The Post Cemetery is the final resting place for Fort Mackinac soldiers, their families and local officials, bounded by a white picket fence with a wooden archway, and a canon from Fort Sumner South Carolina. Of the approximately 108 burials in Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery, 69 are unknown Although the origin of the cemetery is lost in history, the local lore from the nineteenth century suggests that both American and British War of 1812 soldiers are buried here. Many early burials were marked with simple wooden crosses that have long since decayed and disappeared. As a result many of the burials are unknown.
Among the burials is German-born Civil war veteran Ignatius Goldhofer who came to Fort Mackinac in 1896 with a variety of ailments and old wounds. When he died three years later his wife and four children buried him in the Post Cemetery.
Civilian Interments include Edward Biddle who served the community as sheriff, village president and surveyor in the mid nineteenth century. In the 1880’s Lieutenant Calvin Cowles and his wife Mary buried their infant children Josiah and Isabel next to each other in the shaded northeast corner of the cemetery.
The Post Cemetery flag continually flies at half mast. This cemetery is one of four National Cemeteries with this honor. The others are the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (the Punchbowl) in Honolulu, Hawaii, Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, and National Cemetery at Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The responsibility for maintenance of the Post Cemetery on Mackinac Island is through the Department of Veterans Affairs through an agreement with the State of Michigan. It is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
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