At the end of August, I had the pleasure of visiting the Victorian Era. No, not by means of time machine. I simply took a ferry across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island, near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Mackinac Island gained renown in the late Victorian Era as a summer vacation resort for the wealthy. (Apparently having servants at your beck and call to perform all menial labor and change your fashionable ensembles multiple times a day was most exhausting.)
Thanks to an island-wide ban on automobiles, very little has changed on Mackinac. (The dangerous and raucous machines frightened the horses, you see. Rather impractical.)
This resulted in Mackinac Island turning into a time capsule. Horse and carriage is still the dominant form of transportation. Victorian architecture remains intact on store fronts and homes, preserved with reverence rather than modernized. And cell reception is…sparse. While time on Mackinac may not actually move backward, it certainly slows to a rhythm unfamiliar to us 21st century dwellers. Yet it’s a peaceful pace that is utterly refreshing. I highly recommend it as a MUST vacation spot for every amateur historian and 21st Century Victorian!
Since we can’t venture there today, let’s enjoy a brief cyber-tour of Mackinac Island: A Victorian Oasis!