On this day, 191 years ago, the accidental discharge of a musket in the American Fur Company Store on Mackinac Island left a voyageur severely wounded, with little hope of survival.
But, with the help of Dr. William Beaumont, the Post Surgeon at nearby Fort Mackinac, Alexis St. Martin not only survived the night, but went on to make a full recovery… well, mostly.
Dr. William Beaumont treated St. Martin’s wound with meticulous care. The hole leading into his stomach never completely healed over, leaving a virtual pathway into the science of the digestive process. With St. Martin’s continuing permission and support, Dr. Beaumont studied the digestive process for many years through the wound.
The research resulted in the basis of our modern understanding of the digestive system.
For more information on planning your visit to the American Fur Company Store/Dr. Beaumont Museum, go to mackinacparks.com/historic-downtown