Mackinac Island - Culture

Culture

Mackinac Island is home to many cultural events, including an annual show of American art from the Masco collection of 19th-century works at the Grand Hotel. There are at least five art galleries on the island. Mackinac Island has been the setting of two feature films: This Time for Keeps in 1946 and Somewhere in Time, filmed at the Grand Hotel and various other locations on the island in 1979. Mackinac Island has been written about and visited by many influential writers including Alexis De Tocqueville, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, Edward Everett Hale, Mark Twain, Bill Bryson, Herman Melville, and Constance Fenimore Woolson. Favorable growing conditions have allowed lilacs to thrive on the island. Since 1949, the island's residents have been celebrating the lilacs with an annual 10-day festival, culminating in a horse-drawn parade that has been recognized as a local legacy event by the Library of Congress.

Most of the buildings on Mackinac Island are built of wood, a few are of stone, and most have clapboard siding. The architectural styles on the island span 300 years, from the earliest Native American structures to the styles of the 19th century. The earliest structures were built by the Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, and Chippewa tribes before European exploration. At least two buildings still exist from the original French settlement in the late 18th century, making Mackinac Island the only example of northern French rustic architecture in the United States, and one of few survivors in North America. Mackinac Island also contains examples of Federalist, Colonial, and Greek Revival styles. Much of the island, however, is built in the style of the Victorian era which includes Gothic Revival, Stick style, Italianate, Second Empire, Richardson Romanesque and Queen Anne styles. The most recent styles used on the island date from the late 19th century to the 1930s and include the Colonial and Tudor revival styles.

The island's newspaper is the Mackinac Island Town Crier, owned and operated by Wesley H. Maurer Sr. and his family since 1957 as training for journalism students. It is published weekly from May through September and bimonthly during the rest of the year.

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