In about 1715, the French constructed Fort Michilimackinac (pronounced mish ele mack in aw) at the straits connecting Lakes Michigan and Huron in order to expand the fur trade further west. With the loss of the French and Indian War, aka the Seven Years War, the fort was handed over to the British. British policies were not as friendly toward the Indians as the French had been. In 1763, Ottawa chief Pontiac with his tribe and the Chippewas, Hurons, and Potowatomies attacked British outposts, taking every one in the west except Detroit and Fort Pitt. On June 1st, Indians captured Michilimackinac by surprise. A group of them were playing lacrosse near the gate and "accidentally" hit the ball inside. They entered the gate to retrieve the ball and captured the fort. Expeditions were mounted in 1764, but it took until 1766 for Pontiac to submit.
The British held the fort throughout the Revolution but in 1781 moved their post to Mackinac Island. These are various views of the reconstructed Michilimackinac.
Please also see:
Michigan Interactive Fort Map
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