The Info List - Fort Michilimackinac

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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
Lake Huron
and Lake Michigan
of the Great Lakes of North America. Present-day Mackinaw City
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.


1 History 2 Today 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

History[edit] 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
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
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
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.[5][6] 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
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.[7] 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. Today[edit] 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
Old Mackinac Point Light
(an 1892 lighthouse), and a day-use park with a view of the Mackinac Bridge
Mackinac Bridge
and Mackinac Island. See also[edit]

Recreated buildings inside the fort

portal New France

Banknote of Fort Michilmackinac List of National Historic Landmarks in Michigan National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
listings in Emmet County, Michigan


^ National Park Service
National Park Service
(2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ State of Michigan
(2009). "Fort Michilimackinac". Retrieved June 26, 2010.  ^ National Park Service
National Park Service
(2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ "Fort Michilimackinac". National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2008.  ^ http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/le_marchand_de_lignery_constant_2E.html "In 1712, when war with the Fox Indians broke out and Louvigny found himself unable to leave for the west, Vaudreuil decided to send Lignery at the head of a small party to take possession of the post." ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=FaP7AQAAQBAJ&lpg=PT1007&ots=TcmEePh-S4&dq=Constant%20le%20Marchand%20de%20Lignery%20michilimackinac&pg=PT1007#v=onepage&q=Constant%20le%20Marchand%20de%20Lignery%20michilimackinac&f=false "By 1713 the French decided to rebuild the fort at the straits, and in 1715 ... Ligerny arrived with soldiers and workmen." The Americas: International Dictionary of Historic Places edited by Trudy Ring, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger; Routledge Press Nov 5, 2013 ^ "At the Crossroads: Michilimackinac
During the American Revolution". Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
State Park Commission. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

Farmer, Silas. (1884) (Jul 1969) The History of Detroit
History of Detroit
and Michigan, or, The Metropolis Illustrated: A Chronological Cyclopaedia of the Past and Present: including a full record of territorial days in Michigan, and the annuals of Wayne County, in various formats at Open Library.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fort Michilimackinac.

Colonial Michilimackinac
official site Visiting Colonial Fort Michilimackinac Michigan
Historical Markers: Fort Michilimackinac Fort Michilimackinac
Pageant Marriage records and 1741 drawing of Fort Michilimackinac Michigan.gov: Fort Michilimackinac Video documentary on Michilimackinac Michilimackinac.com Michilimackinac
– A short history of the word.

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