The earliest forms of permanent dwellings appeared in the late 18th century when in 1781 Fort Mackinac was
completed. Prior to that time the island was inhabited by Native Americans, trappers and traders in the growing fur trade.
By 1838 Henry Rowe Schoolcraft had an Indian Dormitory built intended to house Indians during annuity disbursements. People
local to the area lived in modest homes. Employed in the fur trade, fishing and other forms of commerce, island residents
were a melting pot of French, Indian, Irish, Scotch and American. Some local families whose homes are pictured here are
Biddle and McGulpin. Compare these dwellings to that of contemporary Madame La Framboise whose elegant mansion is now a hotel.