A “Grand” Date in Michigan History

Mackinac Island became one of the nation’s favored summer resorts during the Victorian era. Vacationers arrived in large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit seeking the cooler weather on Mackinac Island. To accommodate overnight guests, boat and railroad companies financed the building of Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel opened its doors on July 10, 1887.

Perhaps the most noticeable first impression of Mackinac Island is the absence of automobiles. Mackinac Island is accessible only by boat or plane. Visitors and residents travel by foot, bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. There are only 600 year-round Mackinac Island residents. During the summer, there are more than 500 horses.

Today, Mackinac Island is widely known for its fabulous fudge.  Fudge devotees are known as “fudgies” – a term that is also synonymous with Northern Michigan tourists. Slab fudge, the most common style of fudge made on the Island, is made by pouring liquid ingredients onto large marble slabs for hand working. About 10,000 pounds of the creamy confection are made daily each season.

To learn more about Mackinac Island, please visit www.mackinacisland.org

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