Gibraltar Craig

Stereoview of Gibraltar Craig, ca. 1880s

Gibraltar Craig from near Anne’s Tablet, August 2018.

Many striking limestone formations are scattered around Mackinac Island – Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, and Devil’s Kitchen, to name a few. One of the most seen, yet probably not considered as a formation, lies in front of Fort Mackinac as one looks towards the cannon firing. Gibraltar Craig is the rocky outcropping of limestone just below the upper gun platform of the fort.

A ‘craig’ is a Celtic term for “rock.” Mackinac Island abounds with many limestone rock formations, carved from brecciated limestone, broken and recemented, that frequents the island. These fascinating formations drew visitors and tourists to the island, and continue to lure people today. Gibraltar Craig is one of these formations, upon which Patrick Sinclair decided to build Fort Mackinac in 1779.

Edwin O. Wood pointed out Gibraltar Craig in his 1918 Historic Mackinac compilation.He compared the formation to the famed Gibraltar at the tip of the Iberian peninsula near Spain and Morocco as the “Gibraltar of America.”  While that is quite a high comparison to this small piece of limestone, it is a prominent piece of the view of Fort Mackinac from the south side.

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