You may not always be able to make a trip to Mackinac Island when you want to, so we bring the island to you. Our 'Five Minutes on Mackinac' video series is ready to help you escape.
Here's 75 minutes of the sights and sounds of Mackinac from our YouTube Channel playlist!
Here's a direct link to the playlist:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WnsHcusE_k&list=PL98GXUfKK-jYk8Pql3-r889g3UGZE4a6N
You can watch all our Mackinac Island videos on our YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/MackinacIslandBlog/videos
Thanks for watching!
Fort Holmes, the highest point on Mackinac Island, had been a strategic location for the military during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Built by the British and named in honor of King George, the fort was later turned over to the United States in 1815. It was then named Fort Holmes, in rememberance of Major Andrew Holmes who died in battle on Mackinac Island the previous year.
The fort decayed over time, but in 1937, as part of The New Deal, the Progress Works Administration (WPA) rebuilt the fort to it's original appearance.
A film crew documented WPA projects around Michigan and the Fort Holmes project was part of the hour-long documentary. The film is now part of the Public Domain collection within the National Archives.
I have edited the video below so it features just the Mackinac Island portion of the film. The video includes some scenes of Fort Mackinac and the downtown district, likely in early 1937 before moving to the Fort Holmes laborers hard at work.
If you haven't made the trip to Fort Holmes, here is what it has looked like more recently:
In 2013, Mackinac State Historic Parks announced the reconstruction of Fort Holmes to it's original appearance, along with interpretive exhibits for visitors.
While most visitors will never see Fort Holmes, I hope those that do will now not only enjoy one of the best views on the island, but see another part of Mackinac Island's history come to life.
In a continuing series this summer, I'm featuring guest bloggers who are sharing their experiences and insights on Mackinac Island. Our second guest blogger, Brenda Horton, who writes her own blog, Bree's Connecting the Dots has graciously shared some of her favorite little secrets about the island with us. Thank you, Brenda!
Returning to Mackinac Island as a vacationer - instead of a home owner - happened to the Horton clan a couple of weeks ago for the first time in six years.
I found myself taking notes on what felt different about the trip, since we could no longer answer the oft-asked question, "Where are you staying on the island?" with "Oh, we have a condo here." It embarrasses me to admit I loved saying that and watching visitors' eyes widen with wistfulness; but I can say it without guilt because before we bought on the island, my eyes widened the same way when we'd meet someone who owned Mackinac property. I'd be - in turn - awed, wistful, and OK - downright jealous.
But . . .those days are gone, and we're slowly adjusting to our new normal (sigh). We are once again visitors/vacationers/fudgies/tourists (well, OK, we're not fudgies). We check in and out of wherever we're staying just like 95% of the other visitors to Mackinac. And that's fine because, after all, where you put your head down on the pillow at night is not what's important on Mackinac Island. What's important is that you "get it", and if you "get" Mackinac, it doesn't matter if you're there for a day trip, a week-long vacation, a month, or a season.
My husband Ted and I learned many years ago that to truly experience Mackinac you have to get off the two main streets and go up into the island. You need to get yourself a map from the Tourism Bureau and explore all the trails - even those with funny names - like Morning Snack,…Continue
UPDATED JUNE 2: In Part One of my list of the top things to do on Mackinac Island, I listed several familiar island activities. In this installment, I'll include more, along with a few that some of you may not be familiar with - sort of 'off the map' sights that I enjoy. Mackinac Island has more to offer if you're willing to venture off Main Street and explore sights most visitors never see.
A good map is a necessity and fortunately the Tourism Bureau Office has a great map that is quite detailed, printed on glossy paper and best of all - is free. Download the map, or pick up a copy and you will be well on you way to locating some of the real treasures of the island.
Trails and paths are generally well marked and accessible by foot or bike, though some of these are foot trails only including Pontiac Trail.
Be sure to take your cell phone and map with you when venturing away from town and remember that homes on the island are private property, unless indicated otherwise.
Here are my picks, part two!