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Welcome to the Mackinac County American Local History Web Page

Hello! Bonjour! Ahneen!

We are Terry Weller and Cindy Leutz and we are hosting the Mackinac County page of the American Local History Network. We would like to invite you to come walk with us on a tour into the past. If you are like us, whenever we get a chance to enjoy Mackinac County, we get the feeling of coming home. With it's rugged beauty, a unique county that claims shoreline on two of our five Great Lakes; Huron to the east and Lake Michigan to the west, it seems to embrace you in it's arms. With it's rich history spanning hundreds of years, we feel confident you will enjoy the journey. So come join us now, as we look at the Native Americans who were the first inhabitants of this land, the French fur trade, the voyageurs, the British, French and American armies that fought for control of the strategic location, the fishing, mining and freighter industries and the mix of cultures that call Mackinac County home.

Please feel free to sign our guestbook or email either of us from the contact link above. Our personal web pages are attached with genealogies and additional areas of interest. We look forward to hearing your comments. If you have a web site that may be of interest or pertains to Mackinac County please send us an e-mail for consideration. Thanks for taking the time to look at this site. Enjoy your visit!

Mackinac County History

Mackinac County was originally laid out under the name of Michilimackinac in 1818. There are two theories about the origin of the name. One indicates the word as a place of the Mishinimaki, an ancient tribe that inhabited the island and whose spirits still dwell there. The second refers that the word was the French interpretation of a Native American word that meant great turtle, the shape of the island from a distance.

Early Mackinac County comprised most the territory of Michigan and much of Wisconsin. As the years passed and people began to inhabit these areas, the size of the county eventually evolved into the permanent boundaries established today.
Today, the Mackinac Bridge spans over a turbulent strait. Three hundred and fifty years ago was the scene of the Europeans arrival in the America's Middlewest. It became the cradle of Northwest history at a time when the French controlled or claimed most of the region east of the Mississippi River from Louisiana to Lake Superior, known as New France. A stream of French explorers, adventurers, missionaries and fur traders venturing into an unknown wilderness, landed on its beaches. But the French found Michilimackinac, they did not establish it.


Mackinac County Links of Interest:


The presented links on the right, are specific points of interests within Mackinac County and about Mackinac History. The sites are in no particular order or importance. Whether you're interested in history, Native American studies, Great Lakes shipping and lighthouses, genealogy, the fur trade, or historic postcards there is something for everyone.
Enjoy your tour!

Quick Resource Links:


Mackinac County Clerk's Office

Mackinac County Clerk Information

State Library of Michigan

Luce-Mackinac County Genealogical Society

Luce County Michigan

French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan (FCHSM)

Mackinac Wilderness
Bois Blanc Island History
Horseshoe Bay
Mackinac State Historic Parks
Upper Peninsula History
National Register of Historical Places
Upper Peninsula Libraries
Michigan Historical Markers
St. Helena Island Lighthouse
A Family Day at Mackinac Island
Mackininac Trail / Carp River
Fiborn Quarry History
Bois Blanc Lighthouse
Tour Michigan U.P. Outhouses
Great Lakes Atlas and History
About Michigan
Father Jacques Marquette
Lighthouse Tour in Pictures
Strights of Mackinac - Interactive Map
Engadine Historical Society
The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents
Father Samuel Mazzuchelli
Canton Library
History of the Hog Island Country Store
Building the Mackinac Bridge


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News Events

Rendezvous at the Straits Pow Wow

Date: Saturday August 25th. through August 26th., 2012
Location: Father Marquette Memorial Grounds. St. Ignace, MI
Times: Starts at 10:00am. on Saturday. Grand Entry at 1:00pm.
The Powwow will go to about 8:00pm. into the evening.
Sunday's schedule is about the same and the event will start winding down around 5:00 p.m.

Researchers will be on hand to share their information on Great Lakes Metis Families.

Bring your stories, family photographs and research materials to share.

Details-- Open to the public & admission is $3.00/adult, $2.00/elders & students, and children 12 & under/free.

The Rendezvous is being sponsored by the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the St. Ignace Chamber Of Commerce, and the Michilimackinac Historical Society. For more information contact Darryl Brown at 906-984-2083.

*** Derusha family will be having a family reunion. There will be a PowWow. Oher families from the Mackinac area are encouraged to have family reunions. This is scheduled for August 19-26, 2012.

*** John Dutcher is holding a genealogy gathering to be held at the Cedarville High School cafeteria. Date: TBA

*** The Michilimackinac Historical Society is sponsoring a project through their new St. Ignace Heritage Center. So far we have donated the equipment to scan, print and archive photos, documents, etc., and to record and digital oral histories and that work is in beginning stages. I am proposing that we form a working committee to collect our rich area history archived and published for future generations. I have spoken with several individuals who are eager to help with the project, and it looks to me like there are many more who share this interest. It would be great to have help and a community project, then we can have a "show and tell" in the Heritage Center room at Fort de Buade during St. Ignace Heritage Week in August. Submitted by Mary Beth Powers

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