Blog Posts

View from the Tea Room

A Perfect Day in Mackinac Island State Park

There is no wrong way to see and visit Mackinac Island. But what could a perfect day look like visiting ONLY Mackinac Island State Park? Learn more here.

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Crystal Spring (cropped) Mackinac Island, 1890

Natural Springs of Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is blessed with a number of natural springs which percolate through limestone bedrock. Some, like Dwightwood Spring and Croghan Water, are well known. Others not as much. Learn more about them here.

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Boats Boats Boats!

When you think about the Great Lakes fur trade, you probably think about canoes, right? While canoes were an integral part of the trade, they weren’t the only watercraft on the lakes.

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Although this “spread eagle with shield” button design was used from 1854-1902, its back mark of HORSTMANN BROS & CO/PHILA dates it to 1859-1863, within the date range of the third shop.]

Archaeology at Fort Mackinac – Three Blacksmith Shops

One of the “missing” buildings at Fort Mackinac is the blacksmith shop.

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Sugar Maple Treetop with clouds and blue sky

Maple Sugaring at Mackinac

As winter snow and frigid temperatures finally give way to spring, maple sugaring season begins in northern Michigan.

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Breadmaking at Michilimackinac

Baking Bread at Michilimackinac

Ever wondered how we make bread at Michilimackinac?

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A Closer Look at the Collections Brass Saw

A Closer Look at the Collections: Brass Saw

It’s time for another deep dive into the collection!

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An image from the 1980s showing archaeological work at the Wood Quarters

Archaeology at Fort Mackinac – Officers’ Wood Quarters

One of the more unusual archaeological projects to take place at Fort Mackinac was an excavation that took place under a standing structure. The main question that excavation was looking to answer? Who built the Officer’s Wood Quarters, and when was it built?

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Mackinaw City’s Petersen Center

Mackinac State Historic Parks maintains more than 100 buildings. Most are public, like the buildings inside Colonial Michilimackinac and Fort Mackinac. Others are behind the scenes, like the Petersen Center. Learn more about the administrative office of MSHP here.

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John Cardinal using broad ax, 2021 (2)

Early Lumbering at the Straits of Mackinac

Robert Campbell constructed a water-powered sawmill at Mill Creek about 1790, being the first of its kind in northern Michigan. Prior to the mill, trees were turned into lumber entirely with hand tools for more than 100 years at the Straits of Mackinac.

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Sterrett Plan 1796

Archaeology at Fort Mackinac – The British Well

The earliest archaeological excavation at Fort Mackinac took place at one of its earliest structures, the British well.

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Fairy Arch by Henry Chapman Ford 1874

Mackinac Island’s Other Arches

Arch Rock is Mackinac Island’s most famous and spectacular limestone formation. A century ago, curious visitors could find two additional arches, also celebrated for their natural beauty and rich traditions.

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