Go back in time . . .
Go back in time to before you were born, before there were World Wars or an
American Civil War and before Michigan became a state. What is the story of
Michigan's birth as a land and a people?
Most of Michigan's story is
unwritten. It is almost entirely an American Indian story. Its 14,000 years
are known through Native American tradition and clues discovered by archaeologists.
The first galleries of the Michigan
Historical Museum tell its story. These pages show the exhibits and displays
you would see if you stand in the middle of these galleries. The galleries are
provided here as an online minitour of "The First People." It is a story of complex cultures
closely linked to the environment and backed by centuries of intellectual and
Visit the museum in person to explore Michigan's early history. Stand below
the three-story topographic map of Michigan, see a birchbark canoe close-up, feel furs as a docent tells you about the days of the voyageurs and hear the
sounds of an Indian drum dance. While you follow the achievements of the
peoples of the Eastern Woodland, learn the elements that are uniquely
Click a topic in the left column to wander aroundor follow the story in
time by clicking the link at the bottom of each page. You will travel from the
creation of the land to the time of Michigan's statehood.