The last few times I’ve mentioned Mackinac Island it has been in regards to the island’s roll in the Anglo-American War of 1812, from its initial capture at the opening of the conflict, the fort’s rich history dating back to the American Revolution, and the failed attempt at its recapture by American forces in the summer of 1814. My second trip was less about the history and more about capturing the island’s beauty and showing off one of my favourite locations to my beautiful wife. Our journey started of course on the mainland, grabbing the 9-o’clock ferry across to the island which happened to be one of the under-the-bridge departures. It also gave me a good vantage point to capture the Round Island Lighthouse. The light, having been built in 1895 operated with a crew of three men until 1924, an upgrade at that point to an automated signal reduced the staff to a single man, a modern signal between Round Island and Mackinac Island in 1947 saw the shut down of Round Point.
Of course, one of our first stops on the island was for coffee as the sludge at the hotel could only be called an affront to coffee. Much to Heather’s delight a Starbucks recently opened on the island proper. From there it was a long hike up the hill to Fort Mackinac. Unlike the last time I was here, I had no schedule or a long trek across the island so I was able to fully explore the fort. Checking out the original blockhouses and stone officer’s quarters. The Post Hospital which was Heather’s favourite as we learned how medical treatment thrived at the post and allowed for several major breakthroughs of the day were made here at the fort. And what impressed me was that all the medical information was brought full circle and included modern context and explanation as well as what had been done in the 19th-Century.
From the fort, we took in a quick lunch break before proceeding along the island’s main street. We had no desire to walk the perimeter, so we decided to stick along the shoreline of the island’s community taking in the beautiful Victorian-era homes that still serve as summer residences, inns, as well as bed-and-breakfasts.
Heather and I made it out to Old Mission Point before turning around and heading back, we were not in any mood to navigate the island’s perimeter, so it was time to head on back to the main street check out the final building accessible to us on our Fort Mackinac tickets before settling down for a treat and a cold drink.
But with the day wore on the number of people on the island actually increasing as we drew closer to mid-afternoon we decided to make our way back to the mainland to rest up a bit before grabbing dinner in Mackinaw City. Maybe when we return to the island we’ll splurge a little more and stay in one the great island hotels for the night. Fifth wedding anniversary maybe?
If you want to see the whole set of images I took on the island you can view the album on my Flickr Site.