National Historic Landmarks in Michigan
National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) in Michigan show history from pre-colonial times, World War II, and everything else the nation has been through. You’ll find landmarks regarding automotive, maritime, and mining industries in Michigan, plus some have military, religious, and cultural significance. Michigan has 44 National Historic Landmarks, so you’ll never run out of areas to explore, but these 11 are the coolest.
Wayne County has the most National Historic Landmarks in Michigan, with 13 properties throughout the county. Emmet County and Mackinac County follow it up, each having three landmarks. Many others are spread throughout Michigan, allowing for many adventures when visiting these locations.
How Does a Property Become a National Historic Landmark
The National Park Service is a Department of the Interior branch that determines which properties become a National Historic Landmark. This branch determines it based on criteria and nominations, including public and private properties.
When a property becomes a National Historic Landmark, it obtains historic integrity protection. This protection makes it eligible for tax incentives, grants, threat monitoring, and other benefits. If a property owner objects to a nomination, it becomes eligible for designation rather than receiving the formal title.
While Michigan has many National Historic Landmarks, these 5 are the most noteworthy:
1. Calumet Historic District
Located in Houghton County, the Calumet Historic District was designated as an NHL in March of 1989. It focuses on Michigan’s copper industry, giving insight into the innovations. 50% of the copper in the United States was mined in the Calumet Historic District during the 1870s, making it a well-known place in the Copper Country.
2. Fair Lane
In November of 1966, Fair Lane in Wayne County became an NHL. It was the 56-room home of Clara and Henry Ford’s family. The property includes the main residence, greenhouse, and powerhouse that supplied energy.
3. Fort Michilimackinac
This NHL is in Mackinaw City, or Emmet County, MI, at the tip of the lower peninsula. It became a national historic landmark in October of 1960.
Fort Michilimackinac was built by the French but overtaken by the British. It was the only British-manned fort on the Great Lakes during the American Revolution.
4. Meadow Brook Hall
Meadow Brook Hall in Oakland County was designated as an NHL in March of 2012. It was the estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson and is one of the largest historic houses in the United States.
Meadow Brook Hall serves as a venue for weddings and other events. They also host holiday events and historic tours, giving plenty of opportunity to explore the property.
5. Bay View
In December 1987, Bay View in Emmet County became an NHL in Michigan. Bay View was originally a Methodist campground but later converted to an independent Chautauqua. This property shows both community forms, and you can explore the history of this well-preserved historic landmark.
Coolest National Historic Landmarks in Michigan
|Number||Landmark||County||When It Way Established as an NHL|
|1||Calumet Historic District||Houghton||March 1989|
|2||Fair Lane||Wayne||November 1966|
|3||Fort Michilimackinac||Emmet||October 1960|
|4||Meadow Brook Hall||Oakland||March 2012|
|5||Bay View||Emmet||December 1987|