Fort Mackinac Archaeology

Fort Mackinac retains the historic buildings standing when the army decommissioned it in 1895.  However, some structures had come and gone during the fort’s 114-year military service.  The earliest of these, and the first to be excavated, was the well dug by the British during the fort’s construction. The well failed before 1812, and was filled in fits and starts over the rest of the fort’s history.  A 1965 University of Michigan archaeological team carried out initial testing for the well.  It was definitely located and more completely excavated by a University of South Florida field school under the direction of Dr. Roger Grange, Jr. in 1980 and 1981.  Dr. Grange and USF field schools also excavated the Provision Storehouse (1980-1982), the East Blockhouse (1980-81) and the blacksmith shops (1995-1996) and under the floor of the Officer’s Wood Quarters (1986).  The most recent archaeological project at Fort Mackinac was the testing and excavation associated with the repair of the Fort Mackinac wall.  This project, carried out by Great Lakes Research in 2000-2001, included the excavation of a nineteenth-century drainage system on the parade ground.

FORT MACKINAC – ARCHAEOLOGICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

Branstner, Mark C. and Christine N. Branstner
     2002    The Fort Mackinac Wall Restoration and Improvement Projects, Mackinac Island, Michigan:  The 2000 and 2001 Field Seasons.  GLRA Report No. 2002-03.  Unpublished report on file, Petersen Center.

Brose, David
     1966    Excavations in Fort Mackinac, 1965.  Michigan Archaeologist 12 (2):88-101.

Clifford, Laura Dee
1990    Excavations at the Officers’ Wooden Quarters at Fort Mackinac, Michigan.  Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa.

Grange, Roger T., Jr.
1987   Excavations at Fort Mackinac, 1980-1982: The Provision Storehouse. Archaeological Completion Report Series 12.  MISPC.

     1997    Pathways to the East Blockhouse at Fort Mackinac. Unpublished report on file, Petersen Center.

     1999    The Excavation of the Blacksmith Shops at Fort Mackinac. Unpublished report on file, Petersen Center.

Stewart, Sheila K.
     1998    The Third Blacksmith Shop at Fort Mackinac, Michigan, 1858-circa 1875.  Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa.

Wright, Robin
     1985    The 1780 British Well Site. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa.