Mackinac, 1903

Feb. 10, 2021

Mackinac, 1903

An island off North Michigan and also a body of water known as the Straits of Mackinac that connects Lakes Huron and Michigan.  The word “mackinac” being derived from the Ojibwa Indian word michilimackinac meaning “island of the great turtle.”

Builder: Spedden Company, Baltimore, Maryland

Cost: $75,000

Commissioned: 29 October 1903

Decommissioned: 8 June 1939

Length: 110'

Beam: 20' 6"

Draft: 10' 6"

Displacement: 240 tons

Propulsion: Triple expansion steam engine


     Max: 10.0 knots

Deck Gear: 

Complement: 11



The Mackinac was built in Baltimore, Maryland by the Spedden Company for a cost of $75,000.  She was launched on 11 October 1902 and was ordered to the Great Lakes.  She was assigned to duty as a boarding boat at Erie and was placed in commission on 29 October 1903.  She saw service in the spring of 1905 along the Massachusetts coast and then sailed for Sault Ste. Marie, arriving there 28 June 1905.  She was placed out of service at Milwaukee on 1 December 1905 to await the opening of navigation the following year.

On 25 April 1905 she was ordered, when ready for duty, to proceed to Sault Ste. Marie for "customs duty, and enforce the rules and regulations governing the movement and anchorages of vessels in the St. Mary's River."  She operated in the Great Lakes each year during the navigation season and was laid up during the winter months when the Lakes were closed to navigation.

She was taken over by the Navy in 1917, and she served in the 3d Naval District during World War I, patrolling the Atlantic coast. Mackinac was stricken from the Naval Register and returned to the Coast Guard 28 August 1919.  During the remainder of her Coast Guard service she was homeported at Boston.

She was decommissioned on 8 June 1939.


Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.  Washington, DC: USGPO.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).