Quoted From A Fellow Traveler:

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Day In Mackinaw City

Today was girls day out so Joyce and Lucy went off to Mackinaw City while the men stayed behind. Joyce took all the pictures so I hope I have them in the correct order. The city is actually considered a village with a population of just over 850.
This is some of the history I was able to find on the city:
When the Europeans arrived in the Straits of Mackinac area the predominant tribes were: three Algonquian tribes, known as the Council of Three Fires: Chippewa (Ojibwe), Ottawa (Odawa), and Potawatomi. Although these were not permanent settlements in the European sense, these tribes frequented this area to fish, hunt, trade, and worship. Mackinac Island, which lies within the Straits of Mackinac to the northeast, appeared to have the shape of a turtle. This image led the Native Americans here to believe that the turtle contributed to life's beginnings.

The first European to pass by Mackinaw City was Jean Nicolet in 1634 in search of the Northwest Passage. Although his mission failed, he did find many fur-bearing animals. He sent this message to the French government, and they provided funding to have settlers, missionaries, traders, and soldiers come to the New World and Great Lakes region. Although Father Jacques Marquette had established a mission on Mackinac Island (which was shortly moved to St. Ignace), Mackinaw City's first European settlement came in 1715 with Fort Michilimackinac. This fort was a fairly small garrison that housed French civilians inside the fort walls, but allowed them to garden, hunt, and fish outside the fort walls. Also, it served to impress the Natives, who most likely never witnessed such a large structure.

At the end of the French and Indian War, the British took possession of this area, but they did allow the French civilians to live within the fort's walls as they were very valuable to the fur trade. As a part of Pontiac's Rebellion, Chippewa and Fox warriors captured the fort on June 2, 1763 during the baggatiway game surprise attack. The British were kicked out and did not return until the following spring under the agreement that they would trade more fairly with the Native Americans. The British abandoned this fort during the American Revolutionary War. From 1779-81, the British Army moved the fort, including its buildings, to Mackinac Island, where they established Fort Mackinac. What they did not take with them, they burned; this was so that if the Americans did make it to the Mackinac Straits area, they could not use Michilimackinac.

In 1857, two men by the names of Conkling and Searles platted the development of what would become Mackinaw City as it is today. The original designs allowed for the northern portion to be left as a park for two main reasons: preserve the area that was once Fort Michilimackinac and for the possibility that a lighthouse may be built in the town. The village would become a very pivotal port for trains (beginning in the 1890s) and automobiles crossing the Straits of Mackinac. Car transportation lasted from the early 1900s to 1957 with the completion of the Mackinac Bridge. Train transportation ran through the Straits until 1984. This is still an important port city for tourists traveling by passenger ferry boat to Mackinac Island using the Arnold, Shepler's, and Star Line services.

Through the course of time, the main industry of Mackinaw City became almost strictly tourist-oriented, with other civic services such as postal service, police, firefighting, schooling, etc. Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse was built in 1892 in the same northern park that was originally allotted for its construction. This lighthouse would eventually replace McGulpin Point Light, which was built in the 1870s in the far western end of the village limits. When the Mackinac Bridge was completed in 1957, the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse was decommissioned immediately. Also, a grant was provided to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, which owned the property at the Bridge's southern terminus, to begin archeological excavations of the Michilimackinac ruins. Ultimately, a reconstruction of the fort to its 1770s appearance would ensue[4]. Camping, which began in Michilimackinac State Park in 1907, was halted in 1971 as a Maritime Park was opened in 1972 around the lighthouse. This park was shut down in 1990, but Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse was opened to the public in 2004. Mill Creek State Park, which includes the area believed to be where Mill Creek's sawmill once flourished when Mackinac Island was being settled, is located about five miles southeast of the village along U.S. Highway 23.
The main street houses numerous shops where the tourist can spend their time and money.
This shop had some unusual wood decorations. This is constructed from individual pieces of wood to give it depth and color.
There were numerous items constructed in the same manner. There is a name for this type of woodworking but it slipped my mind.
How about this one with the whole gang attending.
The Founder!
Some history on the Bell

The Coast Guard dock the Cutter Mackinaw here.
Some information on the cutter.

We didn't get to take the tour.


barbaradesro said...

Hey Joyce and Paul,
Looks like your having a
great time. Have fun and
stay safe.

Grace said...

This is really cool !!! I´m from Brazil and It´s fantastic what u r doing, great pictures^^