Thursday, August 7, 2014

So How'd We End up with Mackinaw Island? PLUS Giveaway!

by Debbie Lynne Costello

It's great to be back and as I promised to share some more about Mackinac. Mackinac the Island this time instead of the bridge. And no, Mackinac Bridge does not go to the Island it connects the two peninsulas. . As I mentioned last month the Island was named from Indians and called Michillimackinac because they thought the shape of the land resembled a turtle. Later the name was shortened to Mackinac pronounced MackinAW.

The straits around Mackinac Island were acquired by the British after the French and Indian war at which time the British built Fort Mackinac on the bluffs of the island to protect themselves against the native tribes and the French-Canadians. The straits and Island continued in Britian's hands through the Revolutionary War and it wasn't until 1783 with The Treaty of Paris that the United States acquired Michigan. However, it would take 13 years an another treaty to get the British to relinquish the territory and leave the soil.

BUT (don't you just hate that word sometimes?) 
that isn' the end of Mackinac's seesaw history because we went to war once again with Britain in 1812. And once again Britain took control of the Island. Try as we may to recapture Mackinac Island, I'm afraid we were unsuccessful. BUT (this is a good but) another treaty is signed, The Treaty of Ghent, and all British leave the Mackinac.

The Island was a resort for the wealthy and well-to-do of the Victorian age. They flocked to Mackinac Island in large boats out Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, and Buffalo to get relief from the summers heat and enjoy the cooler weather of local area. The Grand Hotel along with other hotels were built to accommodate the growing number of tourist. Much like today, they loved to shop and bring home souvenirs from their summer get-a-way, listen to music, dance to waltzes, and dine on fine food.

Just before the turn of the century many mid-westerners wanted to spend more
House of La Framboise
than just the weekend on the island so they built cottages along the east and west end bluffs. This encouraged the social life and soon people were doing all kinds of strenuous activities along the shores such as biking, tennis, hiking, and eventually golf.


Like all beautiful areas if not protected they will eventually be over run with people wanting their own little piece of the pie. The United States Government gave protection to Mackinac Island much like that of Yellowstone Park. 

To this day there are no motor vehicles allowed on Mackinac Island (other than those for official use). The only way to get to the island is by boat. People get around the by foot, bicycle, and horse drawn carriage. The Grand Hotel is still available for rooms and the fort still stands sentinel.  


I'm giving away a copy Sundays in Fredericksburg. Ask me a question or tell me something you know about Mackinaw Island to be entered. Giveaway ends August 9th at 12 p.m.


Debbie Lynne Costello is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. She attended Heritage University, where she studied Journalism and worked in the editing department.


She has a short story coming out in Guideposts 2014, Christmas Cup of Cheer. She has completed five full length novels set in Charleston and Savannah areas in the late 19th century along with one Medieval, and is now seeking homes for them.

She and her husband have four children and two grandbabies. They live in upstate South Carolina with their family, dogs, cat, Arabian horses, and miniature donkey.



Picture Sources: Michigan Military Records, Wikipedia, and pintrest

24 comments:

  1. I didn't know about Mackinac Island until recently... and I was amazed that there are no cars allowed there! It's definitely on my bucket list of places to visit :) Please enter me in your drawing!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Hey Heidi! Thanks for stopping by. Oh yes, Mackinac Island is definitely a must see. It's really a fun vacation. Be sure to ride bikes around the Island.
      Good luck!

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  2. Hi Debbie. I enjoyed this. The only things I know about Mackinac Island is what I've learned from you authors teaching me. I know you have to go by boat. I would love to visit there, but would need to rent a carriage. I can't walk very far now. Please put my name in for your book. I would love to be your winner. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. They may have carts or something now, Maxie. It's been years since I've been there.But a carriage ride is a must! Good luck!

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  3. Mackinac is a beautiful place. I believe they have over 200 hundred varieties of lilacs which they celebrate with a festival every spring.

