Civil War at Mackinac Weekend

In the summer of 1862 Fort Mackinac held a new title: political prison. Join reenactors portraying the “Stanton Guard,” the company mustered to guard the prisoners, as they present special programming throughout the weekend at the fort. All special programs are included with regular admission to Fort Mackinac. #thisismackinac

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Posted soon!

Lilacs and Warblers Walk

Birders of all ages will enjoy this unique guided adventure, searching for spring songbirds during the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival. Meet naturalist Kyle Bagnall in Marquette Park at the statue of Father Marquette. Amidst thousands of fragrant lilac blossoms, we’ll stroll through the park, then up the hill, looking for migrating warblers, raptors overhead, and resident songbirds. This walk covers about 1 mile total, over grass, roads, uneven trails, and some stairs. Admission by donation. #thisismackinac

Mackinac’s Wonderful Wildflowers

Spring wildflowers abound along the wooded paths of Mackinac Island State Park. Meet naturalist Kyle Bagnall behind Fort Mackinac for a stroll to discover where “trillium flaunts its white banners in the wind.” We’ll look for some 270 species of flowers which grow here, as well as birds overhead and other springtime wonders. Admission by donation. #thisismackinac

Twilight Turtle Trek

Mackinac Island Turtle Trek – A lantern-lit ski and snowshoeing trek through some of Mackinac Island’s natural winter wonderland. The trail begins at Greany Grove (corner of Arch Rock Road and Huron Road) with a bonfire and hot chocolate. The trail is groomed, track set, lit by lanterns and approximately two miles long. This is a free event sponsored by Mackinac State Historic Parks, Mackinac Island Community Foundation and the Mackinac Island Ski Club.

The Mackinac Walrus

“The one thing on Mackinac Island that keeps stirring my mind is a skull … the uncouth skull of a great beast.”

Lee J. Smits (1931)

 The next time you’re in Ann Arbor, be sure to stop by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. In the Exploring Michigan gallery, look for the oddly-shaped object shown here. On the label, you may be surprised to read: “Walrus – Recent – Mackinac Island, Michigan.” This specimen is the front portion (rostrum) of a walrus skull, with its tusks missing. Sketches from a History of North American Pinnipeds (1880) and Encyclopaedia Metropolitana (1845) are shown for comparison.

 This raises several questions. When was a walrus skull discovered at Mackinac? What does “recent” mean? Did walruses once swim in Lake Huron? Read on for the amazing story of one of the most unusual objects ever unearthed at the Straits of Mackinac.

The Discovery

A portrait of Frank Kriesche taken on Mackinac Island.

Frank Kriesche on Mackinac Island, by William H. Gardiner

 Franz (Frank) Kriesche (1863-1946) is well remembered for operating an art glass store on Mackinac Island. His shop, founded in the 1890s, offered custom glass engraving for tourists and local residents. Samples of his fine craftsmanship are on display in The Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.

 On a date unremembered, Frank visited nearby Round Island, perhaps on a family picnic. Imagine his surprise when he noticed a strange lump protruding from the sand. Unearthing it did little to solve the mystery of what he discovered. At some point, the unidentified item was donated to Fort Mackinac’s first museum. Established in 1915, the exhibit was a rather haphazard collection of relics, mostly displayed in the officer’s stone quarters.

 Lee J. Smits, a columnist for the Detroit Times, visited the museum in July 1931. He wrote, “the one thing on Mackinac Island that keeps stirring my mind is a skull … the uncouth skull of a great beast. Frank Kriesche found the skull on Round Island, close by Mackinac, many years ago. For a long time it was not identified. Lately there have been learned visitors who declare it is the skull of a walrus. It is not fossil, but bone. The tusks are missing. There were no other bones around the skull where it lay on the sand beach, and no one has ever come forward with the slightest clue as how it came to be there.”

Michigan’s Marine Mammals

A portrait of Dr. Russell C. Hussey

Dr. Russell C. Hussey, University of Michigan

 Amazingly, this wasn’t the first marine mammal found in the state. In 1861, a whale vertebra, found in western Michigan, was noted by state geologist Alexander Winchell. In 1914, a walrus bone was unearthed at a gravel pit near Gaylord. And in the late 1920s, a sperm whale vertebra and five whale ribs were excavated at various locations throughout the state.

