In 2003 a committee was formed by the Mackinac County Economic Development Commission to study the impact of history and historic sites on the local economy. The members of that committee were Jim North, Mark Mercer, Cheryl Schlehuber, and Jennifer McGraw.
Word spread of the committee’s work and there was a great deal of interest. Soon the committee members included those above and Wes Mauer, Barbara Brown, Ollie Boynton, Don McKinnon, Keith Massaway, Cynthia Oliver, Paul Grondin, and Gary Caulkins. Others asked to join.
It was determined that there was enough interest to reinstate the corporate status of the Michilimackinac Historical Society which had disbanded in the 1980s. Keith Massaway undertook that project.
In the fall of 2004 the first membership meeting was held and over 80 people attended. Soon after the group held it’s first election and Keith Massaway became the first president. Initial goals included creating a repository for artifacts and documents and finding some way to save the Fort de Buade Museum.
Projects to date have been numerous besides the Fort de Buade which is our shining star. Those projects include writing and publishing the St. Ignace Historical Walking Tour booklet, publishing 2 books – The Company and the Community by Patricia McCreary and the Reminiscences of David Corp, various educational programs including walking tours and cemetery tours, donating books to the St. Ignace library to fill out their Michigan history section, sponsoring genealogy workshops, education on Native American culture, and book signings, researching and gathering oral histories and genealogy, collecting historic photos, and a general exchange of historical information and brainstorming on how to better educate the community and visitors to the community about this information.
Our future goals include Chief Dock restoration, converting space at the museum for a family history room, and preparing a history of the outlying areas of St. Ignace.