Pictured above: The early Shaw family, from left: Tom, Midge, Peter, Jennifer, Bobbie, Stephanie.
By Kathy King Johnson
Midge Shaw, her towheaded toddler Peter slung over hip, stood at the open window of her new home. She breathed in the fresh breeze off the Straits of Mackinaw and let the June sun touch her face. She heard the steady thump of lumberjacks chopping logs to finish the wall around the Fort. Gulls cried in staccato.
She waved at Raymond Proust, the village priest in his dark robes, on his way to the roughhewn chapel. Ken Teysen, dapper in his English uniform, patrolled the gates. Trapper Stanley McRae, in fringed buckskins and raccoon hat, had a tomahawk on his belt and a bundle of furs to trade.
No, Midge did not live in 1761. The year was 1967. Fort Michilimackinac was undergoing final restoration for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Midge’s husband, Tom Shaw, was doing construction on the project. All workers were required to wear the costumes of the period, no power tools allowed. Midge, Tom and Peter lived in a trailer tucked away in the back of the Fort, out of sight of the visitors.