Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mackinac Island - A small step back in time. Marker after Historical Marker!

So, we got there. Still dreary, but the day had promise.
Mackinac has no (barring emergency) motorized vehicles. It's all horses and bikes. I wonder if skateboards are allowed?? Now, Mackinac Island is the Island Time Forgot. If you look carefully at the picture above, you'll see it's not the Island Starbucks Forgot. Nope, Starbucks is here and trying to inflict it's little bit of Generica on the Island. But that's ok. Just don't open a Wal-Mart.

There are rather a lot of Michigan Historic Markers on the Island. the one below is the Executive Summary, I guess.
After walking down the street towards the fort, we happened upon the little building pictured below - the Missionary Bark Chapel

Below is a poorly taken photo of the inside. This re-constuction marks the time Fr. Claude Dablon spent the winter on the Island, doing missionary work.
On the other side of the street form the bark chapel is the Trinity Church - a tiny little construction. Which was closed when we were there.
The Historical Marker below gives the Church's history in better word than I can. I would have liked to get in there and see the hand-carved walnut altar.
And onto the State Park, which as far as I know is most of the Island, and does include the Fort
On the way up to the fort, we encountered a squadron of scouts marching down the hill. I've since learned that there is a scout camp up behind the Fort. Perhaps that could be something for another time with the boy.

Then it was onto Fort Mackinac. Below are some photos of the Island on the way up to, and in the fort. There's lots more stuff about the fort here on it's separate entry.

See how the weather cleared up over the day.

Below is the Grand, with the Mackinac Bridge in the background.

After traipsing around the fort for a handful of hours, we developed a decent hunger, and eventually ended up in Horn's Gaslight Bar - more on that here.

Then is was gift shops, Fudge Shops, and biking. We hire 4 bikes from one of the many bike vendors - two little ones for the kids, a 'mens' 18 speed for me, and a 'womens' 18 speed for her.

We done the round the island circuit - didn't attempt any hill as we had an 'inexperienced biker' with us. I was happy with the bike company too - we got back a bit in more than an hour and a quarter, but they rounded it down. I'm between two minds about whether to take our own next time.

Anyway, I didn't take too many pics from the bike and there really was nothing worth publishing so it's onwards from there.

We took a walk down Market Street

Below is the McGulpin House, believed to be one of the oldest on the Island. We didn't go in there as it was closed.
We also stopped by The American Fur Co. Store, which also houses the Dr. Beaumont Museum
The store was cool - and the kids asked the Guide, who was dressed in period costume all sorts of questions, and she answered most of them. She showed how cloth and material was sold there, allowed them to try on a beaver skin top hat, and displayed how stores from that era operated.

In the room next to the store was the Beaumont museum. In a nutshell, some dude got shot in the stomach, and some doctor dude used the hole in the dude's stomach to investigate how us human dudes handle food we swallow. Or, for the story written in a better way, see below:

We went to The Biddle house........
....where the Girl helped the demonstrator there to tease sheeps wool, to take in wood for the fire (we try to get her to do that at home..), sweep the floor (again..), and help with cooking. We also got to smell some garden herbs. all really nice.

Inside the kitchen in The Biddle House

As the sign below indicates, the building is old.
From the Biddle house, we went into the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, right next door. Lots of sparks and no photos.

Somewhere along the way, we seen the city buildings. As with everything on the island, they are in old style.

I wonder how many get arrested on the island and for what? Drunkenness or shoplifting maybe? Fudge theft?
I liked the Police Bike Parking Lot.Outside the courthouse is a marker, about a legal milestone that was reached in that very courthouse. Apparently one fisherman dude was in his house, and two other dudes started to tear it down. On sleeping good dude got hurt by the bad dudes, and the fisherman duded hollered "yo! quit or I'll pop a cap in yo behinee". The bad dude didn't stop, so fisherman dude fired off, killing the Bad Dude. The Police and Judge put the Fisherman dude in jail for manslaughter, doing hard labor. The Michigan Supreme Court dudes didn't like this, and said "yo, come on, the dude was just defendin his property. Let him loose". And they did.
Click on the picture below (to expand it) for the official story, but, I'm tellin ya, that's how it happened:

We walked on. The small memorial area was nice... pics below

There were some horses on Market Street. In fact there were some horses everywhere.
And on we walked, up the hill that would crescent at the Grand Hotel. On the way was Union Congregational Church
Small with Nice Windows. It's a popular wedding venue.
Outside a restaurant, we seen this tortoise (or is that turtle?) bronze statue. What is it and what's so French about it?
There was also the plaque above, about a former owner of the Grand Hotel

And above, The Grand Hotel. I have issues with it, more here....

Two more Markers
A nice picturesque alley, below.

And below, a native Lake Huron Colored Flying Shark, taking a leap to the sky.

And then it was back to the mainland!

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