Blog Posts

Lead seal.

2020 Archaeology Wrap-Up

The second half of the archaeological field season had similar themes to the first half (see the first half recap here). Again, the most interesting artifact came from the central root cellar.

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Small bronze mortars, which fired explosive shells in a high arc, also made up part of Fort Mackinac’s early defenses.

Michilimackinac’s Artillery

Over the past few years the staff at Mackinac State Historic Parks has diligently been adding reproductions of Michilimackinac’s artillery throughout the site to provide visitors an accurate representation of what the site looked like in the 1770s.

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Intaglio or cuff link

Archaeology Update

Halfway through the archaeology season we have found some interesting artifacts, the end of some features, and more questions. The root cellar in the southeast …

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Close lovage

What’s Growing in the Garden? Lovage!

While lovage is not seen much in gardens today, our ancestors would have likely been familiar with this useful plant.

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barn area

Agriculture at Mill Creek

Watching the sawmill operate is one of the highlights of a visit to Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park. Seeing the original grist mill stones reunited in the American Millwright’s House is the result of good historical detective work. However, milling was the not the only enterprise at Mill Creek.

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Soldiers of the 23rd Infantry using a net to catch fish in the Devil’s River in Texas in 1898. Most of the men are wearing their blue shirts, but the second soldier from the left appears to be wearing his undershirt. The men wearing light-colored pants could just be wearing their drawers into the river, but they might also be the white trousers authorized for summer wear in 1888.

What Did Soldiers Wear Under Their Uniforms?

If you’ve visited Fort Mackinac, you’ve probably seen our historical interpreters performing demonstrations and leading tours while wearing the uniforms of the U.S. Army of the 1880s. We strive to have accurate reproductions, but what did the historic soldiers of Fort Mackinac wear under their uniforms?

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16. Capt. Goodale (002)

African American Soldiers and Fort Mackinac Officers

While General Granger was reading General Order No. 3, two future Fort Mackinac officers were also on occupation duty in the south. William Manning and future post commander Greenleaf Goodale were both stationed in Louisiana in the summer of 1865.

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The site being prepared for the field season. The plastic containers protected wood posts under the plastic sheeting and straw over the winter.

At Last…

After a very long wait, MSHP archaeologists were excited to remove the straw and plastic sheeting from the archaeological site and begin preparing the site for excavation.

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tourtiere lid off

A Tool for the Colonial Kitchen: The Tourtière

If you love a good kitchen gadget, you are not alone. Cooks throughout history have always looked for the most efficient, reliable, and useful tools to help them manage food preparation. We think the tourtière fits this description perfectly.

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airport artifacts group 2

Mackinac Island Airport Archaeology

In September 2001 all of the pavement at the Mackinac Island Airport was removed prior to the regrading and relocation of the runway. Maps from 1902 and 1913 show that the area was used a dump, and the stripping and regrading exposed several areas of refuse.

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Wall Gun

The Wall Gun

There is another 18th century weapon that gets fired occasionally, and it’s an interesting cross between a cannon and a musket. Let’s take a look at our wall gun.

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Quilt Along

Quilt Along: A Star Pattern Quilt Square

The earliest quilting was done not for bed coverings, but for clothing. The layers of fabric and padding stitched together gave garments protection and warmth. …

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