More Vintage Mackinac Island Photos: 1899-1950
To a Michigander, a summer just ain’t a summer without a trip to Mackinac Island. I used to go up every summer, throughout the 70s and 80s. I’d try to get up there in June, when the Lilac Festival was on.
Luckily, one of those times I was there, they happened to be shooting the film “Somewhere In Time” starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. We actually got to watch them shoot a few scenes at the Grand Hotel. I was walking up one of the back roads toward the Grand Hotel, when who should come riding toward us on bicycles? Christopher Reeve and his then-girlfriend, Gae Exton. I wasn’t aware it was him until he was right in front of us. I remember he looked me straight in the eye and kept pedaling. Nope, no time for an autograph. Well, I wasn’t gonna pull him off his bike for one, obviously.
Mackinac Island is the result of the last Ice Age. When the glaciers melted around 13,000 BC, the Great Lakes were formed, leaving a slew of islands all through and around the Straits of Mackinac. So when did humans start inhabiting the island? Artifacts have been unearthed that show Native Americans lived on the island as far back as the year 900.
The Grand Hotel was constructed in 1887 and remains the largest summer hotel in the world. Many famous people throughout the last 100+ years have stayed here: Mark Twain, John F. Kennedy, Madonna and many others.
With more and more tourists visiting year after year, why were automobiles banned, since it hindered traveling throughout the island? Automobiles were still in their infancy when they were banned from the island in 1898. These new-fangled machines kept spooking the horses. So as an alternate mode of travel, visitors were encouraged to ride bicycles, horses, or horse and buggies. To this day, the highway that encircles the island is the only one in the United States that bans vehicles.
The caves, rocks, a handful of historic graveyards, trails, ghosts, Fort Mackinac, fudge, crystal clear waters - and hidden discoveries awaiting you in the thick woods - are all here. Don’t let the year go by without a visit.
Here’s another look back to the olden days of Mackinac Island in the photo gallery below! (When finished, come back and check out the first gallery HERE.)
More Vintage Mackinac Island Photos
MORE NORTHERN MICHIGAN!