September 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

 Imagine that it is September, 1893. Imagine that you live in the Straits of Mackinaw area without Twitter, Facebook and the nightly news to tell you what is happening throughout the world in real time. Go back in your imagination to a time when what you would do over the summer would directly impact whether you and your family would survive the winter. Think about the history you can experience by visiting the buildings of Heritage Village.

Our contemporary world has its own set of concerns and challenges. The stories from our past are lessons on survival and real adaptation. Supporting those stories is an opportunity for sharing our history with new generations.

If you have visited Heritage Village this summer, you have seen the creation of an exhibit illustrating the adaptation and transition of Anishinaabe culture into the fabric of European settler culture. A plank house – representing a domestic change from a nomadic lifestyle; a medicine wheel – speaking to spiritual beliefs held in secret; and a wigwam – illustrating a vestige of historic practice are in place to start conversations about a non-traditional, and often forgotten, oral history of native peoples ancestors who resided in this area for thousands of years.

We have had a year of ongoing events – participation in Triple Fright Night with the International Dark Sky Park and McGulpin Light house, the Cabin Fever Dinner, the Plowing of the Fields, the annual Historic Festival and a series of monthly talks about history and local culture.  We have also continued newer events – entertaining Road Scholar visits, holding the Fall Ghost Supper remembrance of ancestors, leading the Discovery Day Camp in partnership with the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council, and providing a traditional Sugar Bush illustrating Maple sugar processing, The Mackinaw Area Historical Society is working on a fiber optic project to connect Heritage Village and the Society to the vast resources of the Internet and expanding our ability to share our stories on social media.  We have prepared an exhibit on transportation in and across the Straits which will be installed in a new building on the waterfront in downtown Mackinaw City, extending our storytelling beyond Heritage Village.

All these pieces of our work require volunteers and donations that will sustain Heritage Village and the illustrative history it represents. Please support all the hard work of the Mackinaw Area Historical Society by becoming a member or continuing your membership. You make all this, and more, possible. And, thank you for all that you do as loyal supporters of our community and its history.

Catherine T. Freebairn, President and all the members of the MAHS Board of Directors            

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Mackinaw Area Historical Society

Fall 2017 Membership Letter