2009-06-20 / Top News

Brunch Celebrates Mackinac Island History and Ties With Scotland

By Jane Alexander

Patrick Sinclair's Irish Pub honored the history of Mackinac Island during the Lilac Festival with Sunday Lybster Brunches.

"It's a nice way to teach people a little about the Island's history during the Lilac Festival," said Mary McGuire Slevin, director of the tourism bureau.

The pub is named for British Lieutenant Governor Patrick Sinclair, who ordered Fort Michilimackinac (in presentday Mackinaw City) be moved to Mackinac Island in response to the growing threat of American forces during the American Revolution.

The Lybster brunches, June 7 and June 14, were named in honor of the town in which Patrick Sinclair was born, Lybster (pronounced lib-ster), Scotland.

Lybster is also widely believed to be the "sister city" of Mackinac Island. In fact, there is no formal agreement between the towns, according to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. Individuals from Lybster came to the Island in the 1980s, the commission reported, and formed an unofficial understanding with Fort Mackinac, rather than the town itself.

Fort Mackinac does not make any note of the agreement, but there is a sign in Lybster reading, "Lybster Twinned with Fort Mackinac U.S.A."

The brunch is a way to honor the history of Mackinac Island, and many residents turned out in support. According to waitress Kristi Thompson, one couple attended the event dressed in traditional Scottish clothing. They displayed a card, she said, explaining their Scottish titles of "laird," or lord, and lady. According to Scottish law, any legal landowner is considered a laird or lady. The couple said they own two square feet of Scottish land.

Lybster is a harbor town in northern Scotland. It is best known, historically, for its vast exports of herring during the early 1800s. Here, it is also remembered as the birthplace of an important person in Mackinac Island's history.

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