. (more…)

Balsam Just for You

Balsam Just for You

 

 

Since the beginning of tourism on Mackinac Island, visitors have always sought out tokens to remember their experience. Trinkets, sweets, and images of the island helped to memorialize the trip, or were sent to friends and family to let them know they were thinking of them. One of these thoughtful souvenirs which exploded in popularity in the early 20th century was the postcard. With an image on one side, and a place for a personalized message on the other, a postcard can carry a visit anywhere in the world. Although postcards did not originate as a souvenir, but rather a convenient way to send a quick note through the mail, they nonetheless have found their place on visitors’ refrigerators and bulletin boards and in their scrapbooks.

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The Werewolf Story You Haven’t Heard Comes to Life at Fort Fright

The Werewolf Story You Haven’t Heard Comes to Life at Fort Fright

French Canadian tales of the supernatural are explored at Fort Fright each year and one of the favorites is the story of the werewolf. It’s quite different from what we may be familiar with today, but for people in the 1700s at Fort Michilimackinac, the idea of a werewolf was no less terrifying.

Werewolf-web (more…)

Invasive Species Want to Come to Mackinac, too!

Invasive Species Want to Come to Mackinac, too!

Things are always changing in the natural world. At any one location, some species become rarer as time passes, while other species become more common. In a mature northern Michigan forest these changes in species composition usually take a long time to occur and are rarely noticed by a casual observer.

Over the years many species of plants and animals have been intentionally or accidentally introduced to Mackinac Island and its forests. A small percentage of those non-native species have become Invasive. (more…)

2016 Archaeology Season in Review

2016 Archaeology Season in Review

The end of August saw the close of another archaeological field season at Colonial Michilimackinac. This was our ninth season of excavation at House E, one of the units of the Southeast Rowhouse. Historic maps and records indicate that this was the house of Charles Desjardins de Rupallay de Gonneville by 1749 (and probably earlier) through at least 1758. By 1765 it was an English trader’s house. Our excavations indicate that it remained civilian housing throughout the fort’s occupation.

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King’s 8th Returns to Colonial Michilimackinac

King’s 8th Returns to Colonial Michilimackinac

Kings-8th-with-flagThe King is calling you to enlist.

Throughout the weekend of September 9 and 10, 2016, we will recreate the garrison routines of the soldiers at Michilimackinac in the mid-1770s. In addition to drill and musket firing demonstrations, there will be military ration cooking demonstrations, the posting of sentries at the fort’s gates, and daily roll calls.

Interpreters will also be on hand to discuss and demonstrate the role of women attached to the British army as laundresses, seamstresses, gardeners, and cooks. Visitors are invited to drill with the soldiers, help with the laundry, become a member of an artillery crew, and attempt to improve the defenses of Michilimackinac with a “Design a Fort” activity. Special walking tours will focus on Michilimackinac’s armaments and defenses, as well as the community’s role in the American Revolution.

Learn more about Colonial Michilimackinac.

God Save the King!

Brand New Cannon at Colonial Michilimackinac is Shining Example of History and Craft

Brand New Cannon at Colonial Michilimackinac is Shining Example of History and Craft

Come be one of the first to see Michilimackinac’s latest addition in action: a new 6-pound cannon!

IMG_3160 Delivered last week, the cannon is an exact reproduction of a light 6-pound traveling gun. During the 1770s, the British kept two of these bronze guns on Michilimackinac’s parade ground, ready to defend the fort in the event of an American attack. Mounted on a highly mobile carriage with large wheels, these guns could throw a 6 pound cannonball nearly a mile. Although never used in anger, British soldiers fired the guns to celebrate the King’s birthday and other ceremonial events. (more…)

Two New Vingettes Join Nearly 60 Years of Publications

Two New Vingettes Join Nearly 60 Years of Publications

2016_MaritimeTragedyVignette_TanCover Changing Face of Fort MackinacMackinac State Historic Parks is pleased to announce the publication of two new vignettes as part of its Mackinac History series. Numbers six and seven of the fourth volume are “Relics of Maritime Tragedy: Objects from Straits of Mackinac Shipwrecks” by Registrar Brian Jaseschke and “The Changing Face of Fort Mackinac” by Museum Historian Craig Wilson. (more…)