 During the summer of 1930, Dr. Russell C. Hussey, professor of historical geology at the University of Michigan, conducted fieldwork in the Upper Peninsula. About the same time, he identified Frank’s mystery object as a walrus skull. That same year, Dr. Hussey published a report of Michigan whale bones which received national attention. His theory stated that marine creatures swam inland after the last ice age, when “the Great Lakes were once a gigantic arm of the sea,” connected by ancient river channels.

The Walrus Departs

The Journal of Mammalogy, in which the Mackinac walrus was described.

The Mackinac walrus was described in the Journal of Mammalogy (May 1953)

 While it had been identified, the Mackinac walrus remained at Fort Mackinac for the next two decades, unreported in scientific literature. In May 1953, Charles Handley, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, was the first to describe the specimen. He noted that details of its discovery had turned fuzzy over time. He wrote, “R.C. Hussey… was told that the skull had been found many years ago in a beach deposit (Algonquin or Nipissing) on Mackinac Island. The original data was lost in a fire.” While Fort Mackinac’s wooden soldier’s barracks did catch fire in 1951, very little damage occurred. Perhaps the incident served as a convenient smokescreen for years of poor record keeping.

 In 1954, Fort Mackinac’s collection was assessed by Alexis Proust, a curator from the Kalamazoo Public Museum. Proust spent a month on the island, “examining, sorting, and considering the potentialities of the museum.” Objects “not germane to the museum’s purpose” were to be returned to donors or disposed of. As Frank Kreische died in 1946, his walrus skull likely sat in a pile of unwanted and forgotten items. From there, it was recovered by a student and given to Dr. Hussey. In 1955, it was officially donated to the U-M museum by MSHP park superintendent Carl Nordberg.

Untangling the Riddle

 In 1977, Charles Harington, curator at the National Museum of Canada, focused on a special detail of the Mackinac walrus. He wrote, “A series of nearly parallel, commonly long, cut and scratch marks are seen on the smoother parts of the cranial fragment. They are most evident on the right side of the rostrum, where a crosshatched effect is produced. I think these were produced by man … they deserve closer inspection by an archaeologist.”

 Harington doubled down on his assessment in 1988, calling the skull a cultural artifact, not a natural phenomenon. He noted a similar incised pattern was evident on a walrus tusk found near Syracuse, New York. He also reported specimens from New York, Ontario, and Quebec all revealed radiocarbon dates younger than 800 B.P. (before present). As the modern Great Lakes formed about 2,000 years ago, this meant sea creatures could not have swum to Michigan, and their remains were likely transported inland by Native Americans.

 After sitting in museum displays for about 80 years, the Mackinac walrus was finally subjected to radiocarbon dating. In June 1999, an expansive report, “The Late Wisconsinan and Holocene Record of Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) from North America,” was printed in the journal Arctic. Its authors noted specimens across the U.S. and Canada likely represented long-distance acquisition of walrus ivory. They wrote, “This would also seem to be the only plausible explanation of an even more remote find: the anterior part of a walrus cranium lacking tusks that was recovered from a site on Mackinac Island, Michigan, reportedly from a beach deposit, yielded an age of 975 ± 60 B.P.”

Visit the Walrus

The walrus skull on display today at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.

Display of ancient marine mammal bones from Michigan at the U-M museum of Natural History

 Today, the well-traveled and sometimes mysterious Mackinac walrus remains on exhibit at the U-M Natural History Museum. The ancient skull fragment is displayed with a sperm whale vertebra and the rib of a bowhead whale, also found in Michigan. At the straits, new mysteries will be revealed during the 66th season of archaeological excavations at Mackinac State Historic Parks, which begins in June 2024. For more information, visit www.mackinacparks.com/more-info/history/archaeology

U.S. Army Forage Cap and Dress Helmet

Inspection at Fort Mackinac with soldiers in dress uniform.

