Center for French Colonial Studies

2019 Annual Conference

October 4-6, 2019

Mackinaw City, Michigan

In 1634 Jean Nicolet was the first Frenchman to pass through the Straits of Mackinac. Years of trade intervened when Jacques Marquette established a mission for the Wendat (Huron) and Odawa at St. Ignace on the north side of the Straits in 1671. Some time between 1679 and 1683 the French formally established their military presence with the construction of Fort de Buade on the north side of the Straits of Mackinac. Lamothe Cadillac served as commandant until 1698 when he decided to abandon the Straits and moved the garrison to Detroit to establish Fort Pontchartrain.  The French returned in 1715 to established Fort Michilimackinac on the south side of the Straits where they officially remained until the end of the Seven Years War.

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Center for French Colonial Studies will take place in Mackinaw City, Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac, October 4-6, 2019. The conference begins with a group tour of the reconstructed eighteenth century Fort Michilimackinac on the mainland lead by the fort’s archaeologist Dr. Lynn Evans. On Saturday the 5th the main conference will include presentations on French colonial archaeology, genealogy, and history of Michigan and the broader Great Lakes region. Saturday evening’s banquet promises to be a unique and delicious experience with a traditional Anishinabe feast provided by local Native American caterer Joe Smith. Enjoy on one’s own historic sites in St. Ignace and on Mackinac Island, including stone wall enclosed Fort Mackinac interpreted by period costumed reenactors.  Other attractions lie within an hour in the Straits, including Les Cheneaux Islands and Sault Ste. Marie.

We hope you will join us in October for our annual conference and for the opportunity to visit this historic area.  More details about the conference will be forthcoming shortly.

Past Conference Information

2018 Conference

2017 Conference

Past Conference Locations

For more information, contact us at: