Dressing a Colonial Soldier

Dressing a Colonial Soldier

A lot went into getting dressed as a regimental soldier garrisoned at Fort Michilimackinac, but it was just part of a normal day in the 1770s. Watch as one of our historic interpreters goes through the process of getting dressed piece-by-piece.

Surviving the Canadian Climate: British Winter Uniforms

Surviving the Canadian Climate: British Winter Uniforms

von Germann

Friedrich von Germann sketched this British soldier dressed for the Canadian winter in 1778.

Capot

As depicted in von Germann’s drawing, British soldiers donned blanket coats, wool leggings, and fur-trimmed “Canadian caps” to keep warm in wintertime.

When the men of the 8th Regiment arrived at Michilimackinac in 1774, they, like the rest of the British army posted in Canada, found themselves in a remote wilderness with pleasant, temperate summers and harsh, bitter winters. The Canadian winter climate was significantly cooler than what most soldiers were accustomed to in Britain. Fortunately, several uniform pieces allowed these men to live and even fight in the coldest of Canadian winters.

Leggings

With the lapels buttoned over, collar turned up, and tails let down, a soldier’s regimental coat helped protect him from the cold. Blue wool leggings further protected his legs.

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Washerwomen: British Military Laundresses at Michilimackinac

Washerwomen: British Military Laundresses at Michilimackinac

If you have visited Colonial Michilimackinac recently, you may have noticed a few changes, including new exhibits, new gardens, and whole new buildings. A new addition in 2017 will be a weekly laundry demonstration at the Soldier’s House. Although our interpreters won’t be washing your socks, it is still worth a visit to see how the enlisted men’s wives were working in the 1770s. (more…)

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…)

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…)