(click pics to enlarge)
The rains began last night about 3:00 and lasted for a few hours. The temperature was in the mid 50's with a chilly breeze. I was concerned about the weather so I changed plans and went to explore Colonial Michilimackinac. I had a good time and by the time I finished wandering around and asking questions, 3 1/2 hours had passed. Over 100 pictures were taken of the place and surroundings. I have selected about 25 to post here.
Colonial Michilimackinac started out as French trading post in 1715. The French made friends with the local Indians and a common bond developed between the two. The Indians would trade furs and other things of value for the trade goods of the French. These trade goods included guns, gunpowder, knives, cloth, etc. This relationship was very profitable for both of them for nearly 50 years. In 1761, the French surrendered Michilimackinac to the British as a result of the British winning the French and Indian war. It didn't take long for the British to alienate the Indians which resulted in an uprising by them in 1763. While pretending to play a game of baaga'adowe (like lacrosse or field hockey) outside of the walls of the fort, the Indians surprised the British and stormed the fort. They killed all of the British and held the fort for one year. When the British reinforcements arrived, a deal was made between the new British commander and the Indians to treat the Indians how the French had treated them.
The British had learned a valuable lesson and all was well until 1781. The British were concerned about the new American country that had recently won their freedom. They were concerned the Americans would want the fort/trading post and it was indefensible. The British commander decided to relocate the post to Mackinac Island which was easier to defend. The entire fort/post was disassembled and moved to the island. They used cargo canoes and ships during the warm months and oxen and wagons during the winter when the Great Lakes would freeze. It took them two years but finally moved everything to the island and burned what couldn't be moved. That was the end of Michilimackinac until the late 1950's when archeologists re-discovered the site and began excavations. Partly based on the results of the excavations, the area was placed on the National Historic Landmark list. The fort/trading post has since been reconstructed and archeologists continue their excavations.
The reconstructed site is on the south side of the straits so I had to cross the Big Mac bridge again. The weather was cloudy which made each picture a little different as the light changed. The bridge is in a lot of the pictures because it dominates everything around this area because of it's size.
|The Mighty Mac with the main tower|
in the clouds.
|The Mighty Mac|
|A nice view of the bridge|
|Reconstructed Indian camp outside|
of the trading post
|A teepee made out of tree bark|
|The lady is teaching the kids |
to play baaga'adowe
|The walls of the fort/trading post|
|The Mighty Mac in the background|
with a cannon in the foreground. They fire the
cannon about every hour.
|A volunteer acting as a fur trader|
with his birch bark canoe
and trading goods.
|The outhouse. :)|
|The Outhouse building|
|The French had a large church|
and had converted many of the local Indians.
|This lady was acting as the baker for the|
fort/trading post. The bowl on the left contains
flour and water. It is being used to catch
yeast from the air to begin a
|The mud oven used to bake bread. Each|
man at the fort needed almost one loaf
|An overall view of the fort/post. The existing|
archeological dig is in the middle.
|Row houses that the non-military|
|The ongoing archeological dig. I visited |
with the people for a while. Nice visit.
|The Mighty Mac from one of the watchtowers|
|The buildings inside the fort/post|
|Notice the canoe stored under|
the lean-to on the left.
|The bridge and walkway|
|A garden being grown by the volunteers|
|Lake Huron from one of the watchtowers|
|The fort/trading post|
|The walls and a watchtower|
|A nice looking Tree|
|The Mighty Mackinac Bridge|
with a thinking bench
|This was strange. These were in the bathroom|
located inside the fort. I have never seen
hand dryers like this before. Fancy new
technology in a reconstructed fort
from the 1700's.
|How could I resist eating lunch at this place|
after visiting Michilimackinac. The dogs