Michilimackinac Historical Society
Fort de Buade Museum in historic downtown St. Ignace specializes in Native American and regional history. It features the area's largest collection of authentic Indian and military artifacts (nearly 2,500 items) from the pre-contact period and the eras of French and British occupation to the early American settlers. Also on display are the Newberry Tablet and statues (as featured on the History 2 Channel's "America Unearthed"), dioramas of daily life in the Michilimackinac area during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, and the moving Captured Spirits portrait exhibition.
For more than three centuries, the Straits of Mackinac has been a vitally important center for commercial and military activity in the Great Lakes region. Fort de Buade was built in 1683 by Olivier Morel de La Durantaye for the purpose of demonstrating the power of France to the Native Americans, and to check the westward expansion of the British, who were interested in the rich fur-trading region of the Great Lakes.
The fort was named for Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, the governor of New France, 1672 to 1682, and then again from 1689 until his death in 1698. It was one of the most important French outposts west of Montreal.
Fort de Buade was at one time known as Fort Michilimackinac, one of three forts in the area to bear this name. St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, and Mackinaw City make up the 'triangle of history' in the Straits region.
Fort de Buade is open Memorial Day through September.
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