Fort Michilimackinac (2)

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Fort Michilimackinac (2) (1712-1780) - Established by the French in 1712 to protect the straights of Mackinac and serve as a fur trading post. Located in present-day Mackinaw City, Emmet County, Michigan. The fort was peacefully taken over by the British in 1761 near the end of the French & Indian War. Hostile Indians massacred the British garrison in 1763. The British garrison returned in 1764 and stayed until 1780 when the fort and garrison were moved out to a new Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island. Fort Michilimackinac was abandoned in 1780.

Fort Michilimackinac Water Gate and Kings Storehouse
Fort Michilimackinac Commanding Officer's Quarters
Fort Michilimackinac Northeast Bastion
Fort Michilimackinac Parade from the Northeast Bastion

Early History

Fort Michilimackinac French Guardhouse

The French built the first Fort Michilimackinac in 1712 as a part of a trading operation on the south side of the Straits of Mackinac in present-day Mackinaw City. The fort initially consisted of just a few buildings surrounded by a log palisade about 150' square. By the 1740s the fortifications had expanded inside a pointed log palisade that was roughly 301 to 338 feet on a side. Numerous log interior buildings were constructed inside the palisade with four blockhouses, one at each corner, and two armed gates on the palisade. Six iron cannon were emplaced to protect the fort.

French & Indian War (1754-1763)

Fort Michilimackinac Mounted Cannon

Fort Michilimackinac remained in French hands until it was peacefully taken over by British Captain Henry Balfour in May 1761 as the French & Indian War was winding down.

Pontiac's War (1763-1764)

Fort Michilimackinac Magazine

A small British garrison (35 men) remained at the fort until 1763 when an uprising of hostile Indians during Pontiac's War captured the fort and massacred most of the garrison. This uprising also resulted in the capture of Fort Sandusky, Fort Saint Joseph (2), Fort Miami, and Fort Ouiatanon. Fort Detroit and Fort Pitt (1) were besieged but escaped capture. The British re-garrisoned the ruined post on 22 Sep 1764.

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

Fort Michilimackinac British Trader House and Piquet House

The British remained in control of Fort Michilimackinac through most of the Revolutionary War. By 1780 the fort commander, Major Patrick Sinclair, decided the risk of capture by Colonel George Rogers Clark was too great to remain. Major Sinclair obtained permission and moved the fort and all allied persons out to Mackinac Island and established Fort Mackinac. Fort Michilimackinac was abandoned in 1780.

Current Status

Fort Michilimackinac Commanding Officer's Quarters Display
Fort Michilimackinac Cannon Firing

Must See! Part of Fort Michilimackinac State Park, Mackinaw City, Emmet County, Michigan, restored to how it looked in the 1700's. Display cannons and mounts. Cannon and musket firings scheduled daily. Excellent display of archeological findings in the magazine.

Location: : Fort Michilimackinac State Park, 102 W. Straits Avenue, Mackinaw City, Emmet County, MI 49701

Maps & Images

Lat: 45.786518 Long: -84.735623

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 584'



Visited: 29 Aug 2013

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