Mackinac State Historic Parks

A fine state park links a number of important sites around the Straits of Mackinac at the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The feature sites are Colonial Michilimackinac, with a fine reconstruction of an eighteenth century French (later British) fort. The fort encloses 18 authentically reconstructed buildings on their original sites, and professional archaeologists are often at work on the site. (In my experience, the archaeologists and their student assistants are quite friendly and eager to answer questions and discuss their work.) Historic Mill Creek recreates one of the first industrial sites on the Great Lakes, a water-powered sawmill for mechanized timber cutting, dating to the early nineteenth century. Fort Mackinac, on nearby Mackinac Island, was an important post during the War of 1812. All this is set in a spectacular setting which includes the Mackinac Bridge, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and last but not least, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Cross the Mackinac Bridge to explore the sites of historic Ignace, the oldest settlement in Michigan.

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