The island was at the center of a thriving fur industry during the 17th century. It changed hands from the French to the British after the French and Indian War. Ownership reverted to the Americans after the American Revolutionary War. Subsequently it was the site of the first engagement in the War of 1812 but again returned to America by treaty in 1815. In 1875 it was given special federal protection, second only to Yellowstone National Park. When Fort Mackinac closed in 1905, the land was given to the state of Michigan and it became Michigan's first state park.
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