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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mackinac Island - Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac was founded during the American Revolution. The stone ramparts, the south sally port and the Officer’s Stone Quarters are all part of the original fort built over 225 years ago. The other buildings in the fort are of more recent origin, dating from the late 1790s to 1885. The Fort sits on a limestone bluff overlooking the harbor at Mackinac Island. The area became important during after 1690 when Europeans started an outpost here that grew into a giant fur trading empire. The Native Americans used the island for strategic reasons for centuries before European influence.

The view of fort from main street.

There are many buildings, blockhouses, etc located within the Fort Walls.

This cannon looks down upon the town to remind people to pay their taxes.

Looking out across the harbor to Round Island which is uninhabited.

There is an admission to see the fort. The fee is strictly enforced.

A barracks building for enlisted men. The Fort was shut down in 1895. The island was no longer considered important as a fur or fishing center. Tourism was big during this time for the summer climate. The soldiers had little to do other than go and socialize with the tourists. Sounds like good duty.

An officer making sure he looks handsome before going to dinner at one of the hotels. (click to enlarge)

The British captured the fort in the first battle of the War of 1812. This is an actual drum from the war.  the age is....let me see. 2012 minus 1812... Darn I can't find my calculator. 

New traveled slow in the early 1800's. (The battle of New Orleans was fought long after the war ended because no one had heard the news.) The American commander at Fort Mackinac did not know the U.S. was at war when the Fort came under attack in 1812. When the British commander at a nearby fort heard of hostilities, he immediately took a t force to Mackinac. They landed on the back side of the island and when The sixty Americans woke up, they were facing a small force of British Regulars bolstered by a couple hundred Canadian Militia and four or five hundred of  Native American warriors who did not like Americans. The club this warrior is carrying is a real head bopper. The Americans surrendered to prevent a massacre. They tried retaking the fort a few years later and were soundly defeated. 

Watching the civilians trying to learn close order drill. This was another disaster. Left your other left...

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