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 2019 season. We re-open May 1, 2020.

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Highlights

Live Programs and Tours

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Demonstrations and tours by costumed interpreters are scheduled throughout the day. Exciting programs taking place throughout the 2019 season include a Drill Program, a Women of the Fort Walking Tour, and a Bayonet Demonstration. 2020 daily schedules of events 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: new in 2019, this exhibit will plunge visitors in an immersive, multimedia presentation allowing them to step back in time to the War of 1812 and experience the confusion, fear, and drama of the British capture of Fort Mackinac on July 17, 1812.
  • Office: also new in 2019, this exhibit will feature two updated period settings and two completely new gallery spaces interpreting the training and duties of Fort Mackinac’s officers. New exhibit panels and interactive elements will help visitors explore officers’ roles in the fort’s daily operations as well as the administration of the Mackinac National Park.

Movie

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!