The public interacts with our interpretive staff every day, asking questions about the island, fort, and the way soldiers stationed at Fort Mackinac lived when it was active between the years of 1780-1895. One of the main draws, other than the rifle and cannon demonstrations, are the tours, given by interpreters seen in two types of uniforms: the everyday “undress” uniform and the more elaborate “dress” uniform. One of the unique aspects of Fort Mackinac in the 1880s is the balance between its soldiers serving in both military and public facing capacities, which almost perfectly matches the roles of their different uniforms. A big part of how Mackinac State Historic Parks makes sure to best tell the stories of these uniforms, and the soldiers that wore them, is though our collections. Headgear, especially for the uniforms that are worn at the fort, are vital to the overall story that the park tells the public. Two specific items that embody these uniforms are the forage cap and dress helmet.

Forage Cap

 The forage cap, or the wool, leather brimmed cap with unit brass on the front, is an evolution from the forage cap from the Civil War. Mostly worn by officers until 1872, when the whole army adopted them, these vital pieces of a uniform were more commonly seen used during daily duties in and around the fort. For more formal occasions, such as when the public was let in the fort several times a week, they had a different uniform: the dress uniform. This consisted of a frock coat, white gloves, dress collar, and the dress helmet. This helmet had both Prussian and British influences, with a brass eagle plate on the front, and a spike on top.

Dress Helmet

 Both hats are unique in the way they help portray military life in the 1880s, as well as being some of the most recognizable items when the public comes to the fort. Having these items in our collections, furthermore, establishes the importance of public interaction with museums and their objects. Museum collections are often referenced for research, both public and private, and these hats hold significant value for those who want to learn more about the soldiers at Fort Mackinac. Items so easily identifiable and personal, such as these hats, aid in making that connection from the past to the present day, as these are the physical objects used daily by the people who served in the army in the 1880s.

A work party at Fort Mackinac.

 Fort Mackinac, one of our premier sites, benefits from having several items in our collections pertaining to it and the soldiers that were there. Being able to have physical representations from that era, which visitors see daily, is history translated to the present day. They allow the public to get a look at our collections every day, but in the form of a personal aspect, through our interpreters. This makes the park a living representation of its objects, with the interpreters discussing their importance every day, and sharing their legacy with a wider audience. The kepi and dress headgear are vital to the park to tell these stories, as they are an iconic part of the uniform, fort, and overall encompass a crucial period in the islands’ history.

A covered cave on Mackinac Island

Mysterious Mackinac Caverns

“It is absolutely beyond my power in a letter like this to give you a proper delineation of the objects seen in this extraordinary cave.” J.M.W.  (July 1855)

An unknown cave in a black and white photo taken on Mackinac Island

Photo of unknown Mackinac cave by C.E. Kelso, named “Hanging Rocks” in Legendary Lore of Mackinac (1901)

 The natural wonders of Mackinac Island have drawn people to its rocky shores for thousands of years. Described as “one mass of limestone,” the island first emerged after the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. Post-glacial lakes gradually sculpted Mackinac’s durable breccia, forming arches, sea stacks, cliffs, and caves. Features such as Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, and Skull Cave, have been renowned for centuries and are visited often.

 Just beneath the surface, however, are stories of fantastic discoveries, now long forgotten. While the Musical Well once captivated listeners, its tunes had fallen silent by 1845. Scott’s Cave, where “the giant Goliath might stand erect,” was destroyed in the early 1950s. Fairy Arch has fallen and Wishing Spring no longer invites visitors to its “fragrant, fairy grotto.”

 Most enticing of all are tales of large caverns beneath the island’s surface. In 1892, Harold Corbusier, son of the post surgeon, explored a winding cavern with a small party, including several soldiers. With the aid of ropes, they were lowered about 20 feet, making their way to “a large chamber with branches leading away in different directions.”

“Another Mammoth Cave Discovered”

A painting of Mackinac Island with Fort Mackinac prominently shown.

Cropped portion of “View of the Town of Mackinaw,” first printed in May 1855. Likely drawn by Major Thomas Williams, 4th Artillery Regiment

 The greatest discovery reportedly occurred in July 1855, when sensational news broke of a newly-discovered cavern on Mackinac Island. The original account was penned by J.M.W., a correspondent of the Detroit Tribune. Reprinted in newspapers from coast-to-coast, the find was often compared to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.

 “The day before yesterday, a tremendous storm sprang up,” he wrote, “accompanied by the fiercest thunder and lightning I ever witnessed … Streams ran through the streets, tearing them in ridges; and the little board race at the Garrison gate roared and threw the spray like a young cataract; rocks, stones, and gravel were displaced in quantities from the brow of the bluff.

