Mackinac and the Water Highway

Mackinac and the Water Highway (HM2LMU)

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Mackinaw City Historical Pathway

The strategic importance of the Great Lakes during the fur trade made Michilimackinac a well-known name throughout the world by all the superpowers of the time. Before trains and cars were invented, people of the Great Lakes traveled on the water. The waterways were the transportation highways and the Straits of Mackinac, centrally located between Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior, was a convenient gathering place — not unlike today's highway rest stop.

Indians in birch bark canoes, fur traders in tall-masted ships and tourists on board coal-powered steam boats plied these waters for subsistence, commerce and recreation. For centuries Native People traveled here to fish during the summer. Indians also used the narrow Straits as a bridge to cross from the Michigan peninsula when traveling to Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula and Ontario. For nearly two hundred years the Straits of Mackinac was the western hub of the upper Great Lakes fur trade connecting the fur-bearing regions of the west with the commercial centers of the east coast. After the Civil War, passenger boats loaded with summer vacationers steamed north through these waters bringing summer vacationers and health-seekers to the northern Michigan resorts, especially famed Mackinac Island.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31N E 166021 N 0
Decimal Degrees0.00000000, 0.00000000
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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