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Books and Publications

Picnics and Palisades: A Centennial History of Michilimackinac State Park


Lynn L.M. Evans


Fully illustrated, 15 pages, 2009



Mackinac History: A Continuing Series of Illustrated Vignettes, Volume IV, Leaflet #4

From the book: “For one hundred years local residents and tourist alike have enjoyed the scenic beauty and remarkable history of Michilimackinac State Park. Situated on the tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula, the park is bounded on the north by the beautiful waters of the Straits of Mackinac. It is the site of colonial Fort Michilimackinac, on of the most important fur trading posts of the eighteenth-century French and British empires, and scene of a dramatic Native American victory during Pontiac’s War.

In 1904 the Village of Mackinaw City, lacking the funds to develop an historic park, deeded the remainder of what was by then known as Wawatam Park to the State of Michigan. … Prior to 1904, there was only one state park in Michigan, Mackinac Island State Park. … Having no Department of Conservation or Natural Resources, the state eventually decided to turn its recently acquired mainland park over to the MISPC to manage. On April 30, 1909, Michilimackinac State Park was created. The commission formally accepted the park in June 1909, with a ceremony attended by the governor.

For many years the Commission had talked of reconstructing Fort Michilimackinac …. The reconstructed stockade was completed in 1933. Chris Schneider … excavated the remains of the burned palisade logs in order to correctly site the reconstruction…. Also in 1933 the first charges to the park were instituted, 10 cents for admittance to the Mackinaw City park and 25 cents per night for parking automobiles …

The construction of the bridge had turned much attention in Mackinaw City toward what might be done with Michilimackinac State Park and the dilapidated fort. The suggestion to knock the palisade down and create a parking lot galvanized fort supporters. … In order to have the most accurate reconstruction possible, MISPC … contracted with the Museum of Michigan State University to do archaeological excavations at the site. The excavation began in 1959, and continues today …

The Story of Michilimackinac State Park is still being written …”

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