“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in St. Ignace, Michigan

Clickable Map of Mackinac County, Michigan and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Mackinac County, MI (74) Charlevoix County, MI (16) Cheboygan County, MI (62) Chippewa County, MI (14) Emmet County, MI (92) Luce County, MI (1) Presque Isle County, MI (30) Schoolcraft County, MI (9)  MackinacCounty(74) Mackinac County (74)  CharlevoixCounty(16) Charlevoix County (16)  CheboyganCounty(62) Cheboygan County (62)  ChippewaCounty(14) Chippewa County (14)  EmmetCounty(92) Emmet County (92)  LuceCounty(1) Luce County (1)  PresqueIsleCounty(30) Presque Isle County (30)  SchoolcraftCounty(9) Schoolcraft County (9)
St. Ignace is the county seat for Mackinac County
St. Ignace is in Mackinac County
      Mackinac County (74)  
      Charlevoix County (16)  
      Cheboygan County (62)  
      Chippewa County (14)  
      Emmet County (92)  
      Luce County (1)  
      Presque Isle County (30)  
      Schoolcraft County (9)  
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1Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Ancient Anishinabe Path / Gete Anishinaabek Miikaan
Ancient Anishinabe Path The route that U.S. 2 follows today has served as an important transportation corridor from the earliest inhabitants of the Michigan Peninsulas to the present. When the Federal Highway System was established . . . Map (db m139359) HM
2Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Antique Railroad Bell
This antique railroad bell with its classic ring is frm a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive that was popular in the late 1880's in the hard rock mining & logging industries. Donated by Clarence "Clancy" Kalmer in honor of his parents Willis . . . Map (db m140059) HM
3Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Civilian Conservation Corps
By the 1930's, most of the Eastern Upper Peninsula's virgin forest had fallen under the axe and saw of the early loggers. Fires further ravaged the cut-over areas, leaving a barren landscape. Timber production plummeted just as the whole country . . . Map (db m139675) HM
4Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Commercial Fishing
The history of the Straits has always been interwoven with the fishing resources of the Great Lakes. The abundant stocks of fish were a food staple for the native people and early European traders and settlers. Commercial fishing expanded . . . Map (db m139547) HM
5Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — David B. Steinman — 1887 - 1960
Designer of the Mackinac Bridge, firmly believed that man made structures should be beautiful. From this vantage point it is clear that he achieved his goal. It is to his memory that this plaque has been dedicated. June 11, 1967Map (db m105763) HM
6Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Diving into History
Strewn across the bottomlands of East Moran Bay, particularly off this beach, are fascinating artifacts discarded from canoes, schooners, and steamboats for more than 300 years. Commerial vessels—from Indian and French canoes to modern . . . Map (db m139693) HM
7Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Father Marquette Park Kiosk
The Jesuits Black Robes of the Wilderness In the 17th century the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits) sent missionaries to the far reaches of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Roman Catholic order was founded in 1537 by the Basque priest, . . . Map (db m139445) HM
8Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — 98 — Fort de Buade
This fort was built by the French near here within a decade after Marquette had established his mission in 1671. Its name was that of the family of Frontenac, the French Governor for North America. Until Detroit was founded in 1701, this was the . . . Map (db m139604) HM
9Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — France at Mackinac
The French Come to the Straits The Straits of Mackinac has been a gathering place for hundreds of years. An abundance of whitefish, lake trout and sturgeon attracted Native people who established seasonal villages on Mackinac and Bois Blanc . . . Map (db m139634) HM
10Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Grave of Father Marquette
(Translation of Latin Text on Monument) In Memorium Erected by the citizens of St. Ignace in 1882, this monument marks the grave of Rev. Father James Marquette, S.J., who died on the eighteenth day of May, 1675, at the age of thirty . . . Map (db m139394) HM
11Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Michigan's Underwater Preserves
In Commemoration of the Thousands of Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Michigan’s Underwater Preserves. Great Lakes shipping played a significant role in the settlement and growth of Michigan and surrounding territories as early as the 1700s. Brutally . . . Map (db m154880) HM
12Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — L22 — Gros Cap and St. Helena Island
French fishermen who came to Gros Cap (on the shore below) early last century also participated in its offshore settlement, St. Helena Island, where ships obtained wood fuel and other supplies. There in 1850, Archie and Wilson Newton set up a . . . Map (db m104025) HM
13Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Heritage of Fishermen in this Area
The Great Lakes are known for delicious freshwater fish. Before the white man came, Native Indian tribes supplied their needs with fresh and dried fish from these lakes. Later, others joined in the fishing business, many of them from the . . . Map (db m130127) HM
14Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Huron Indians at St. Ignace