 The following morning, boys in going along the base of the Fort hill, east of their stables, found that several large masses of rock had been displaced by the rain and rolled down from their original beds. One large one was noticed, having left an opening of some 4 feet by 10. Some of the boldest of the boys immediately explored as far as the light would admit. The report spread far and near and many people soon came and examined the entrance. Finally, a party of gentlemen and ladies was organized to explore the opening the following morning …

 The party of ladies and gentlemen before alluded to, having provided themselves with lights, cords, arms and eatables, entered the new-found opening. The entrance is small, not being over four feet high by ten feet in width, descending gradually after passing through a long and rather narrow alley surrounded on every side by stalactites and small crystals of calcareous spar, which glittered in the torch-lights like diamonds. We after some time entered a dome or amphitheater; we stood transfixed in astonishment. The dome is 350 feet in length by 240 in width, and in most places 180 feet in hight [sic.]; the whole lit up by our numerous torches, yielded a splendor and beauty not to be described … On the parade ground north-east of the fort a cannon was discharged, and a slight tremulous jar was felt, accompanied with a very faint rumbling sound.

A drawing of the entrance of Scott's Cave.

Scott’s Cave entrance, drawn by Alfred Waud in 1853

 After passing through alleys, looking down here and there into a deep abyss, and viewing in haste temples, palaces and chambers, and having also stepped over a small swift stream of cold clear water, we finally, after some slight work, guided by a dim light in front of us, excavated a place large enough for one to pass through, and found ourselves in Capt. Scates’s [Scott’s] Cave; thence we stepped into the beech and maple grove which surrounds that opening; from here we walked to Dousman’s farm-house, where the ladies found carriages for home. The time occupied was five hours, and the computed distance traveled in the cave was a trifle over three miles.

 It is absolutely beyond my power in a letter like this to give you a proper delineation of the objects seen in this extraordinary cave. If the first chamber through which we passed excelled in splendor, beauty and brilliancy of the diamond ornaments, produced by the lights and torches, they were thrown far in the back ground by the superior grandeur and sublimity of the apartments which we subsequently passed after reaching the first amphitheater. More of this when I shall have again the pleasure of seeing you.”

Unsolved Mystery

 Could this cavern of wonders really exist on Mackinac Island? Was this story an accurate account, a fanciful exaggeration, or even fabricated entirely? Elsewhere, J.M.W. noted, “The inhabitants and strangers, as I am informed, say that large caves must and do exist, from the mumbling sounds heard when heavy carriages pass over the island. Scull Cave, [Scott’s] Cave and Devil’s Cave are renowned, which are believed now to be outlets of others of greater magnitude.”

A covered cave on Mackinac Island

Entrance to Mackinac’s underground world

 This theory was supported by Eleanor Bussell in “The Story of Mackinac’s Caves,” from the July 8, 1948, edition of The Island News. One resident she interviewed claimed there were once up to 29 caves on the island. She wrote, “One particular place known as Hell-Hole Cave located on the path along the West Bluff was covered over years ago. If this old story is correct, it must have been the only subterranean cave on the Island.”

 As you explore the island’s wild side, imagine hidden wonders which lie beneath your feet, deep below the rocky surface. Perhaps a future rain storm or winter rock slide will uncover the entrance of a new marvel under the Wonderful Isle, making new headlines in the 21st century.

Meet the Mackinac State Historic Parks Dray Team

One of the most magical noises on Mackinac Island is the morning *clip* *clop* of horse hooves on the pavement as the busy days come to life. Horses are a huge part of the island’s allure. Something a lot of people may not think about is the fact that the horses aren’t only here for show or tourist charm. In reality, a lot of what these horses do, specifically dray teams, is what allows the island to function as well as it does.

Mackinac State Historic Parks' dray horses, Holiday on the left and Dex on the right.

 Dex on the left, and Holiday.

 Mackinac State Historic Parks is no exception. The organization is a machine with many parts, and each position allows the park to function season to season. You have your interpreters, park operations, and even some interns in the mix, among others. But one position that can be overlooked is that of the “dray horse.” A dray is a four-wheeled flat cart that is pulled by a horse, sometimes multiple, depending on the load. The state park has its own dray team that works 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, just like the rest of the park employees.

