Fort Mackinac

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If you look closely, just above and to the right of the cannon barrel, you might see the Mackinac Bridge…

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masked by mist.

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After walking for several hours through Mackinac Island’s trails and exploring Arch Rock, we entered Fort Mackinac. Scattered raindrops met us there.

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Fort Mackinac was established during the American Revolution by the British. The original limestone ramparts and officers’ quarters were built in 1780. Americans claimed the fort along with our independence following that war. Great Britain reclaimed the fort for several years during the War of 1812 until “the Treaty of Ghent restored the island and Fort Mackinac to the United States.”

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Honestly, the views from the fort were my favorite part of our fort visit. Note the queue of horses pulling carriages along the green below.

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Round Island Light

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Ste. Anne’s Church spire

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We watched as a cannon was prepared…

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and fired (with a tinfoil-wrapped packet of gunpowder rather than the originally-intended cannonball).

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The North Sally Port. My guess is that a more sturdy gate was installed during war time 🙂

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The children climbed two flights of stairs to the Schoolhouse (built in 1879) where Rebecca snapped this photograph of me on the porch of the Soldiers’ Barracks (built in 1859).

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We sallied via the South Sally Port (built in 1780).

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Fort Mackinac was worthwhile to me because of the amazing views it offered. The cannon firing was a unique experience 🙂  Our family of 4 paid $34 for admission to the fort, which is now officially classified as a Michigan State Park. We walked through a few of the buildings with museum-style displays, but we were tired from our earlier hike, and lacked the energy and desire to pursue them all. Although I’m glad we “forted,” I wish it would have cost less, and I think we would have enjoyed it more with younger children. Our tween and teen were somewhat bored.

Because we visited the fort on a weekday in autumn, crowds were extremely minimal. I just realized that there are no visitors outside of our family in the photos of this blogpost. There were other vacationers in the fort, but they were few enough that I could capture photographs without strangers (or easily crop them out)!

If you are considering a visit to Fort Mackinac, please be aware that it is only open to visitors during Mackinac Island’s typical tourist season, which is mid-May through mid-October. Check the website for next season’s dates.

9.26.11

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