The name "Cheboygan" probably comes from the Annishinaabe or Chippewa word "zhiibaa'onaii," meaning a channel or passage for a canoe. This mural depicts some of the earliest known individuals to have made Cheboygan home during its beginnings. . . . — — Map (db m121797) HM
Voyageurs often smoked white clay pipes as they travelled the waters of the Great Lakes region in their large freight-hauling canoes. Bodies of water were known as a "two-pipe lake" or "five-pipe crossing" depending on the number of . . . — — Map (db m121799) HM
Huron Shore Trail
follows the geologic Algonquin Beach Ridge formation along the western shore of Lake Huron from the Straits of Mackinac to Saginaw Bay. For centuries this trail was the primary travel route for Chippewa people travelling . . . — — Map (db m121805) HM
Huron Shore Trail
follows the geologic Algonquin Beach Ridge formation along the western shore of Lake Huron from the Straits of Mackinac to Saginaw Bay. For centuries this trail was the primary travel route for Chippewa people travelling . . . — — Map (db m121887) HM
River mouth and cattail marsh:
Captain Samuel Robertson wrote in the 1770s, " the most safest place near Michilimackinac [Mackinac Island] for wintering vessels is the River Shaboygan, there is six feet water upon the Barr, the River is about . . . — — Map (db m121888) HM
This structure served as the Cheboygan County sheriffs residence and jail from 1880 to 1969. The building originally had seven cells. Faced with overcrowding, the county built an additional sixteen cells in 1912. During the local lumber boom . . . — — Map (db m121800) HM
When Cheboygan County was organized in 1853, the courthouse was located in Duncan (now a part of the city of Cheboygan). In 1860 the county board of supervisors moved the county seat to Inverness Township and purchased this property from Bela . . . — — Map (db m121798) HM
The glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated to the north some 25,000 years ago, leaving behind the lakes that rank as Michigan's most notable geographical feature. Among the state's largest inland lakes is Burt Lake, named after William A. Burt, who, . . . — — Map (db m33247) HM
Michigan discussed a land-based connection between the Lower and Upper Peninsula as early as the 1880s
The steamer Algomah had failed as a winter ferry, reported the The Lansing Republican Tri-Weekly on February 5, 1884. The . . . — — Map (db m214254) HM
In 1761 Alexander Henry from New Jersey was one of the first English traders to venture into the interior of Michigan and came here to Fort Michilimackinac.
Each summer, thousands of Indians led by their chiefs came to receive presents from . . . — — Map (db m141187) HM
Alexander Henry Park
Built in 1987, by the Village of Mackinaw City, with funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Zone Management Program and the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.
Alexander Henry: Fur . . . — — Map (db m141174) HM
Mackinaw City is the northernmost point on the lower peninsula and all the main auto routes through Northern Michigan terminated here. These roads were the East Pike, the West Pike and the Dixie Highway. The automobile eventually replaced train . . . — — Map (db m138187) HM
Eight different state owned and operated ferries worked this dock between 1923 and 1957. During those 34 years, the Michigan ferries carried approximately 12 million vehicles and more than 30 million passengers across the Straits of Mackinac. This . . . — — Map (db m138126) HM
Great Lakes shipping is a key component to the regional economy. The shipping industry is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to transport large quantities of raw materials, such as iron ore, coal and heating oil. Extending the shipping . . . — — Map (db m138486) HM
John Askin arrived in America in 1758 at the age of 20. Upon arrival, he joined the British army and was stationed at Albany, in the New York colony. There he began a lucrative trading business in the Great Lakes region. Askin arrived at Fort . . . — — Map (db m135161) HM
Boats delivered products from all over the world to Michilimackinac during the 1700s. After long, arduous journeys they often needed to be repaired here.
Based on artifacts found at this site, such as 1770s sailmaker's needles, and the . . . — — Map (db m138441) HM
The Mackinac Bridge is constructed of three segments – at each end is a post-supported truss bridge and in the center is a suspension bridge segment.
This bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world for decades after its . . . — — Map (db m107135) HM
Railroad construction across America boomed in the second half of the 1800s, spurred on by technological improvements and demand for distant products. Getting rail cars across the Straits required special boats.
