Fort St Joseph was built in the late 1790s to ensure British access to lakes Huron and Superior. In 1812, it was the base for the successful attack on the American Fort Michilimackinac on Mackinac Island, Michigan. This capture led to the Anglo-Canadian control of much of the Northwest during the war. The large building in the centre of the fort is a blockhouse, built in 1797. Other structures included a guardhouse, kitchen, storehouse, powder magazine, bakehouse, and blacksmith shop. The whole complex was surrounded by a wooden palisade with four bastions.