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|Location||Near Mackinac Bridge, Mackinaw City, Michigan|
|NRHP reference #||66000395|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||October 9, 1960|
|Designated MSHS||February 18, 1956|
Fort Michilimackinac was an 18th-century French, and later British, fort and trading post at the Straits of Mackinac; it was built on the northern tip of the lower peninsula of the present-day state of Michigan in the United States. Built around 1715, and abandoned in 1783, it was located along the Straits, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan of the Great Lakes of North America. Present-day Mackinaw City developed around the site of the fort, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is preserved as an open-air historical museum, with several reconstructed wooden buildings and palisade.
The primary purpose of the fort was as part of the French-Canadian trading post system, which stretched from the Atlantic Coast and the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes, and south to the Mississippi River through the Illinois Country. The fort served as a supply depot for traders in the western Great Lakes.
The French had first established a presence in the Straits of Mackinac in 1671 when Father Marquette established the Jesuit St. Ignace Mission at present-day St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 1683, they augmented the mission with Fort de Buade. In 1701, Sieur de Cadillac moved the French garrison to Fort Detroit and closed the mission.
By 1713, however, the French decided to re-establish a presence along the Straits of Mackinac, and built the wooden Fort Michilimackinac on the northern tip of the lower peninsula. They sent Constant le Marchand de Lignery with a contingent of soldiers and workmen in 1715 to accomplish the job.Over the decades, they made several modifications and expansions to the palisade walls. Chevalier Jacques Testard de Montigny, who was a Lt. and a Knight of the Order of St. Louis, was appointed in 1730 and served for three years as commandant of the fort. He was previously commandant of Fort La Baye (Green Bay, Wisconsin). Many of his relatives settled in Michigan.
The French relinquished the fort, along with their territory in Canada, to the British in 1761 following their loss in the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War. The British continued to operate the fort as a major trading post, but most residents were French and Métis (Ojibwe-French), who spoke predominately French and worshipped at Sainte Anne Church in a small log structure. Other civilian residents included British fur traders, some of whom resided within the fort in the southeastern row house.
The Ojibwe in the region resented British policies as harsh. On June 2, 1763, as part of the larger movement known as Pontiac's Rebellion, a group of Ojibwe staged a game of baaga'adowe (a forerunner of modern lacrosse) outside the fort as a ruse to gain entrance. After entering the fort, they killed most of the British inhabitants. They held the fort for a year before the British regained control, promising to offer more and better gifts to the native inhabitants of the area.
The British eventually determined that the wooden fort on the mainland was too vulnerable. In 1781 they built a limestone fort on nearby Mackinac Island. Now known as Fort Mackinac, it was apparently also initially named Fort Michilimackinac. The British then moved related buildings to the island by dismantling them and moving them across the water in the summer and over ice in winter to the island during the next two years. Ste. Anne's Church was also moved. Patrick Sinclair, the lieutenant governor of Michilimackinac, ordered the remains of the southern Fort Michilimackinac to be destroyed after the move.
In 1960 the fort grounds were designated a National Historic Landmark. This is a popular tourist attraction as part of Colonial Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City, a major component of the Mackinac State Historic Parks. Interpreters, both paid and volunteer, help bring the history to life with music, live demonstrations, and reenactments, including musket and cannon firing demonstrations. The site has numerous reconstructed historical wooden structures based on archeological excavations. This is considered one of the most extensively excavated early colonial French archaeological sites in the United States.
The fort grounds also contain the foot of the Mackinac Bridge, the Old Mackinac Point Light (an 1892 lighthouse), and a day-use park with a view of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island is an island and resort area, covering 4.35 square miles (11.3 km2) in land area, in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The island was long home to an Odawa settlement and previous indigenous cultures before European colonization began in the 17th century. It was a strategic center of the fur trade around the Great Lakes. Based on a former trading post, Fort Mackinac was constructed on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War. It was the site of two battles during the War of 1812 before the northern border was settled and the US gained this island in its territory.
Mackinac County is a county in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,113. The county seat is St. Ignace. Formerly known as Michilimackinac County, in 1818 it was one of the first counties of the Michigan Territory, as it had long been a center of French and British colonial fur trading, a Catholic church and Protestant mission, and associated settlement.
Saint Ignace, usually written as St. Ignace, is a city near the tip of the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan, on the northern side of the Straits of Mackinac. It sits on the shore of Lake Huron at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge, opposite Mackinaw City, serving as the gateway to the UP for travelers coming from the Lower Peninsula. It is one of two ports with ferry service to Mackinac Island, and is the only mainland city accessible from the island when Lake Huron is frozen over. St. Ignace Township is located just to the north of the city, but is politically independent.
Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 806 at the 2010 census; the population surges during the summer tourist season, including an influx of tourists and seasonal workers who serve in the shops, hotels and other recreational facilities there and in the surrounding region. Mackinaw City is at the northern tip (headland) of the Michigan's Lower Peninsula along the southern shore of the Straits of Mackinac. Across the straits lies the state's Upper Peninsula. These two land masses are physically connected by the Mackinac Bridge, which runs from Mackinaw City north to St. Ignace. Mackinaw City is also the primary base for ferry service to Mackinac Island, located to the northeast in the straits.
