Stateside
9:34 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Mackinac Island was site of a major battle 200 years ago

Fort Mackinac during the War of 1812
Credit User: PhilFree / Wikimedia Commons

The War of 1812 is famous for the Star Spangled Banner, Admiral Perry’s "We have met the enemy and they are ours.” But, really, not a lot of people know much about that war. Michigan and the Great Lakes were key battle sites between the fledgling United States and the British. The River Raisin near Monroe, Michigan was site of a major battle.

And August 4th marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Mackinac Island.

Craig Wilson is the Museum Historian for the Mackinac State Historic Parks. He joined us to talk about why Mackinac was an important strategic site worth fighting for during the war.

“It’s important to remember that Mackinac Island was the center of the upper great lake. It had a very important role to play in the fur trade, which drove the economy in the entire region."

"But more importantly," Wilson added, "both the Americans and the British realized whoever controlled Mackinac Island had at least some influence amongst the Native American people of the Great Lakes.”

During Aug.1 to Aug.4 of this year, the Mackinac Historic Parks will host events that bring the battle back to life, including a reenactment at the exact hour that it occurred 200 years ago.

*Listen to the story above.