The Mission Church is a simple classical wooden building with a single square tower, with entrance and a pinnacled and spired octagonal belfry that resemble its New England colonial and Federal antecedents. Built by Heydenburk, a carpenter and teacher at the Mission School, with funds raised by the villagers and traders of Mackinac Island and a gift from John Jacob Astor, it served the Protestant Indian mission begun here in 1822. The Reverend William Montague Ferry, a Massachusetts-born graduate of Union and Rutgers colleges, established a mission post on Mackinac Island under the auspices of the United Foreign Missionary Society. Its purpose was “to civilize and educate” the Indians and, in exchange for protection from the fort, to exert a moral and religious influence on both the men at the fort and the native inhabitants of the island. The mission closed in 1837 as the island's population declined with the withdrawal of the American Fur Company. After remaining unused for more than fifty years, in the 1890s the church was reopened at irregular intervals for interfaith services for island and summer residents, and in 1955 was acquired by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.
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