Michilimackinac 1781: The End. 

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 Colonial Michilimackinac, you are stepping back in time to 1781, when local and global forces uprooted the entire community as soldiers and civilians relocated to Mackinac Island. After six decades as a thriving diplomatic and economic hub, Michilimackinac came to an end in 1781.

Historical interpreters representing voyageurs, British soldiers, and French-Canadian merchant families are stationed throughout the fort to answer your questions and perform demonstrations. The past and present blur into a fascinating and unmatched experience at Colonial Michilimackinac. Watch smoke billow from cannons, mortars and muskets and see residents prepare food and tend the gardens. At one of the longest ongoing archaeological excavations in North America, archaeologists are on site throughout the summer, pulling history from the soil, bit by bit. 

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



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 2024 season include Michilimackinac 1781: The End, Building Michilimackinac: Architecture of the Frontier, 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, Bales, Barrels, and Boxes: Supplying the Great Lakes Fur Trade programs, and more!

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

May 8 – May 31, 2024
June 1 – September 1, 2024
September 2 – October 3, 2024
October 10 – October 20, 2024 (Thursday-Sunday ONLY)

Click to enlarge.


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

  • Slavery at the Straits, in the Southwest Rowhouse, explores how throughout the 17th and 18th centuries slavery was an integral part of the community at Michilimackinac.
  • France at Mackinac, 1670-1760, 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.


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!