American Fur Company Store

Registered Site S0019

American Fur Company Store

On June 6, 1822, Alexis St. Martin (1804 ~ 1889), a French Canadian voyageur, was accidentally shot in the American Fur Company store located on this site.. Dr. William Beaumont (1786 ~ 1853), The Fort Mackinac post surgeon nursed St. Martin back to health. St. Martin's wound healed, leaving a permanent opening into his stomach. Through this opening Beaumont compared the digestibility of foods, recorded the temperature of the stomach under different conditions, and extracted and analyzed gastric juices. Beaumont conducted the first of 250 experiments with St. Martin in 1825 in the Officers' Stone Quarters at Fort Mackinac. Eight years later he published a groundbreaking book on his discovery of the digestive process.
photo of American Fur Company Store

Beaumont Memorial

On June 6, 1822, Alexis St. Martin (1804 ~ 1889), a French Canadian, was accidentally shot in the stomach at this American Fur Company retail store. Dr. William Beaumont M.D.(1786 ~ 1853), army surgeon at Fort Mackinac nursed him back to health. Although St. Martin's physique was not impaired, his stomach wound refused to heal, leaving an opening through which the doctor could observe the digestive process. Beaumont convinced St. Martin to become the subject of a medical study of digestion and wrote several articles on the findings from these experiments. St. Martin married and fathered seventeen children. He out-lived Beaumont by twenty-seven years. The Michigan State Medical Society acquired the retail store in 1947 and, after building this memorial to Dr. Beaumont in 1953, gave the structure to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

Original marker replaced 2004.

Erected 2004

Location: Market Street
Mackinac Island, Mackinac County

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Beaumont Memorial

Latitude: 45.85070712, Longitude: -84.6178976

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