Railroads were completed on . . . — — Map (db m105945) HM
Chief Wawatam, an Ojibway Indian living at the Straits of Mackinac, befriended the British fur trader Alexander Henry as a brother. During the Indian attack on Fort Michilimackinac in 1763, Wawatam protected his friend and cared for him as a member . . . — — Map (db m131697) HM
Chief Wawatam was revered for his bravery and fidelity
Chief Wawatam, an Ojibway Indian living at the Straits of Mackinac, treated the British fur trader Alexander Henry as a brother. During the Indian attack on Fort Michilimackinac in . . . — — Map (db m214253) HM
Fishing became the subsistence occupation in Mackinaw when the fur trading industry collapsed in the 1840s. It has continued to be a major employer for over 170 years.
The first large fishery on this site was built in 1892 and was owned . . . — — Map (db m138430) HM
Long lines, fresh pasties and good company while waiting to cross the Straits
Once the state ferry service became established, it became easier (and cheaper) to get a vehicle across the Straits of Mackinac. Many tourists have fond memories . . . — — Map (db m214021) HM
Strategically located at the meeting of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the Straits of Mackinac have been a Crossroads of the Great Lakes since 1670.
The Forts at Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island and St. Ignace formed a "triangle of history," . . . — — Map (db m141227) HM
Founder of Mackinaw City Presented at the dedication of the statue of Edgar Conkling by Jerry Prior in Conkling Heritage Park
Edgar was born in New York during the War of 1812, while Mackinaw City was still a British territory. He was raised . . . — — Map (db m131698) HM
This interesting building with its tall chimney and copper roof was built in 1890, two years before the construction of the Old Mackinaw Point Lighthouse next door. It was built to house the large steam operated fog signal. The deep booming sound . . . — — Map (db m154597) HM
Around 1715 Constant Le Marchand de Lignery established Fort Michilimackinac for the French at the site of a Jesuit mission. During the next fifty years as France and Great Britain struggled for control of the fur trade . . . — — Map (db m131748) HM
Fort Michilimackinac's population grew after British arrival in 1761. After the successful Indian attack on the fort on June 2, 1763, British authorities moved much of the fur-trading community outside the fort. Started in 1765, a village . . . — — Map (db m135166) HM
A peacetime economic boom required more housing
In the peace following the French & Indian War, the fur trade boomed. The arriving
British, coming as victors of the war, increased the population inside the fort walls to
about 200 residents. . . . — — Map (db m192398) HM
The Griffin, the first ship on the Upper Great Lakes, disappeared on its maiden voyage in 1679.
Since then the Lakes have swallowed over 10,000 vessels.
Early wooden ships were often lost to on-board fires.
Many others were destroyed by . . . — — Map (db m107191) HM
Hattie Stimpson was one of the founding members of the Mackinaw Woman's Club some 90 years ago.
On Saturday, March 6, 2004, ninety-two people attended Mackinaw Area's Historical Society's first annual Cabin Fever Dinner at Audie's Restaurant in . . . — — Map (db m125661) HM
The first people came to the Mackinaw region aboutr 10,000 years ago, just after the glaciers retreated. They were summer hunters stalking the big game of mastodons and mammoths. The development of birch bark canoes made coming and going much . . . — — Map (db m140760) HM
Harvested in Mackinaw, shipped around the Great Lakes, the ice was used to cool food and people.
Selling ice for refrigeration to the fish houses, railroads, and homes was big business from the late 1800s to World War II, and Mackinaw . . . — — Map (db m138336) HM
The long-anticipated railroads finally arrived in the Straits in 1881 and 1882. Their arrival, originally expected before the Civil War, was delayed by the War and then by shifting priorities. Once here, they brought many jobs, many visitors, and . . . — — Map (db m105924) HM
The Village of Mackinaw City, Michigan dedicates this monument to Ironworkers of North America and the men that built the Mackinac Bridge. The Ironworker profession is an honorable and proud group of craftsmen that have "Built the World" with their . . . — — Map (db m214024) HM
In 1920 the need for extensive highways in Michigan was becoming evident and Horatio S. Earle, highway commissioner, suggested a submerged, floating tunnel. A counter-proposal was made by C. E. Fowler, a consulting engineer from New York City.
