Books

Books

The following books are available to help further explore the history of Fort Mackinac

Reveille Till Taps: Soldier Life at Fort Mackinac, 1780-1895

A Desirable Station: Soldier Life at Fort Mackinac, 1867-1895

The Chaplain’s Lady: Life and Love at Fort Mackinac

The British Army at Mackinac, 1812-1815

War 1812: The United States and Great Britain at Mackinac, 1812-1815

The Eagle at Mackinac: The Establishment of United States Military and Civil Authority on Mackinac Island, 1796-1802

Dr. William Beaumont: The Mackinac Years

A Boy at Fort Mackinac: The Diary of Harold Dunbar Corbusier

Home to Mackinac

Click here to see a full list of our publications.

Books

The following books are available to help further explore the history of Colonial Michilimackinac.

Colonial Michilimackinac

At the Crossroads

Beyond Pontiac’s Shadow

Treason? At Michilimackinac

The Doctor’s Secret Journal

Attack at Michilimackinac

History from the Hearth: A Colonial Michilimackinac Cookbook

Firearms on the Frontier: Guns at Fort Michilimackinac, 1715-1781

Were-Wolves and Will-O-the Wisps: French Tales of Mackinac Retold

Edge of Empire: Documents of Michilimackinac, 1671-1716

Click here to see a full list of our publications.

Colonial Michilimackinac

Colonial Michilimackinac

War in the West: Michilimackinac 1779. 

This is Mackinac.

Treasures from the past come to life at this 18th-century fort and fur trading village, reconstructed based on historic maps and more than 60 years of archaeological excavations. As you walk through the site, you are stepping back in time to 1779, during the American Revolution. Historical interpreters representing voyageurs, British soldiers, and French-Canadian merchant families are stationed throughout the fort to answer your questions and perform demonstrations.

Located on the shore of the Straits of Mackinac, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge, the straits, and the Upper Peninsula. 

Colonial Michilimackinac is closed for the 2022 season. We will re-open May 10, 2023. 

Highlights

Live Programs and Tours

Demonstrations and tours by costumed interpreters take place throughout the day. Cooking, crafts and trades are conducted at key locations and vary by season. Exciting programs for the 2022 season include War in the West: Michilimackinac 1779, The Pleasures of the Table: Dining Culture at the Merchant’s House, a look at the enslaved community at Michilimackinac, Some Tea and Loaf Sugar: Tea at the British Trader’s House, Unpack a Trade Bale programs, and more!

Click any schedule below to see what will be happening during your visit.

2023 daily event schedules will be posted soon!

Click to enlarge.

Exhibits

All sixteen buildings in the fort are open and furnished with period settings or themed exhibits. Special exhibits include:

  • France at Mackinac, 1670-1760, explores Michilimackinac as it was under the French regime.
  • Treasures from the Sand, an underground exhibit exploring the process of historical archaeology.
  • Redcoats on the Frontier, describing the life of the British soldier, including a new interactive space that will allow visitors to step back in time to experience the lives of British soldiers in the 1770s.
  • Powder Magazine and Firearms on the Frontier, a subterranean exhibit describing the preserved ruins of this military structure.
  • Commanding Officer’s House, showcasing the life of Michilimackinac’s commanding officer.

Movies

Michilimackinac: Crossroads of the Great Lakes, a 15-minute movie, is presented in the King’s Storehouse. It plays every 20 minutes. Attack! at Michilimackinac presents the most dramatic event in the fort’s history. It plays continuously in the Trader’s House of the Southwest Rowhouse.

Kids’ Rendezvous 

Children can exercise both bodies and brains as they explore the routes of the fur traders. Located just outside the Visitor’s Center.

Ongoing Archaeology 

During the main season, from early June until mid-August, you can witness archaeologists continuing the excavation of Michilimackinac. Taking place each summer since 1959, the dig is one of longest ongoing excavations of its kind in the nation.

Watch the video below to see all that Colonial Michilimackinac has to offer!

 

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

Have an Adventure. 

This is Mackinac. 

Witness the power of the creek harnessed to cut timber into lumber at one of the oldest industrial sites on the Upper Great Lakes. Smell the sawdust as sawyers demonstrate the pit saw method of cutting lumber, then feel the power of the creek used to cut timber inside the reconstructed sawmill. 

Join the Forest Adventure Experience, a guided trek that takes you into, above and through the northern Michigan forest. Scale the five-story Treetop Discovery Tower, taking in bird calls along the way. Brave the Forest Canopy Bridge, high above Mill Creek that explores the under story of the forest. Finally, fly like an eagle down the 425′ Eagle’s Flight Zip Line while spotting fish in the creek. 

Join trained naturalists for engaging programs showcasing the North Woods, and then take time to explore the natural beauty of Mill Creek State Park, which has more than three miles of groomed hiking trails.

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park is closed for the 2022 season. We will re-open May 12, 2023. 

Highlights

Live Programs and Tours

Historical demonstrations by costumed interpreters showcase the sawpit method of cutting lumber and then moves into the reconstructed sawmill to show how the power of water was harnessed to improve the process. Brand new for 2022: roll up your sleeves and take part in life beyond the sawmill with engaging “Farming at Mill Creek” programs. Additionally, throughout the day, “Nature of the North Woods” programs will take place. These programs will vary and may include a guided nature walk, stories, and fun activities focused on plants and animals living at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park!

