I remember visiting Fort Michilimackinac when I was a kid – my parents took us there a few times to soak up some Michigan history.

The buildings, the stories, the artifacts, the wars, the French, the British, the Native Americans, the shipwrecks…..and the only thing I was interested in was running around the gun ramp a few times. Now THAT was cool.

As an adult, yeah – I appreciate the history of the fort much, much more than when I was a little squirt. This is where the Indians and fur traders all met up, where war parties were formed, and where lives were lost.

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1715– French soldiers construct Fort Michilimackinac.
1733– Fort expansion begins with new buildings.
1747– Indians attack the French at Michilimackinac.
1760– French defeated at Montreal and evacuate the fort.
1761– British take control of Fort Michilimackinac after the French and Indian War. 1763– Fort Michilimackinac captured by local Ojibwa.
1764– The Indians return the fort to the British.
1780/81– Fort Michilimackinac moved to Mackinac Island.
1857– Mackinaw City is platted.
1904– Mackinaw City transfers Fort Michilimackinac Park to the State of Michigan. 1909– Michilimackinac Park is established.
1920s– Park develops into a popular summer campground.
1960– Reconstruction of the fort.
1971– Campground closed, replaced by a Visitor Center.

The above is just a small portion of Fort Michilimackinac’s history timeline. You can find out many more obscure facts here.

If you haven’t been there in years, it’s not a bad idea to check it out once again, and maybe some of those old childhood memories will come back…or give your kids something they’ll remember. The gallery below features some old photos of the fort, with some from over 100 years ago...

Fort Michilimackinac: Mackinaw City, Michigan


Fort Holmes, Mackinac Island

Fort Wilkins, Then and Now

The Tunnels of Fort Wayne

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