Established in 1715, this year marks the tricentennial of Fort Michilimackinac. Special programming on specific weekends highlights various components of the site’s diverse history. Interactive crafts, foodways, weapon demonstrations, archaeology, music, and more help to celebrate Michilimackinac’s 300 years of history and culture.
To learn more about the history of Fort Michilimackinac, click here.
May 30-June 1- Celebrate 300 Years of Michilimackinac
Three centuries ago, French soldiers built Fort Michilimackinac. Today, join Mackinac State Historic Parks in a special kick-off weekend with tours, demonstrations, and an exclusive after-hours party to celebrate all 300 years of Michilimackinac’s history!
June 6-7- Treasures from the Sand: Archaeology at Michilimackinac
Since 1959, archaeologists working at Michilimackinac have slowly revealed the remains of the original fort, which was abandoned in 1781. This weekend, stop by the current excavation site to see archaeologists uncover history before your eyes, take a walking tour to some of the most spectacular artifacts, and join Dr. Lynn Evans for special presentations about the process of archaeology at Michilimackinac.
June 13-14- Rendezvous at the Straits: Voyageur Culture
French-Canadian canoe men, known as voyageurs, were among the most colorful historic visitors to Michilimackinac. Try your hand at voyageur games, join in singing a rousing paddling song, and master the skills these hardy men needed to keep the Great Lakes fur trade moving.
June 20-21- The Straits Defended: Weapons on the Frontier
Beginning in 1715, Michilimackinac served as an important military outpost for the French and British governments. Special tours will highlight the defensive features of the fort, including the remains of the original powder magazine. Join historic interpreters as they demonstrate the historic weapons of Michilimackinac, ranging from Native American war clubs to British field artillery.
June 27-28- Celebrating the Church of Ste. Anne
One of the first buildings at Michilimackinac was a church, and religion played a central role in the community. Step into the reconstructed Church of Ste. Anne, talk with the priest, participate in a reenactment of a 1775 wedding and dance, and see how this church (still an active parish on Mackinac Island) became a center of Michilimackinac.
July 4-5- Native American History and Culture
Long before Europeans arrived, Native Americans from around the Great Lakes gathered at Michilimackinac every summer to trade, fish, and socialize. Stop by the Native summer encampment and help smoke a fish or sew a moccasin, taste sun-dried berries, and watch local Native craftspeople demonstrate traditional skills.
July 11-12- Crafts and Trades at Michilimackinac
From fur traders to soldiers, the original inhabitants of Michilimackinac performed a wide variety of jobs. Join living historians from the Royal Company of Artificers as they demonstrate shoemaking, coopering, blacksmithing, and other historic trades. Members of the Askin’s Men living history group will also be on hand portraying the skills of the bakers, voyageurs, sailors, and other tradesmen at Michilimackinac.
July 18-19- Gardens and Good Things to Eat
Everyone loves a good meal, including the historic residents of Michilimackinac! Join historic interpreters to tour and help maintain the fort’s gardens, assist with running the outdoor bread oven (and taste the results!), watch meals cooked over an open fire, and learn more about the unique food cultures of Michilimackinac’s French, British, and Native American residents.
July 25-26- Robert Rogers of the Rangers
Robert Rogers, leader of the renowned Roger’s Rangers military unit, was perhaps Michilimackinac’s most famous resident. Join reenactors from Jaeger’s Battalion of Roger’s Rangers as they demonstrate military skills and camp life of the 1760s, and learn more about Rogers’ controversial time as Michilimackinac’s commanding officer.
August 1-2- Troupes de la Marine: The French Military at Michilimackinac
French soldiers first came to Michilimackinac around 1715, building a small fort which grew into a thriving fur trading community. The men and women of the Compagnie Franche de la Marine de Michilimackinac reenactmen group will demonstrate the military and domestic skills of the fort’s French soldiers and their families.
August 8-9- Bienvenue a Michilimackinac: French History and Culture
French soldiers and traders were the European first residents of Michilimackinac, and French culture still remains important in the Straits of Mackinac area. Reenactors from Fort Des Chartres, Illinois will join the interpretative staff to present the historic foods, fashions, songs, dances, and crafts of Michilimackinac’s thriving French community.
August 15-16- Soldiers of the King: The British Military at Michilimackinac
Michilimackinac came under British rule in 1761, and the fort played an important role in British diplomacy and military affairs for the next 20 years. Enlist in King George’s army and watch as living historians from the 8th, 47th, and 60th Regiments post guards, drill and fire muskets on the parade ground, cook their rations, and share the story of Michilimackinac’s role in the American Revolution.