Some of the Hurons, who were driven from Ontario and the East by hostile Iroquois, finally found refuge in 1671 beside Marquette's new St. Ignace Mission. (Also called Huron Mission). They remained here with the French and Ottawas until 1701, when . . . Map (db m139395) HM
15Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Knights of Columbus Plaque
This church building, constructed in 1837, still stands because of the foresight and commitment of the St. Ignace Knights of Columbus. Originally built on South State Street, the Old Mission Church served St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Parish for . . . Map (db m139470) HM
16Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — 120 — Lake Michigan
This lake, the sixth largest in the world, was discovered in 1634 by Jean Nicolet, who explored this north shore to Green Bay but found no Orientals as the French in Quebec had hoped he would. The general size and outline of the lake was established . . . Map (db m4439) HM
17Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Mackinac Bridge, Michigan — National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
Designed by David B. Steinman, and representing a new level of aerodynamic stability in suspension bridges for its time, the Mackinac Bridge was the first suspension bridge to incorporate specific design features to manage the forces imposed on it . . . Map (db m105762) HM
18Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Mackinac County Soldiers & Sailors War Memorial
Erected by the Citizens of Mackinac County in honor of our Soldiers and Sailors and in appreciation of their sacrifice and service in the World WarMap (db m123992) WM
19Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — 82 — Mackinac Straits
Nicolet passed through the Straits in 1634 seeking a route to the Orient. Soon it became a crossroads where Indian, missionary, trapper, and soldier met. From the 1600's through the War of 1812 first Frenchman and Englishman, then Briton and . . . Map (db m101013) HM
20Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Mackinaw Boat
The Mackinaw Boat was a unique design of Great Lakes vessel developed by the French and based on the Indian design of the Birch Bark Canoe. It was characterized by identical tapered pointed ends, high sides, narrow beam and gaff-rigged sails. . . . Map (db m139662) HM
21Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Mackinaw Boat — Edith Jane
The loose term "Mackinaw Boat" originally referred to any small sailing craft used in the Straits of Mackinac. The rather flat bottom and shallow draft allowed Mackinaw Boats to be pulled up on the beach, making them an ideal work boat when . . . Map (db m139665) HM
22Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Michigan State Ferry — Saint Ignace Terminal — 1923-1932 —
Built and operated under the supervision of Grover C. Dillman, State Highway Commissioner, as a link of the State Highway System. Ferry service first opened -1923- under the supervision of Frank F. Rogers, State Highway Commissioner, 1913-1929. . . . Map (db m130090) HM
23Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Michilimackinac Cove
Famous landing place for 17th century adventurers, explorers, voyageurs, traders, coureurs de bois, soldiers and missionaries, who followed Indian routes to this shore; — Brule, Nicolet, Dablon, Marquette, Perrot, Jolliet, La Salle, Hennepin, . . . Map (db m139461) HM
24Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Mooring Facilities — St. Ignace Downtown History
The four large cylinder shaped structures that you see in place out in the bay are called "mooring dolphins". A dolphin is "a man-made marine structure that extends above the water level and is not connected to shore". These particular dolphins . . . Map (db m130123) HM
25Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Mooring Facilities — St. Ignace Downtown History
The four large cylinder shaped structures that you see in place out in the bay are called "mooring dolphins". A dolphin is "a man-made marine structure that extends above the water level and is not connected to shore". These particular dolphins . . . Map (db m139691) HM
26Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Native American Land Losses
Man, in search of game, first entered North America during the Ice Age by crossing the Bering land bridge that once linked present-day Siberia and Alaska. Beginning about 9,000 B.C., melting glaciers raised the sea level 300 feet, flooding the . . . Map (db m139661) HM
27Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Old Mill Slip
Michigan's huge, untouched forests once seemed inexhaustible. Virgin White Pine often were over 5 feet in diameter and 200 feet tall. The lumber era boomed in Michigan between 1880 and 1900. Giant trees were cut in winter and floated to . . . Map (db m139603) HM
28Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Ottawa Indian Village
Here on West Moran Bay, a large 17th century Ottawa village was directly connected by trail and water with Michilimackinac center on Moran Bay, Lake Huron. Both bays were named for Trader Morin whose post was at this settlement. The original burial . . . Map (db m104013) HM
29Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — People and the Great Lakes
The Past 10,000 years ago the last Pleistocene glacier retreated across this region, leaving behind the Great Lakes and their drainage basin. The first human inhabitants arrived soon thereafter, living off abundant game, fertile soil and . . . Map (db m139794) HM
30Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — 32 — Prentiss M. Brown, Michigan Lawyer, Mackinac Visionary — Michigan Legal Milestone
