Vintage Mackinaw City Photos, 1900-1960
People flock to Mackinaw City every year.
We can't help it.
We have to go there.
It's in our blood.
The past few generations of Michiganders are not unique in their love for Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. We've been going there for over 300 years.
Backtracking to the year 1634, Jean Nicolet came to this area to make peace with the Native Americans. Once the French had settled here, a trading post opened up in 1673, on the site that would become part of Fort Michilimackinac. The fort operated from 1712-1781.
Finally, Mackinaw City was platted in 1857 but it wasn't until 1871 when the village acquired its post office. When the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was laid through town in 1881, that's all it needed to make sure the village grew and prospered.
In the mid 1800s, Mackinaw City was already a mecca for tourists and the number of sightseers and vacationers kept growing each year. In 1875, Mackinac National Park was established and became the country's second national park, the first being Yellowstone. Camping at the park as well as ferries to St. Ignace and Mackinac Island kicked off between 1900-1907.
What is currently Mackinaw City's main source of income? Is it:
Nope.....Tourists. And a profitable income it is.
Okay, once and for all, why are 'Mackinaw' and 'Mackinac' spelled differently but pronounced the same? The name 'Mackinac' was first given to the island. The straits were spelled the same way. Then, years later, along came the city, located at the tip of the mitten. The reason why the city was spelled with a “w” is widely believed to be an attempt to make it easier for postal carriers to distinguish the two apart – to tell the correct place where the mail should be delivered. So the city was spelled the way it sounds. Now take a look below at a gallery of vintage photos from Mackinaw City's past!