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7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park -- Mackinaw City Michigan by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Mill House at Old Mill Creek in Mackinaw City Michigan

If you're planning your next visit to a place this is not only historic, but beautiful, and you love 18th century destinations, add Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City. This is part of the Michigan State Parks, specifically the Historic Mackinac Parks. We purchased a summer pass this past summer so that we'd have admission to multiple locations for research (and enjoyment!) If you've got kids with you, or adventurous adults, they even have zip lines here and hiking trails.

As indicated on the sign above, Robert Campbell built the first sawmill in Michigan here near the Straits of Mackinac and aided the British in supplying lumber to build Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island. There is also a house on the site, representative of the miller's home during this time frame and beyond (look for a future post).

When you arrive at the park, you'll enter via the store. I'd been bringing my heroine Maude around to visit various and sundry places in the area while I was up North all of July. Above is a picture of the fun employees at the store who posed for a picture with her -- wink wink! (The cover of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring.)

You'll want to find out when their historian will be speaking and take a bench to hear his fascinating discussion of Mill Creek.


After the initial presentation you'll go inside the Mill House. Again, the historian will tell you more history but also demonstrate how the saw works. The blade is really huge, see below!


Below is a brief video clip. Since my great-grandfather and other family members were some of the lumberjacks who cut down some of the great white pines, I cringed a little during this part of his speech!


You'll be instructed to go outside to see how the wheel works. It makes a beautiful sound. 



Also on the property are many plaques which explain types of sawmills and the engineering behind them. Allow plenty of time to read these, and observe the demonstrations at the Water Power Station.
This area of the park explains about the types of wheels and how they work to generate energy to power the sawmills. Below is one of the displays.
Question: Have you visited Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park -- Mackinaw City Michigan? Would you like to? Were you surprised that the miss was operational as early as 1760?


Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. is the Administrator of the Colonial Quills blog and author of RT Book Reviews Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring. She enjoys history, research, and travel which comes in handy for coming up with her own pictures for many of her blog posts on Colonial Quills. 

10 comments:

  1. I love old mills! Saw mills & grist mills all powered by water. They are amazing.

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    1. It's pretty cool to think this is how it was done back in the day. We've visited several mills, Andrea. One of my favorites had the huge mill stone in it. I used that information in one of my stories.

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  2. Very interesting post Carrie, thank you for sharing. Wow, that's a big saw! I'll have to show Russell that saw, as he was the saw person where he worked.

    There is the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, TN...since the 1800's, a water-powered grist mill, there are posters with historical information around the Old Mill store below the Old Mill Restaurant. Products ground at the mill are used at the Old Mill Restaurant. We try to eat there when we are in Pigeon Forge.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. Yes, it is a huge saw, Tina. It was a little scary! We haven't been to Pigeon Forge (yet!) but that sounds interesting!

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  3. Very interesting. I would love to visit here. My daughter and family loved their visit there. ❤️

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    1. Hi Leila! It's a lovely location and the historian is excellent.

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  4. Thanks for sharing, Carrie. I shall have to remember to visit when I someday get back to that lovely area!

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    1. It's a great pack for the whole extended family, Betti! Thanks for coming by!

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  5. Loved reading this fascinating post! I definitely want to plan a trip some day to go to Mackinaw Island.

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    1. If you make it up to Mackinac Island, be sure to stop in Mackinaw City to take in the Historic Mill Creek Park!

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