The Straits of Mackinac was a center of the fur trade from the late 1680s. Beginning in 1815 activity was centered in John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company (AFC). The company agent’s home, clerks’ quarters and warehouse were located at the center of Market Street. There furs were processed and trade goods assembled.
The Retail Store was established by the company in about 1820 on the corner of Market and Fort Streets as an outlet where the company could sell surplus merchandise. Company employees, community residents and Fort Mackinac soldiers shopped here. It was one of several general stores that served Mackinac Island in the 1820s and 1830s.
On this site in 1822 Alexis St. Martin, a voyageur, was injured by an accidental gunshot wound. The unusual healing of the wound allowed Dr. William Beaumont, Fort Mackinac’s post surgeon, to conduct experiments on how the human stomach worked.
American Fur Company Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum
Mackinac State Historic Parks
Mackinac Island, MI 49757