The Mackinac State Historic Parks Dray horses in their pasture.

The team in their pasture.

 Meet Dex and Holiday. These two strong boys do a LOT for the parks. This is their first season working for MSHP, but they already know their way around the island, having been here in previous seasons. They are both Belgian Draught Horses, and as one of the most muscle-y breeds out there, they were built to work. They’re fueled by three cans of oats a day, and lots of treats (of course!).

 Just like people, the two of them have their own personalities. Holiday is a wise old man. He keeps the team calm. Dex is younger, and has a little bit more fire. Dex is the get-up-and-go type, while Holiday likes to take things a little easier. This was hard for them at first, but they have figured out how to balance each other out at the perfect pace to do their job.

Holiday with his human helper, Eric.

Holiday and Eric.

 Our brave steeds don’t work alone. Every team needs a coach, and this is where dray driver Luis comes in. Luis also has an assistant, Eric. These two men have a deep love and respect for Dex and Holiday. They spend hours a day not only driving the horses and doing their own jobs, but also caring for them, feeding them, and just giving them attention. Basically, Dex and Holiday are like their 1500 pound dogs.

Dex the horse with a special July 4 hat on his head.

Dex celebrating the Fourth of July.

 Dex and Holiday’s main job, along with their drivers, is to keep the park in top shape. This means picking up trash, delivering supplies, and other maintenance. On an island with no cars, this job becomes that much harder. The dray team makes it much more manageable for their human counterparts.

 They have day-to-day surprises, and have even survived a dray crash! Don’t worry, they handled it like champs, and weren’t even spooked. Luckily, there was no damage done to either dray. They are also natural models, as Luis and Eric explained that tourists take pictures of them throughout the day. The team is up for the challenge though, and they know how to pose for a camera. They have even been featured as special guests in some staff pictures at one of the Mackinac Island inns!

A picture of Doug the horse.

The third horse team member, Doug.

 We also can’t forget about Doug and his driver Juan. These two cover the off days for Dex and Holiday, because horses are human too! Wait…but anyways, these two contribute a lot to the park’s quality, doing the same job as Dex and Holiday.

The Mackinac State Historic Parks Dray team walking on M-185.

The Dray team at work.

 While the dray horses aren’t at the forefront of MSHP’s operation, they are so crucial to its upkeep. So next time you’re around, Dex, Holiday or Doug would never say no to an apple or carrot as a thank you for everything that they do for the parks and the island! They can be found in the pasture on their off-days, as long as it isn’t rainy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cattle grazing in what is now Marquette Park, in front of Fort Mackinac, on Mackinac Island.

The Cattle of Mackinac Island

“There are more cows in Mackina than in any other place of its size in the known world; and every cow wears at least one bell.”

A painting depicting Fort Street as a dirt road, with Fort Mackinac to the left and grazing horse and cattle to the right.

Cattle & horses are depicted grazing the government pasture in this 1838 scene by French naturalist Francois, comte de Castelnau.

 Much has been written about the Battle of Mackinac Island, which took place between American and British forces on July 18, 1814. Often disregarded, however, are bovine witnesses to the melee which occurred that summer’s day on pasture and woodlots of Michael Dousman’s farm. This is their story.

The King’s Cattle

 During the autumn of 1779, Lieutenant Governor Patrick Sinclair began transferring the British garrison at Fort Michilimackinac to Mackinac Island. At the time, local residents included the “King’s Cattle,” kept for providing fresh beef and dairy products. Construction on the island began that winter, with cattle driven over the frozen straits before spring. On February 15, 1780, Sinclair wrote, “…two Canadians are preparing Post & rail fence to enclose a fine grass Platt of about thirty acres for the King’s Cattle which will be sent to the Island before the Ice breaks up.”

Cattle grazing in what is now Marquette Park, in front of Fort Mackinac, on Mackinac Island.

Cattle grazed the public pasture below Fort Mackinac from 1780 until the early 20th century. Photo by the Detroit Publishing Co. (ca.1900)

 This “fine grass Platt” is a rolling plot of land, west of and below Fort Mackinac. For well over a century, it was known as the government (or public) pasture. In 1901, the Mackinac Island State Park commission leased the parcel to the Grand Hotel for use as a 9-hole golf course.

