If you were to guess where Michigan's oldest building is, a few places might come to mind. St. Ignace and Marquette were both settled in the 1670s. Detroit was settled in 1701. But apparently, no original buildings remain in those cities because the oldest building in the state is located at the popular tourist destination of Mackinac Island which was settled in 1780. In fact, three buildings constructed that year on the island are the oldest still standing in the state of Michigan.

The Officers Stone Quarters on Mackinac Island in Mackinac County is considered Michigan's oldest building. The original military fort in the Straits of Mackinac was Fort Michilimackinac. The fort was built around 1715 and abandoned in 1783 while under control of the British. In 1780, amidst the Revolutionary War, the fort was relocated from the Lower Peninsula shoreline to the inland cliffs on Mackinac Island. This is when the four feet thick walls of the Officers Stone Quarters were constructed at the new Fort Mackinac and remain to this day.

Officers Stone Quarters House (U.S. Library of Congress)
Officers Stone Quarters House (U.S. Library of Congress)

The building was designed to withstand an attack and it, along with many of the buildings constructed on the island, were reassembled from buildings torn down at Fort Michilimackinac.

The U.S. Congress closed Fort Mackinac and Mackinac National Park in 1895 both were given to the State of Michigan. Today the fort is a significant tourist attraction in Mackinac Island State Park. The Officers Stone Quarters is one of fourteen historic buildings that remain at the site.



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