Staff at the historic fort and trading post in Mackinaw City discovered the intact, 2.75-inch long and 2.25-inch wide brass artifact while excavating a fur trader’s home on the site.
Lynn Evans, curator of archaeology at Mackinac State Historic Parks, said the piece was likely used to lock a small trunk or chest sometime between 1760 and 1770. The lock is a rare find, even for a place full of hidden treasures like Fort Michilimackinac.
“We don’t find a lot of complete things,” Evans said. “Most of what we find is really small. When they (colonists) left Fort Michilimackinac for the island, they did so over a two-year period, so they took what was whole and useful. We find things on a daily basis like bones, beads and other stuff that falls through the cracks, but to find a larger, intact thing is more of an unusual find.”
Story: Brandon Champion, Michigan Live | Photo: Mackinac State Historic Parks