Fort Mackinac History


Fort Mackinac history comes to life with great exhibits, demonstrations, and interactive activities that are sure to please young and old alike. The island was home to the Ojibwa and Chippewa tribes before European exploration began in the 17th century. When the French explorers saw the importance of the fur trade more and more French and British began coming to set up settlements. This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War.

Fort Mackinac was built in 1780 by British soldiers due to their concern of American battle victories in the south. The British stationed at the fur trading village of Fort Michilimackinac which is now Mackinaw City, grew concerned that the Americans were planning to attack the Straits of Mackinac. To protect the garrison, civilian community, and fur trade, the British moved to a more defensible location on Mackinac Island.

Thus, many buildings of Michilimackinac were taken across the Straits to Mackinac Island where they built Fort Mackinac atop a high bluff overlooking the Straits of Mackinac.

The Fort is a fun and educational place to visit during your Mackinac Island vacation. There are active tours for you and your family to enjoy together. It's nice to see "history" come alive and a visit to Fort Mackinac definitely helps a person see what life was like living on the Island and in a fort during the 1700s and 1800s.




The Americans took control of Fort Mackinac by treaty in 1796 after the American Revolution. At the beginning of the War of 1812, the British took the fort back without firing a shot! Click here to read more!

Read about other fun and interesting Mackinac Island Attractions.


The Fort Mackinac Tea Room is a great place to have lunch and enjoy the beautiful views from the veranda.

Many Scouts volunteer throughout the summer at the Fort and other historic buildings.

You will notice many Scouts around Fort Mackinac and the State Park. They have been coming to Mackinac Island since 1929. It is quite an honor to be one of these scout troops. The program began as the Governor’s Honor Guard and it continues to thrive to this day. They also know quite alot about Fort Mackinac History so ask them a question!

Read more about these Scout Troops and see photos of the barracks they stay in during their time on the Island.


Are you a Scout or an Honor Troop leader?
Our readers would love to hear about your adventure!

Share Your Favorite Scout Stories!

Do you have a great story about your scouting experience on Mackinac Island? Share it and inspire others!







Don't miss out on this exciting fort adventure when you visit Mackinac Island! Check the daily schedule so you can experience history at its best!



Insider Tip: Become a Mackinac Associate and you will get discounts on admission tickets as well as 15% off at the museum gift shop! Inquire when you buy your ticket.


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