A native of Ireland and a Protestant, John Johnston (1762-1828) arrived on the Lake Superior frontier in the early 1790's. He married the daughter of a powerful Chippewa chief and settled here in 1793. Johnston's knowledge of the Chippewa and the Great Lakes region made him a central figure in the development of this frontier. His original house was a hospitable meeting place for explorers, surveyors, trappers, traders and Indians. Loyal to the British, Johnston aided them in taking the American fort
on Mackinac Island in 1812. In retaliation, American troops burned Johnston's house in 1815. He soon rebuilt it. This surviving portion erected about 1822, in part to house his daughter Jane and her husband Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, is a reminder of Johnston's pivotal role in the area's transition from British to American control.