Situated on the Southern Bluff of Mackinac Island, 150 feet above the Straits of Mackinac is ten acres of history surrounded by stone walls. Fort Mackinac has for more than 230 years stood as a witness to war and peace, and when you enter the historic stone walls, you are stepping into the 1880s.
The fort was built by the British during the American Revolution. It was turned over to the United States in 1796, but surrendered peacefully very early in the War of 1812. The British relinquished the Fort to the US at the end of that war. It was used as a military fort, although abandoned through much of the Civil War and Western Expansion as Soldiers were commissioned to support war efforts elsewhere.
Today the Fort operates as an historical attraction with costumed interpreters portraying Fort life in the 1880s. The soldiers regularly fire muskets and rifles, and even a cannon from 1841, positioned as one would have been during the bombardment of the War of 1812.
Fourteen original buildings on the site are open to the public, and have been restored and furnished with appropriate period settings, including the Officer’s Stone Quarters, which is the oldest building in the state of Michigan. Other buildings include the Commissary, Post Hospital, Quartermaster’s Storehouse, and Soldiers’ Barracks.
An on-site Tea Room, operated by The Grand Hotel serves lunch, snacks and beverages. And the Fort welcomes your well-behaved pets, even providing water bowls for their refreshment.
Plan to spend a few hours exploring Fort Mackinac while you’re visiting the island this summer.