200 Years of History, City of Mackinac Island Celebrates Bicentennial

A Northern Michigan iconic island celebrating 200 years of history, Mackinac Island is celebrating their bicentennial Friday.

The official island government was created 200 years ago.

9&10’s Aaron Parseghian has more on the anniversary and why the island’s history is so important.

“History is a part of what makes Mackinac so special,” said Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter.

Two centuries ago an agreement was made forming the first governmental body on Mackinac Island.
“The first meeting was held in 1817 and it was called the borough of Michilimackinac. It’s been 200 years of a partnership between the city of Mackinac Island and the state park,” said Mayor Margaret Doud.

A bicentennial for a city where history is very much still alive.

“We have the preservation of historic ambiance on Mackinac Island we still have narrow quaint historic streets, we don’t have stop signs, we don’t have stop lights, we have horses and we have carriages,” explained Porter.

For first-timers coming ashore it’s like taking a step back in time.

“It’s just really cool to see how such a small little island is kind of important in its own little big way,” said Cassidy Thompson, who was visiting the island.

“I love the atmosphere of the place, it’s like stepping in the past,” said Justin Sells.

Something the government here has worked on preserving since the early 1800’s.

“We try to keep Mackinac when you get off the boat you are stepping back in time,” added Mayor Doud.

Today, a celebration for the island that runs on history.

“There aren’t a whole lot of cities in the state of Michigan that can celebrate a bicentennial anniversary and the city of Mackinac Island is one of them. We not only have this rich history, but as you look around you can find a lot of remnants, celebrating it in the midst of preservation,” added Porter.

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