Fort Michilimackinac was originally a French, later British fortified trading post on the south coast of the strategically important Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan in what is today the city of Mackinaw City. U.S.A.
Fort Michilimackinac was a link in a chain of French fur trading stations that stretched from the Mississippi River through the present state of Illinois to the St. Lawrence River. The fort served as a base for fur traders in the west of the Great Lakes.
Fort Buade, was founded in 1683 by the French on the north shore of the Strait of Mackinac, when the missionary Jacques Marquette founded the Jesuit Mission Saint Ignace , to which a fort came in 1683. In 1701 the mission and the fort were abandoned, In 1715, however, the French returned and built Fort Michilimackinac, a wooden fortification to control the strategically important Mackinac Street.
In 1761, the fort was taken over by the British as one of the last French bases in North America, Since the wooden defense plant was apparently considered to be too vulnerable, in 1781 built another Fort Mackinac on the nearby Mackinac Iceland. After its completion, Fort Michilimackinac was abandoned.
The most famous British Commander at Michilimackinac was Major Robert Rogers who was Commandant from 1766-1768. A colonial farmer from New Hampshire, Rogers created at the French and Indian war unit called Rogers’ Rangers.
In 1960 the fort grounds were designated a National Historic Landmark ,Today, as part of Fort Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City, it is a popular tourist attraction. After extensive archaeological research, a part of the buildings was reconstructed. Fort Michilimackinac is today considered the best researched site of early French colonization in the United States.
Highlights: Site layout :
- Colonial Michilimackinac, Colonial Michilimackinac,(Fort Michilimackinac), is a reconstructed 1715 French fur-trading village and military outpost that was later occupied by British military and traders. The structure contains : Native American Encampment
Water Gate , Cannon Firings , Kings Storehouse , Commanding Officer’s House , Parade Ground , Military Latrine , Northwest Rowhouse
Gaurdhouse , Priest,s House ,Working Blacksmith Shop ,Church of Saint Ann ,Soldier’s Barracks (History Museum) ,Southwest Rowhouse , French Chimney ,Solomon/Levy & British Officer’s House
Powder Magazine , Chevalier House ,Land Gate ,Barnyard and Corrals ,Restrooms , Archaeology Dig in Progress
- Exhibits: All sixteen buildings in the fort are open and furnished with period settings or themed exhibits. Special exhibits include: Treasures from the Sand, an underground exhibit exploring the process of historical archaeology.- France at Mackinac, 1670-1760, explores Michilimackinac as it was under the French regime.- Powder Magazine and Firearms on the Frontier, a subterranean exhibit describing the preserved ruins of this military structure-Redcoats on the Frontier, – Commanding Officer’s House,
- Demonstrations and tours by costumed interpreters take place throughout the day: Cooking, crafts and trades are conducted at key locations and vary by season , Reconstructed based on historic maps and more than 50 years of archaeological excavations that continue today,
Access : Coordinates: 45.786667, -84.735978 / 102 West Straits Avenue Mackinaw City, Michigan 49701 / The Colonial Michilimackinac Park entrance is located beneath the foot of the Mackinac Bridge.
Visiting hours: June 8 – September 1 : 9:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. Last Admission 6:00 p.m. / September 2 – October 4 : 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Last Admission 4:00 p.m. / October 4 – October 5 : 6:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Special Fort Fright hours. Different admission rates apply. Last Admission 8:30 p.m.
Entrance fees: Adults : Adult $12.50 – Online $12.00- Child (Age 5-12) $7.25 – Online $7.00
Activities : guided tour for groups / enjoy stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge / Scenic Driving- Auto Touring / Live Programs and Tours / Movies /
Near by attractions : Mackinaw City , Michigan / Mackinac Bridge / Old Mackinac Point Light / Mackinac Island