 In addition to provender, trained cattle served as working oxen. On July 30, 1780, Sinclair complained to his superiors, “… endeavors to secure this Garrison have been retarded for want of working Cattle, Tools, the materials and Rum.” That November, two cows were added to the island’s herd, transported from the mainland aboard the armed sloop, HMS Welcome.

Dousman’s Farm

A cow grazing on Mackinac Island.

A jersey cow poses for the camera of William H. Gardiner (ca.1905-1915)

 American troops took control of Fort Mackinac in 1796. Civilian arrivals included Michael Dousman, who established a large farm on the northeast corner of the island. On July 17, 1812, British troops conscripted Dousman’s oxen to haul their cannon across the island, leading to an American surrender. In 1814, those same oxen presumably bore witness to the bloody battle between American and British forces, which took place on Dousman’s hay fields.

 Michael Dousman filled island contracts for fresh beef, hay, lumber, and firewood for nearly 50 years. Several accounts noted his herd numbered about 20 head of cattle. In 1852, Juliette Starr Dana stopped for a visit, writing, “… we came to a large farm with oxen, outbuildings & everything in New England Style. We went to the house & asked permission to rest, which was which was granted very kindly by the woman of the house who handed each of us a large bowl of rich milk cold as ice, which proved very refreshing.” In 1856, Michael Early bought the property and continued maintaining a dairy farm.

Mackinac’s Meandering Cattle

An 1890 view of Mackinac Island from the East Bluff, showing cattle grazing in the park.

View of town with cattle grazing on the East Bluff,
Photo by Lieut. Benjamin C. Morse Jr. (1890)

 Other local residents also owned cattle, which often roamed at will, grazing as they pleased. In September 1835, Chandler R. Gilman spent a rustic night in a local boarding house. “This morning I waked very early,” he wrote. “At dawn heard the morning gun from the Fort, and soon after a clattering about the house; and the noise of cow-bells under the windows gave us notice that the world was astir … There are more cows in Mackina than in any other place of its size in the known world; and every cow wears at least one bell.”

 Wandering cows posed challenges for decades. Once Mackinac National Park was created in 1875, a new law barred cattle from running loose at night. Two years later, Captain Joseph Bush posted a notice that all stray cows would be put in a pound until reclaimed by their owners. Like most early park regulations, these proved difficult to enforce.

A family posing with their children, dog, cow, and kitten at the Sergeants' Quarters, behind Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.

A family poses with their children, dog, cow, and kitten at the former Sergeants’ Quarters, behind Fort Mackinac. Photo by William H. Gardiner (ca.1905-1915)

 A turnstile was installed at the bottom of Fort Mackinac’s south sally ramp to deter four-legged visitors from sauntering to the top. Fanny Dunbar Corbusier, wife of the post surgeon, arrived in April 1882. She recalled, “People on foot usually climbed the long flight of steps that were the shortest way up to the [officers’] quarters, and a cow once chose this route, climbing until she reached the parade ground, some one hundred and twenty steps up.”

The Cow-Bell Nuisance

 Free-ranging cattle failed to amuse Illinois congressman, William Springer. His family spent the summer of 1884 on the island, contemplating leasing a lot and building a cottage. The following spring, he informed Captain George K. Brady they had decided to spend summers elsewhere. He wrote, “Owing to the ‘cowbell nuisance’ Mrs. Springer did not get the rest desired … and as a result has been in ill health the entire winter.”

A wandering cow grazing near Sugar Loaf rock on Mackinac Island.

A wandering cow grazing near Sugar Loaf

 Arthur Fisk Starr, on the other hand, delighted in the noisy situation. From 1883-1890, the “merry charioteer” ran the most celebrated carriage service of the national park era. Starr’s Chariot led tours across the island, full of “fun, philosophy, and unwritten history.” After stopping at Lover’s Leap, a guest wrote, “No drive could be more beautiful. A pause was made at a point where several roads meet. This is Cow-Bell Point. The drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds … It is said that at Cow-Bell Point the bells can be heard no matter on what part of the island the cows are.”

 Likely, you won’t encounter a single cow on your next Mackinac Island visit. As you wander, imagine a time when lowing “moos” and tinkling cowbells were defining features of the Wonderful Isle. Listen closely, and you just might catch faint echoes from this bygone era.