Prentiss Marsh Brown dreamed of what it would take to bridge the Mackinac Straits. He grew up in St. Ignace at the dawn of the 20th century and often gazed south across the Straits, a daunting stretch of cold, deep water. He could not know then . . . Map (db m105711) HM
31Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — South Tower Fog Bell
When the Mackinac Bridge was constructed, a bell was placed at the base of each tower to guide approaching vessels during poor visibility. In March of 1961, a fog horn was installed. The bells have been silent ever since. On April 24, 2002, the . . . Map (db m105681) HM
32Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — 41 — St. Ignace
Pere Marquette established in 1671 the Mission of St. Ignace. French troops soon after built Fort Buade. The state’s second oldest white village guarded the Straits while serving as the most important French fur post in the northwest. By 1706 both . . . Map (db m34970) HM
33Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — 92 — St. Ignace Mission
In 1671 the mission of St. Ignace was established so that the Christian message could be brought to several thousand Indians living on this shore. The founder was Father Jacques Marquette, the Jesuit missionary. In 1673 he left on his great journey . . . Map (db m139390) HM
34Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — State Ferries, 1923-1957
July 31, 1923 marked the beginning of a Straits ferry system, when the converted river boat “Ariel,” landed 20 autos at the St. Ignace center. Annual traffic increased to about one million cars, requiring 470 employees, new docks and a . . . Map (db m130095) HM
35Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — State Ferry Service
This dock and the auto ferries which landed here were once the Upper Peninsula's "highway" to lower Michigan. In the early 1900's, the few cars which reached the Straits crossed on railroad ferries, at a cost of $40 each! Better roads . . . Map (db m139782) HM
36Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Structures of Local Native Americans in the 1600's — St. Ignace Downtown History
One of the oldest archaeological sites in the country is located in St. Ignace at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture (across the street from here). The Huron village, which was located there, is believed to have looked like this in the 1600s. These . . . Map (db m139513) HM
37Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — The Chief Dock — St. Ignace Downtown History
The boardwalk on which you are standing is constructed on what is affectionately referred to by local residents as the "Chief Dock". It is the previous home to the Chief Wawatam (Wa-wa'-tem), a hand-fired, coal burning train-car ferry built by the . . . Map (db m130100) HM
38Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — The Chief Dock Kiosk
Panel 1 — The Life In the years when passenger trains were part of the train service, the Chief's crew consisted of 54 people including "hotel services staff." The Chief ran 24 hours a day. She could carry 348 passengers and had . . . Map (db m140007) HM
39Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — The Huron Longhouse
When Huron refugees settled on this site in 1671 they established a village similar to the ones they had built for centuries in lower Ontario, their homeland. The most striking feature in a Huron village is the very tall and very long bark . . . Map (db m139625) HM
40Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Two Cultures Meet
French traders established themselves in the Upper Great Lakes region after 1644 and were welcome among the Indians. They sought harmony with the native people, learning their language and respecting their customs. The French adopted useful . . . Map (db m139530) HM
41Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Voyage of Exploration
Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest, established a mission called St. Ignace here in 1671. In May of 1673, Marquette, Louis Jolliet and 5 other Frenchmen left St. Ignace in 2 canoes on an expedition to find the river known as the . . . Map (db m139514) HM
42Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — Watery Graveyard
The Great Lakes have swallowed up over 10,000 ships since the first trading ship was lost in 1679. Storm waves on the lakes are sharper than the roll and swell of ocean waves; a ship may not recover before being struck by another wave. Lake . . . Map (db m139590) HM
43Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — What's in the Water? — St. Ignace Downtown History
The dark debris along the shoreline of this sandy beach is actually tree bark that has washed ashore. How did the tree bark get in the water in the first place? From the 1870's to the mid 1900's, when the lumber industry was huge in Northern . . . Map (db m139492) HM
44Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — What's in the Water? — St. Ignace Downtown History
The dark debris along the shoreline of this sandy beach is actually tree bark that has washed ashore. How did the tree bark get in the water in the first place? From the 1870's to the mid 1900's, when the lumber industry was huge in Northern . . . Map (db m139511) HM
45Michigan (Mackinac County), St. Ignace — William H. Barnum — St. Ignace Downtown History
This rudder came from the shipwreck of the William H. Barnum, a wooden steamer lost April 3, 1894. While carrying a cargo of corn the aging Barnum was blocked and cut open by ice. No loss of life occurred. William H. Barnum Length: 218' • . . . Map (db m130126) HM
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Jul. 4, 2022