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    1. OH my goodness! That is an awesome fact. One that I missed somehow. Thanks for sharing that Claudia. Good luck!

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  4. My parents have been to Mackinac, I think it would be very neat to go to a place where there are no cars allowed. Thank you for sharing your story and the story of Mackinac. Thank you for the chance to win. griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. Hey Angela! Thanks for stopping by. I loved sharing about Mackinac Island. Its a pretty place and quite fascinating history. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  5. Hi Debbie,
    I've never heard of this island before.
    Okay my question for u is today. Is there running water and Electicity on the island??
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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    1. Hey Danie. Great question! Yes, there is running water, Electricity and all the things we think we need these days except cars. Although there are vehicles that are used by Island personnel. Good luck in the drawing.

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  6. I love Mackinac Island! I grew up (and still live in) Michigan, but it has been so long since I have been up there! It was great reading all the history you gathered here. Something I learned about recently, thanks to another book set there (Jody Hedlund's Captured by Love--Great Book! Set during the war of 1812) is that at the Fort on the island, there is actually a pit dug into the ground that they would use as a torture/punishment of sorts akin to solitary confinement. The couple times I have been to the island, I have not visited the fort. But the next time I go up there, I plan to!
    dlkamstra(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for sharing that information. That is so interesting. I don't remember that, but it has been years since I was there. I'll have to make a point to check it out next time I go. Good luck!

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  7. Hi Debbie, thank you for your interesting post. I was wondering.....what is the best time of year to visit Mackinac Island? Thank you for the giveaway.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hey Melanie, That depends on what kind of weather you like. I like warm. VERY warm since I live in South Carolina. But if you go during the summer months you'll have beautiful weather. Spring will be cool and so will fall. Summer of course is your high traffic time with tourists.

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  8. Love this post! I live in Michigan and thus have visited the Island many times. It is such a peaceful place to explore. The summer is the busiest time, although lilac season is so worth going.
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hey Susan. I LOVE the smell of lilacs. I think they are one of the prettiest smelling flowers. Thanks for coming by and sharing! Good Luck.

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  9. Hi Debbie! I enjoyed your post and learning more about Mackinac Island and its history. I would love to visit this area one day! I learned a bit about the island recently while reading Jody Hedlund's Captured by Love. Although it is a work of fiction, many of the events and characters are based on the actual history of Mackinac Island. It is a captivating story!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for coming by Britney. I hadn't read Jody's book but I do love the Island. A wonderful place to visit.

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  10. I have never been to Mackinac but I did know they don't allow cars.. =) Sounds so quaint and is on my list of places to go. please put me in for the book. truckredford(at)gmail.com

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    1. Hey Eliza, Thanks for coming by. I hope you are able to visit someday, it's worth the effort. Good luck in the drawing.

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  11. Thanks for another great blog post about my favorite island! A lifelong resident of Michigan I've been to Mackinac Island many times, in fact my daughter and I were just talking about setting a date to head up there in September or early October. We love the cool days in Michigan, so after the tourist season is the perfect time for us to enjoy the island and all of the sights and activities. Great time to stock up on saltwater taffy made up there, and Mackinac Island fudge which is very well known! One of our favorite activities is taking a horse drawn wagon ride all around the island to various beautiful landmarks. Be sure to come back for a visit soon!
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  12. Hey Nancee! Thanks for sharing all the fun things to do at the Island. How fun to be able to take regular trips there. See for me coming from the south, fall is a wee bit too chilly up there. LOL But it all depends on what your body is used too.

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  13. Melanie Backus won Sundays in Fredricksburg!! Congratulations! You'll be receiving an email shortly from me.

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  14. I believe that there are no cars allowed and so you can bike around the island! This must be lots of fun!!! Is this island in Michigan? I don't know exactly where it is! Please enter me in the giveaway for your book!!! Good Luck to Everyone and God Bless You All#!!

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