|McGulpin House c. 1780, Mackinac Island|
So often we overlook some of our late-comers to America, prior to the American Revolution. One such place was the area now called Michigan. Fort Michilimackinac was on the Mackinaw City side of the straits and became part of the British territory after the French-Indian War. The fort moved to Mackinac Island as the American Revolution continued, with the Mackinaw City fort being less defensible than one on the island.
One fascinating house on present-day Mackinac Island is the McGulpin House. There are many theories as to who the original house belonged to (click here for Michigan State Parks post.) With the purchase of admission to Fort Mackinac and Fort Michilimackinac you are also allowed entry to the McGulpin House. The day I visited, a lovely Girl Scout cadet from the Detroit area was responsible for visitors.
One of the things I enjoyed most was where part of the exterior wall (of newer origin) was removed to show the original building and was covered with glass. As you can see from the photograph, beneath the clapboard exterior is a log cabin. Given the age of the cabin I would guess its construction to have been of cedar, which is readily available in the area. (My great-grandparents' log home is part of the Taquamenon Logging Museum and is made of cedar, also.)
Here's a view of the layers of the interior of the McGilpin home as well:
Although the style of the home is referred to by Wiki as French-Canadian working class, the original log cabin structure greatly resembles those built in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia during that time period.
Surrounding the McGuilpin property is a fence that should keep out intruders and keep animals inside.
The island is full of hundreds of varieties of lilacs, all of which scent the air with a beautiful scent. One can almost imagine being an 18th century Frenchwoman living on the newly-occupied Mackinac Island. My research for my manuscript, set on Mackinac Island, truly could not have been any sweeter!