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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 236

              [newspaper clipping]
  THE Island of Mackinac is right at the junction of the two lakes,
Michigan and Huron,��in fact at the entrance of the Straits of Macki-
nac,��and as a recuperative resting-place for pleasure-seekers, and in-
valids, is so replete with interest and sanitary results, that it has fairly
won its name of �Gem of the Straits.�  Nor is it a long ride to reach
there, either from Philadelphia or New York, making a pleasant trip
of forty-nine hours at the most, the finest portion of which, on the Penn-
sylvania Railroad, is almost due west, until reaching Fort Wayne,
Indiana, where by change of cars to the Grand Rapids and Indiana
Railway, a northernly course is pursued as far as Petoskey, a town
standing at the head of Little Traverse Bay, from whene there are two
routes to Mackinac,��one by means of a dummy railroad, seven miles
long, connecting with a small steamer that threads its twisting course
through this inland labyrinth of waters, as though never steering
towards any definite point; the other, and more direct, by Lake Michi-
gan and the straits, and distance of sixty miles.  Sometimes these lakes
are very rough with heavy swells like the ocean, and the time occupied 
in crossing is about long enough for considerable inward uneasiness, but
in the pursuit of pleasure one�s industry never flags, and even the
terrible misfortune of mal-de-mer is soon forgotten in the multiplicity
of pleasanter things.  The whole Island of Mackinac, principally table
land, 150 feet above the water, includes 2200 acres, with about 700
inhabitants, and as the military reservation on which the fort is situated
comprises 103 acres, and the National Park 911, the town itself can
well be imagined small.  It is built at the southeastern extremity of the
island, on a shelving beach and directly under the guns of the fort.
About half the population of this little hamlet, picturesquely grouped
upon the beach, is of mixed blood, many of the substantial citizens
having formed matrimonial alliances with the lineal descendants of the
aborigines, and the prettiest woman on the island bears the unmistakable
high cheek-boes and masculine proportions of her Indian ancestors, so
that when a pretty woman or a number of pretty women from other
cities honor the place with their presence, the event is like a ray of sun-
shine in a shady spot.               
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