. . . — — Map (db m1987) HM
In memory of
John L. (Jack) Staffan Chief Wawatam
August 1, 1909 - November 7, 1982
In tribute to our friend Jack Staffan, whose
participation, leadership and enthusiasm in the
Fort Michilimackinac Pageant spanned 20 years
of . . . — — Map (db m140815) HM
Researchers coming and going from Mackinaw City's marina are discovering that evaporation from the Great Lakes, a key factor in the level of the lakes, is far more complicated than formerly thought. An understanding is important for commerce, . . . — — Map (db m140812) HM
The Mackinac Straits, with its narrow passage and the many reefs and shoals to the east and west, has been one of the most dangerous points on the Great Lakes for sailors since the late seventeenth century, evidenced by the many shipwrecks in the . . . — — Map (db m154598) HM
The strategic importance of the Great Lakes during the fur trade made Michilimackinac a well-known name throughout the world by all the superpowers of the time. Before trains and cars were invented, people of the Great Lakes traveled on the . . . — — Map (db m140741) HM
Passenger ferries to Mackinac Island have existed since the late 1870s. Today three ferry lines serve the island.
Transportation across the Straits of Mackinac, whether to St. Ignace or Mackinac Island, began with the versatile birch . . . — — Map (db m140733) HM
The Mackinaw Boat was designed for northern Great Lakes conditions
The Mackinaw boat was the work boat of fur traders, fishermen, settlers and lake travelers for hundreds of years, from the early 1700s to the early 1900s.
The hull . . . — — Map (db m140770) HM
In 1634 Samuel de Champlain sent Jean Nicolet from Quebec to explore this area and make peace with the Ottawa and Ojibwa Indians. French traders were in the area in 1673, but they left when conflict with the Indians ensued. The . . . — — Map (db m105887) HM
Mackinaw City Railroad Dock
Before the Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957, ships were the only means of connecting Michigan's peninsulas. During the 1870s, small sailing vessels served as ferries. Steamboats took over when the Michigan Central . . . — — Map (db m131700) HM
This plaque is issued by the
Historical Society of Michigan
in recognition of
Mackinaw Woman's Club, Inc.
founded in 1914
for more than 100 years of
continuous operation in service
to the people of Michigan
and for . . . — — Map (db m140327) HM
The entire Mackinac Straits region derives its name from a French translation of the Ojibway name for Mackinac Island; Missilimakinak, where missi (also michi or mishi) means great or many and . . . — — Map (db m105853) HM
During the Civil War and after the battle in Mobile Bay, naval historians called this gun, the 9-inch Dahlgren, the gun "that won the Civil War". We are very lucky to have these three relics from the Civil War here in Makinaw City, Michigan. The . . . — — Map (db m138764) HM
In the early 1880s the main street of Mackinaw City consisted of these first two blocks of North Huron Avenue. Within only 40 years, in 1900 and again in 1916, two devastating fires completely destroyed the original business district. . . . — — Map (db m140723) HM
Mackinaw residents have long rendered services to passing ships. One of the most interesting was The Marine & Weather Reporting Service, established in 1877 by Forest J. Stimpson. Stimpson made daily reports on weather conditions at the Straits . . . — — Map (db m141154) HM
Michigan State Ferry System (side 1)
In 1923, in response to increasing automobile traffic, the Michigan Highway Department established the Michigan State Ferry System to connect the Upper and Lower Peninsulas by transporting travelers . . . — — Map (db m131696) HM
When Patrick Sinclair moved Fort Michilimackinac from the mainland to Mackinac Island in 1780, he recognized the need for a saw mill to provide lumber for the new fort and adjoining community buildings. Sinclair granted private claim 334, . . . — — Map (db m138192) HM
Sixty-two miles of hiking and biking through northern Michigan
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources welcomes you to the 62-mile North Central Trail. This multipurpose recreational trail runs from Mackinaw City to Gaylord, and has . . . — — Map (db m214023) HM
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse was established in 1889. The fog signal went into
operation in 1890 and the tower and dwelling were completed in 1892 For over 60 years,
four generations of lighthouse keepers and their families lived at the . . . — — Map (db m214025) HM
This light is opposite the turning point for ships making the difficult passage through the Straits of Mackinac, one of the busiest crossroads of the Great Lakes. McGulpin's Point light, two miles to the west, had been established in 1856, but it . . . — — Map (db m40053) HM
In 1780 the British garrison at Fort Michilimackinac moved to Mackinac Island as a safer location during the American Revolution. Robert Campbell built a sawmill on this site to furnish lumber for the new fort and settlement. His sawmill and dam . . . — — Map (db m59978) HM
Mackinaw's weather is unpredictable because of the complex interaction of a peninsula of land jutting into the large volume of fresh water (84% of the North America's freshwater supply). The weather over the lake differs from the weather over the . . . — — Map (db m214256) HM
Perry Darrow was a special person in our community; wherever he went, he had a smile and willing hands to help anyone.
