Parade Ground / Scout Barracks
In the nineteenth century, this area served as a parade ground for soldiers stationed at Fort Mackinac. Here, soldiers practice marching, the manual of arms, bayonet skills and other military drills. By 1843, the parade ground was formally developed and fenced, In the 1870s, several buildings were erected on the edge of the parade ground, including horse stables and housing for non-commissioned officers The parade ground also served as home field for the Fort Mackinac Base Ball Club. Founded in 1885, the club played against other teams from Northern Michigan. In 1887, the team built a grandstand with seating for 500 spectators. An admission to a baseball game cost twenty-five cents, and grandstand seats cost an extra ten cents.
In 1929, Park Commissioner Roger Andrews invited eight Eagle Scouts. including future President Gerald Ford, to serve as the "Governor's Honor Guard" and tour guides at Fort Mackinac. Scouts raised and lowered the colors daily and fired the sunset gun. They stayed in the Fort Commissary until moving into these barracks, built in 1934. The building was constructed by the Mackinac Island Civilian Conservation Corps unit, many of whom were World War I veterans. In 1938, the program began to include Boy Scouts at all levels. Additions to the barracks were completed in 1975. They followed the style of the original building. At the urging of Michigan First Lady Helen Milliken Girls Scouts joined the scout service program in 1975.