Doing an extensive history on the Forts of Michigan would be time-consuming, exhausting, and never-ending. Therefore, this article is not a real Michigan Fort history, but just some nutshell info on these extremely historic relics.

Michigan forts were researched and are believed to have been around since the 1600s. Four forts have been verified:
Fort Miami in St. Joseph, from 1679 to 1680
Fort St. Joseph in Port Huron from 1686 to 1688
Fort de Buade in St. Ignace, from 1690 to 1701
Fort St. Joseph in Niles from 1691 to 1761

Many, many forts, installations, and arsenals have been located in Michigan and unfortunately, most of the historic ones have been sadly lost to time. Whether destroyed after serving their usefulness, burned down by the enemy, lost in the thick forests and underbrush, eroded by harsh storms along a Great Lake coastline, or just plain forgotten about…many of these still-undetected Michigan forts may still have remnants and/or foundations hiding somewhere, unseen by human eyes for the past few centuries.

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Early forts were constructed by settlers, not the military, and were used not just for protection, but as trading posts. These military forts were not only constructed by American settlers, but by the French and British troops.

Detroit had a good share of forts, as did the Mackinac/Mackinaw area, Sault Ste. Marie, Copper Harbor, Mount Clemens, many Michigan islands, Grand Rapids, St. Joseph, and Saginaw. Most remaining historic forts are used as tourist attractions, such as Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City and Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.

The gallery below shows a good number of old Michigan forts: some gone, some still around, some lost to time.

Michigan's Old Forts


Michigan Factory Workers, 1900-1930s

Michigan 5 & 10 Stores

Michigan Ice Houses and Delivery Wagons, Early 1900s


Plank Roads

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