Forest Adventure Experience

The Forest Adventure Experience is a high-flying adventure through the treetops and above Mill Creek. The experience consists of the Forest Canopy Bridge, the Eagles’ Flight Zip Line, and the Treetop Discovery Tower. Experiences run every half hour during the operating season. Tickets can only be purchased upon arrival at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, and general admission is required. Some restrictions apply. The Forest Adventure Experience will be available June 9 – September 3, 2023.  Learn all about the Forest Adventure Experience by clicking here. 

Exhibits

The Visitor’s Center and Millwright’s House have exhibits on the history of the site featuring archaeological artifacts.

Movie

A fifteen-minute program, The Power of the Water: The Mill Creek Story, is presented in the theater in the Visitor’s Center. It repeats every 15 minutes.

Hands-on Fun

Kids and adults will enjoy the Forest Friends Play Area with the Chickadee Zip Line and making birds sing on the Evergreen Trail’s Sounds of the Forest station. Live programs offer fun for all ages and the view from the top of the Treetop Discovery Tower is not to be missed!

Nature Trails

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park features three miles of trails on 625 acres. Abundant wildflowers, amazing fungi, and scenic views change with every season. North Woods wildlife, including 130 bird species, a beaver colony, black bear, and bobcat have been seen here. Learn more from a naturalist during one of our “Nature of the North Woods” programs.

Watch the video below to see Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in action!

 

Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac

Iconic.

This is Mackinac. 

The cannon blasts, the rifles fire, the soldiers march and history comes alive. The oldest building in Michigan and 13 other historical structures boast exhibits explaining everything from military training and battles to medical treatments to family life within the fort.

More than just a military outpost, Fort Mackinac served as a home for soldiers and their families and eventually the headquarters for Mackinac National Park, where tourists to the island visited the great fortress on the bluff, much like they do today.

Fort Mackinac is closed for the 2022 season. We will re-open May 4, 2023. 

A link to a page for information to fire the Fort Mackinac cannon.

Highlights

Live Programs and Tours

A map and descriptions of buildings inside Fort Mackinac.

Click to enlarge.

Demonstrations and tours by costumed interpreters are scheduled throughout the day. Exciting programs taking place throughout the 2022 season include cannon and rifle firing demonstrations, the return of the popular drill program, a tour exploring the army of the 1880s, a detailed look at Mackinac during its time as a national park, a program exploring how the fort has changed over time, and a program dedicated to the women who called Fort Mackinac home.

Click the links below to find out what will be happening during your visit.

2023 daily event programs will be posted soon!

Exhibits

All fourteen buildings in the fort are restored and open to the public. They are furnished with period settings highlighting the building’s particular function or a themed exhibit. Special exhibits include:

      • Mackinac, An Island Famous in These Regions on the second floor of the Soldier’s’ Barracks presents the full history of Mackinac Island. 
      • Military Medicine at Mackinac: 1780-1895 in the Post Hospital explores medical care at the fort and changing nineteenth-century medical practices. 
      • Kids’ Quarters features hands-on displays and interactive games.
      • Post Guardhouse explores 19th-century military justice with actual cases tried at the fort.
      • North Blockhouse plunges visitors back in time to the War of 1812 to experience the confusion, fear, and drama of the British capture of Fort Mackinac on July 17, 1812.
      • Office features period settings and gallery spaces interpreting the training and duties of Fort Mackinac’s officers.
      • Reading Room – brand new for 2022! This immersive space will allow you to explore popular titles of the 1880s, read the latest newspaper or periodical, and get a better understanding of what it was like to be a soldier in the 1880s and why the U.S. Army felt it was a good idea to have reading rooms within its forts. Check out a little sneak peek of what to expect in this new exhibit:

Movie

The Heritage of Mackinac is featured in the Post Commissary, providing an overview history of Mackinac. It repeats every 20 minutes.

Watch the video below to learn more about Fort Mackinac!

 

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Made to be seen. 

This is Mackinac.

A point in the storm and a guiding beacon since 1889, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse helped passing ships navigate through the treacherous waters of the Straits of Mackinac. Authentically restored quarters and exhibits, including the original lens, a chance to explore the second floor of the house, tours of the lighthouse tower, a movie, Shipwrecks of the Straits, and the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum make this “Castle of the Straits” a true gem of the Great Lakes.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse is closed for the 2022 season. We will re-open May 11, 2023. 

Highlights

Exhibits

A map and descriptions of buildings at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.

Click to enlarge.

The Keepers’ Quarters contains three rooms restored to their 1910 appearance and a gallery exhibit on the history of the lighthouse featuring hands-on displays and original artifacts. A new exhibit devoted to optics and lenses as well as sound and fog signals is located on the main floor of the house. On the second floor, a gallery space and two bedrooms restored to their appearance in 1910 tell the story of the Keeper George Marshall, his wife Maggie, and their extended family as they lived and worked at the lighthouse.

Movie

A fifteen-minute program, Shipwrecks of the Straits, is presented in the Barn. It repeats continuously.

Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum

Located in the reconstructed warehouse, this exhibit features audiovisual displays and a variety of original artifacts to tell the story of the numerous shipwrecks that dot the Straits of Mackinac.

Fog Signal Whistle

A demonstration of the Fog Signal Whistle, led by a costumed interpreter, will take place in front of the Fog Signal Building at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Tower Tours

Tours of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse tower take place at scheduled times throughout the day. Space is limited to 10 people per tour, and tower tour times are assigned by the Guest Services Representative in the Fog Signal Building. Tours of the tower are offered at no charge, but are not guaranteed with admission. Certain restrictions apply to tours of the tower. Tower tours are offered at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Scheduled groups may limit tower tour availability – check with the Guest Services Representative upon arrival.

Watch the video below to see all that Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse has to offer!