A Time of Change. 

This is Mackinac. 

Step into the home of Agatha and Edward Biddle, merchants who moved in around 1830. This was a time of change, and the 1830s were critical to the Biddles for another reason: as an Anishnaabek woman, Agatha and other indigenous people witnessed their culture subjected to immense changes. The decade transformed the Anishnaabek, linking old ways with Michigan’s modern indigenous culture.

The continuing story of the Anishnaabek of northern Michigan is not always a happy one. It is a story of battles won and lost, promises made and broken, and cultures repressed and resurgent. Most importantly, the story in which the Biddle family played a role is one that continues today. This new exhibit, created in conjunction with tribal partners, explores that story and how it still resonates on Mackinac Island and throughout northern Michigan.

The Biddle House, featuring the Mackinac Island Native American Museum, will open for the 2021 season on May 1. 


Live Programs

Costumed interpreters will interpret the house as the 1830s home of Agatha and Edward Biddle. Exciting and informative cooking demonstrations will take place throughout the day in the kitchen, as well as interpretation of the Anishnaabek gallery located in the rest of the house. The following programs will also take place daily:

1:00 p.m. A Time of Choice: The Treaty of Washington, 1836
3:30 p.m. Agatha, Magdelaine, and Elizabeth: In Business at Mackinac


Two exhibit galleries inside the house, as well as a parlor restored to its historical appearance, tell the story of Agatha and Edward Biddle, the Anishnaabek of northern Michigan, and the critical decade of the 1830s. The story continues outside, with a short interpretive trail focusing on Anishnaabek culture and their relationship to Mackinac Island.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Biddle House: