It served a strategic position as a center on the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade.This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War.
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It was the site of two battles during the War of 1812.
In the late 19th century, Mackinac Island became a popular tourist attraction and summer colony.
Native Americans in the Straits of Mackinac region likened the shape of the island to that of a turtle so they named it "Mitchimakinak" (Ojibwe: Michillimackinac is also spelled as Mishinimakinago, Mǐshǐma‛kǐnung, Mi-shi-ne-macki naw-go, Missilimakinak, Teiodondoraghie.
The Menominee traditionally lived in a large territory of 10 million acres extending from Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Dablon's fall 1671 successor, the missionary and explorer Jacques Marquette, moved the mission to St. With the mission as a focus, the Straits of Mackinac quickly became an important French fur trading location.