Michilimackinac and Pontiac’s Rebellion

The Fort and the Bridge

The Fort and the Bridge, photo by Joel Dinda

Mackinac State Historic Parks page on Colonial Michilimackinac says that:

French soldiers constructed the fortified community of Michilimackinac on the south side of the Straits of Mackinac in 1715. The community grew and prospered over the coming years as Michilimackinac became an important center of the Great Lakes fur trade. Every summer, thousands of Native Americans and French-Canadian voyageurs gathered at the post, which served as transfer station for furs trapped in the western Great Lakes and trade goods shipped in from eastern cities such as Montreal and Quebec. Michilimackinac came under British control in 1761, but the fur trade and community life remained relatively unchanged.

Fearful that the post was vulnerable to attack by American rebels, the British disassembled the fort and community and moved it to Mackinac Island in 1779-81.

One factor in the move may also have been an event that happened 252 years ago on June 2, 1763. The fort was captured by Ojibwa & Sauk warriors who gathered to play a huge game of baggatiway. Elizabeth Edwards of Traverse Magazine wrote a great article about the massacre that begins:

Under an unusually hot sun on a late spring day on the Straits of Mackinac, British Major George Etherington, commandant of Fort Michilimackinac, was suffering from an acute case of cultural blindness. And there was no excuse for it. Relaxed at the sidelines of a rousing game of baggatiway (similar to lacrosse) outside the fort, the major should have seen the danger signs in this Ojibwe versus Sauk contest of sweaty, half-naked bodies painted with white clay and charcoal.

The 30-year-old officer was born in the colonies, and most likely grew up on stories of Indian uprisings. He’d even served in the just-ending French and Indian War, in which the English had wrested control of North America from the French—a victory that had put this previously French fort in Etherington’s care. Though the major had been raised on American soil and had fought on it, he was still English. And in that country, a battle was a battle, and a sporting event was a sporting event.

Perhaps that explains why the major missed the clues…

Read on for much more at Traverse, and you can also watch a video on Pontiac’s Rebellion from the History Channel or jump right to the story.

Joel adds that almost every building at Colonial Michilimackinac is a reconstruction, with only two or three minor exceptions. View his photo background bigtacular and see more from the fort and surrounding area in his Straits of Mackinac slideshow.

Bridge to the North

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge, photo by Dan Moran

If you want to call this the world’s most beautiful bridge, you’ll get no argument from me.

View Dan’s photo background bigtacular and settle into his slideshow for a couple more amazing shots from Michigan. Then – because everyone needs a vacation every so often – keep watching for some jaw-dropping pics from Alaska. Seriously: wow, wow, WOW.

There’s lots more winter wallpaper and lots more of the Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!, photo by Spring Disney

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
~Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s hoping for health & happiness for all of you, but also a mistake or two as the incomparable Mr. Gaiman prescribes.

Spring Disney shared this photo from Elizabeth Park in Trenton for the 2011 New Year. View it bigger on Flickr and see more (including some absolutely stunning owl photos) in her My Favorites slideshow.

More bridges and more New Year on Michigan in Pictures.

Over the River…

Wintry Seven Bridges

Wintry Seven Bridges, photo by Heather Higham

AAA Michigan reports that about 1.5 million Michiganders are heading over the river and through the woods for the Thanksgiving holiday. The good news is that gas prices are the lowest since 2009 – down 40 cents from last year. The bad news is another weather system that’s dropping freezing rain & snow, closing schools and

View Heather’s photo bigger and see more in her Rivers slideshow. She took the photo at the Seven Bridges Natural Area near Kalkaska.

There’s more rivers and more bridges on Michigan in Pictures.

Fall Color at the Cut River Bridge

Cut River Bridge

Cut River Bridge and Fall Color, photo by Manistique Michigan

The page on the Cut River Bridge at Historic Bridges begins:

Among Michigan’s largest and most well-known historic bridges is the iconic Cut River Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This bridge is large enough that MDOT actually has maintained this bridge as an area attraction. Surrounding the bridge is a roadside park and a series of trails around the bridge. The intent to make this bridge something more than just a crossing goes back before this bridge’s status as a historic bridge to its initial construction. The bridge was designed as an attraction even when it was built, since sidewalks above the bridge in this rural area are present. Also, a set of stairways, part of the original design, take pedestrians under the bridge where they can view the supporting trusses. The abutments and piers were also given unusually exceptional detail, in particular the use of decorative stone facing. The two main piers give the appearance are attractive cut stone arches.

The bridge includes a total of 888 tons of steel and its height over the Cut River is 147 feet. It offers views of Lake Michigan from its deck. The bridge was originally painted a silver color, but is today painted green. This bridge is a steel deck cantilever truss bridge. This structure type is much more common in more hilly states like Pennsylvania, but is extremely rare in Michigan. The structure has visual complexity as a result of the extensive lattice and v-lacing on its riveted, built-up members, which are all very massive, typical for both a bridge of its size and its age. The bridge retains original standard-plan metal guardrails (Michigan’s “signature” type R4 railings) on the sidewalks that flank the roadway on each side. It also retains standard Michigan State Highway Department plaques.

Read on for lots more about this bridge that was constructed in the early 1940s. If you do make it to Cut River, do yourself a favor and hike down – it’s very cool!

View the photo bigger and see lots more autumn splendor at the Manistique Facebook page. and learn about the community at Manistique.com.

More bridges on Michigan in Pictures!

 

#TBT: Frozen Straits

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge, photo by Mark Miller

OK, we’re not throwing back too far for this Thursday, but I wanted to share a really cool view that Mark took this February of the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac locked in the grip of the Polar Vortex.

View his photo bigger and see more great views of Michigan from above in his Aerials slideshow. You can also see one of his aerial photos of the Straits from last August on Michigan in Pictures.

There’s more aerials and more Mackinac Bridge on Michigan in Pictures!

Sunset for the Ambassador: New Bridge Plan Coming Today

This is Ambassador Bridge - connects the USA and Canada.( a view from Detroit side). Picture taken during the "blue hour" Please enjoy the view the way I did.

This is Ambassador Bridge…, photo by MaRia Popi Photography

Sunset, or at least twilight has arrived for the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. The AP is reporting that there’s now a deal for the long-discussed bridge between Detroit & Windsor:

Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder have called a news conference Wednesday about the planned new $2 billion bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Snyder’s office said Tuesday that Raitt and the governor “will make an announcement regarding the New International Trade Crossing” at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Canadian Club Heritage Center in Windsor.

The governor’s and transport minister’s offices declined immediate comment Tuesday on the nature of the announcement.

Michigan and Canadian leaders have agreed to build the bridge over the Detroit River between Windsor and Detroit’s southwest side.

Officials say Canada would finance construction of the bridge, which would open in 2020.

Definitely view Maria’s photo background bigtacular for the full impact and see more in her Detroit slideshow.