Mackinac or Mackinaw may refer to:
Wawatam was an 18th-century Odawa chief who lived in the northern region of present-day Michigan's Lower Peninsula in an area along the Lake Michigan shoreline known by the Odawa as Waganawkezee.
The Straits of Mackinac are narrow waterways in the U.S. state of Michigan between Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The main strait flows under the Mackinac Bridge and connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The main strait is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide and has a maximum depth of 295 feet (90 m). Hydrologically, the two connected lakes can be considered one lake, which is called Lake Michigan–Huron. Historically, the native Odawa people called the region around the Straits Michilimackinac. The Straits of Mackinac are "whipsawed by currents unlike anywhere else in the Great Lakes".
Fort Mackinac is a former British and American military outpost garrisoned from the late 18th century to the late 19th century in the city of Mackinac Island, Michigan, on Mackinac Island. The British built the fort during the American Revolutionary War to control the strategic Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and by extension the fur trade on the Great Lakes. The British did not relinquish the fort until fifteen years after American independence.
Mackinac Island State Park is a state park located on Mackinac Island in the U.S. state of Michigan. A Lake Huron island, it is near the Straits of Mackinac. The island park encompasses 2.81 mi² (7.28 km²), which is approximately 80% of the island's total area of 3.78 mi² (9.78 km²). The park is also within the boundaries of the city of Mackinac Island and has permanent residents within its boundaries. M-185 circles the perimeter of the park as the only motorless highway in the state due to the island's ban of automobiles. The park is governed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. On July 15, 2009, the park celebrated its 20 millionth visitor.
Michilimackinac is derived from an Odawa name for present-day Mackinac Island and the region around the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Early settlers of North America applied the term to the entire region along Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior. Today it is considered to be mostly within the boundaries of Michigan, in the United States. Michilimackinac was the original name for present day Mackinac Island and Mackinac County.
Northern Michigan, also known as Northern Lower Michigan or Upper Michigan, is a region of the U.S. state of Michigan. A popular tourist destination, it is home to several small- to medium-sized cities, extensive state and national forests, lakes and rivers, and a large portion of Great Lakes shoreline. The region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry. Northern Lower Michigan is distinct from the more northerly Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale, which, obviously, are also located in "northern" Michigan. In the northern-most 21 counties in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, the total population of the region is 506,658 people.
Fort Michilimackinac State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Mackinaw City along the Straits of Mackinac. The park contains Fort Michilimackinac, which itself is dedicated a National Historic Landmark and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse as well as the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse Signal Tower which contains a foghorn.
Fort de Buade was a French fort in the present U.S. state of Michigan's Upper Peninsula across the Straits of Mackinac from the northern tip of lower Michigan's "mitten". It was garrisoned between 1683 and 1701. The city of St. Ignace developed at the site, which also had the historic St. Ignace Mission founded by Jesuits. The fort was named after New France's governor at the time, Louis de Buade de Frontenac.
SS Chief Wawatam was a coal-fired train ferry and icebreaker that operated in the Straits of Mackinac between 1911–1984. Her home port was St. Ignace, Michigan, and she shuttled back and forth during her entire working life between that port and Mackinaw City, Michigan.
Mackinaw Point marks the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Founded in 1889, the Old Mackinac Point Light Station was in operation from 1890 until 1957.
Constant le Marchand de Lignery, generally known as Lignery was a French military officer in New France (Canada). He was twice commandant at Michilimackinac.
McGulpin Point Light was constructed as a navigational aid through the Straits of Mackinac. The light began operation in 1869, making it one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the Straits. Only in operation until 1906, the light is located on McGulpin Point,, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Fort Michilimackinac.
Waugoshance Point is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) cape or peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan from the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan in Emmet County. It separates the Straits of Mackinac to its north from Sturgeon Bay to the south and is part of Wilderness State Park. The nearest town is Mackinaw City. Waugoshance is a hybrid word, that combines the Anishinaabemowin word wah'goosh (English:fox) and the French word anse (English:cove).
The McGulpin House is a historic house museum, located in a structure originally built before 1780 and now located at the corner of Fort Street and Market Street on Mackinac Island, Michigan. It is owned, operated, and opened to the public during the summer months by Mackinac Island State Park as part of Historic Downtown Mackinac Island.
Sainte Anne Church, commonly called 'Ste. Anne Church' or 'Ste. Anne's Church', is a Roman Catholic church that serves the parish of Sainte Anne de Michilimackinac in Mackinac Island, Michigan. The Jesuit missionary Claude Dablon inaugurated the rites of the Catholic faith on Mackinac Island in 1670, but the earliest surviving parish records list sacraments performed starting in April 1695. After moving from Fort de Buade to Fort Michilimackinac about 1708 and from Fort Michilimackinac to Mackinac Island in 1781, the parish used a historic log church for decades. It constructed the current church complex starting in 1874 on a site donated by the former fur trader, Magdelaine Laframboise.
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