Its official nickname is The Wolverine State but perhaps it should be the Great Lakes State as Michigan has borders on four of the five, Lake Ontario being the exception. While Detroit in the south east is a big industrialised centre, we visited the west, north and Upper Peninsula which are mainly rural.
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Southwest Rowhouse, Colonial Michilimackinac
Close to the southern end of the Mackinac Bridge is Colonial Michilimackinac. The French had been present in this area since 1671 and in 1715 they set up a military outpost and fur trading centre here. After the French and Indian war of 1761, the British took over and ran it until they moved to the more secure Fort Mackinac in 1871. Fort Michilimackinac was then abandoned and demolished. Colonial Michilimackinac is a reconstruction of the outpost as it would have been in the 1770s under British rule
Fall foliage, Cut River, Upper Peninsula
The Upper Peninsula is the part of Michigan between Lakes Superior and Michigan. Until the Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957 this area was linked directly to the rest of Michigan only by ferry. It is a rural area with fine fall foliage in season. We were pleasantly surprised to find excellent Cornish Pasties here. They were brought over in the mid 19th Century by Cornish Miners who came to work in the iron and copper mines. The pasties have survived the test of time and unlike the English Muffin have remained true to their origins. (Note for American readers - the US ‘English Muffin’ was invented in New York in the late 19th century and bears no relation to traditional muffins from the UK).
Officers Stone Quarters, Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island
An island in a lake that formed the border between the British Empire and the USA inevitably has a military history. Fort Mackinac was set up by the British in 1781, but under the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War the whole area was assigned to the USA. Despite this, the British did not leave the fort until 1796 and they were back again in the War of 1812 when they took the Fort and held it until the war ended in 1815. The Fort was decommissioned in 1895 and has now been restored as a museum.
Fort Mackinac & horse drawn carriages, Mackinac Island
If you have explored much of this site you will have come across several places where time has stood still. On the small island of Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) it has stood still more than most as even cars are banned. Situated in Lake Huron close to where it joins with Lakes Superior and Michigan, it was originally a fur trading and fishing centre. Since the 19th century.the island has been a major summer resort, and concerns about the growth of the tourist industry on such a small island led in the 1920’s to the ban on cars.
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