MACKINAC ISLAND, MICH. — The American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum, McGulpin House, and British Landing Nature Center all open for the 2023 season Saturday, June 3.
The McGulpin House is a residential structure located on the corner of Fort and Market Streets and is a rare example of French-Canadian architecture that has been partially restored.
“It is the oldest structure of all our downtown buildings, constructed in the fall of 1791. We were able to determine that from a dendroarchaeological analysis done last year, and it is really a prime example of a regular family home on Mackinac Island,” said Jack Swartzinski, Interpretation Coordinator for Mackinac State Historic Parks.
The house will feature new exhibits for the 2023 season. “McGulpin House will feature a whole new set of exhibits with a lot more information,” Swartzinski said. “A lot more accurate information regarding the origins of the house and its importance to the history of the island.”
The McGulpin House isn’t the only exhibit that has had a recent facelift. “The Beaumont Museum (inside the American Fur Co. Store) actually just got a whole revamp in those main exhibit spaces just last year,” Swartzinski said. “So downtown we have brand new or relatively new exhibits.”
The American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum tells the story of how Fort Mackinac’s Dr. William Beaumont, with his sometimes unwilling subject Alexis St. Martin, was able to make strides in medical science, specifically within the study of the digestive system. The American Fur Co. Store is set up to look as it did in 1822, when the fateful accident to St. Martin happened, and features an interpreter daily.
The McGulpin House and American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum are both open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily beginning June 3 through August 19. Admission is included with either a Fort Mackinac or Historic Downtown Mackinac ticket.
The British Landing Nature Center, located where British Landing Road meets M-185, also opens for the season June 3. The nature center has information on the plants and wildlife that call Mackinac Island home. The center is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Restrooms at British Landing are open 24 hours.
Mackinac Associates, the friends group to Mackinac State Historic Parks, helped to fund the updated exhibits at both McGulpin House and the American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum. More information is available by clicking this link.
Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites—which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums—include Fort Mackinac, the Biddle House, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present the parks’ rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of future generations. Visitor information is available at (231) 436-4100 or online at www.mackinacparks.com.