He was born in Kniffenville, a small settlement of Mackinaw City near Drydock Lake. His parents, Glen (Slim) and Bea . . . — — Map (db m140106) HM
The construction of railroads into Northern Michigan closely followed the lumbering industry. In 1881, the Michigan Central completed its line into Mackinaw, and the Mackinac and Marquette reached St. Ignace in the same year. To complete the . . . — — Map (db m138432) HM
When mankind took to the water, shipwrecks were inevitable.
As long as canoes and boats have sailed the Great Lakes there have been shipwrecks. Many have occurred in the Straits of Mackinac with its narrow channels, shoals, and harsh and . . . — — Map (db m131758) HM
The Algomah sank at the Cheboygan docks in July 1942 and was raised two years later. She was towed to Mackinaw City, filled with stone, and sunk to form the breakwall at the end of Shelpler's ferry dock. In 1947, Captain William Shepler, . . . — — Map (db m105883) HM
Since the beginning of the 20th century, two main roads brought tourists to Northern Michigan.
These roads were the East and West Pikes and they converged in Mackinaw City.
In 1915 the East Pike became part of the Dixie Highway, a series of . . . — — Map (db m125535) HM
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, two main roads, the East and West Pikes, brought tourists to Northern Michigan and specifically Mackinaw City. In 1915 the East Pike, US-27, became part of the Dixie Highway, a series of roads connecting . . . — — Map (db m213907) HM
Mackinaw's economy was originally built on the fur trade. When that faltered in the 1840s it was supplanted by fising, lumbering, and today's tourism.
The summer of 1871 was hot, dry, and windy, resulting in devastating fires across the . . . — — Map (db m140869) HM
The Meneely bell atop this tower helped guide the train ferries Chief Wawatam and Sainte Marie in foggy weather to the New York Central Railroad Dock in Mackinaw City.
The bell, cast in 1890 in Troy, N.Y., was in service until 1952 and . . . — — Map (db m138340) HM
Mackinac Bridge ends the car ferry era
November 1, 1957 marked the beginning of the end for the car ferry business in the Straits. After a 20-year battle to finalize the plans and finances, construction of the Mackinac Bridge began May 7, . . . — — Map (db m214017) HM
Before the railroads were extended to Mackinaw City in 1881, the Straits area remained isolated and its activities were limited to commercial pursuits such as lumbering and serving the expanding shipping industry. Once land routes were cut . . . — — Map (db m135209) HM
Mackinaw City is one of the windiest places in Michigan
Step aside, Chicago. Michigan is harnessing its wind to generate electricity in many locations throughout the state, including Mackinaw City. The eight wind turbines located at the east . . . — — Map (db m214019) HM
When the gales of November blow into Mackinaw City, its residents prepare for the long, hard winter that will bury the beautiful sand beaches in deep snowdrifts and freeze the Straits from shore to shore. Northern Michigan winters more closely . . . — — Map (db m135221)
These cannons are famous
Admiral David Farragut made these guns famous in the Civil War during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Tied to the mast of the USS Hartford to see over
the smoke the cannons created, he is quoted as saying "Damn . . . — — Map (db m216774) HM
In 1881, John M. Sanborn surveyed land owned Daniel McKillop and platted the village of Torrey. That year a post office opened here under the name "Wolverine." In 1882 the village was replatted as Wolverine. By the turn of the century, lumbering . . . — — Map (db m138106) HM
In the northern Lower Peninsula, the first railroads were built to move lumber from station to mill and from mill to cities. Later, their main business became moving passengers from one town to another. Many northern counties quadrupled their . . . — — Map (db m138120) HM
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment welcomes you to the 62-mile Gaylord to Mackinaw City Railway. The multipurpose recreational trail, which is 10 feet wide, has been upgraded to a surface of crushed limestone to provide a . . . — — Map (db m213612) HM