2018 Collections Acquisitions

Weidenaar etching of ‘Big Mac.’

In 2018, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission accessioned 120 gifts and 82 purchases to the historic object and archival collection. Among the objects acquired was an 1891 register from the New Mackinac Hotel, a walking stick that belonged to park commissioner James Dunnigan, a plastic viewfinder with slide images of Mackinac Island and several photograph albums. During the year, the park purchased two miniature etchings by Reynold Weidenaar, a black and white photograph showing early transportation in the park and accepted a donation of images showing a prominent Mackinac Island family.

Weidenaar etching ‘At Mackinac Straits’.

In 2017, the park commission purchased the mezzotint Bridge Builders by Michigan artist Reynold Weidenaar. This was the last of three large etchings showing the Mackinac Bridge being built that the park needed to complete its collection. This year, staff were made aware of two miniature etchings of the bridge also done by the artist. At Mackinac Straits and Big Mac were purchased and will complete the collection which will be on display in The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.

Carriage Tour taking guests through Mackinac National Park.

With automobiles banned on Mackinac Island, one can only tour the historic island on foot, bicycle or by horse. Visitors unfamiliar with riding a horse can see the sights from the comfort of a carriage. Carriages have played an important role on the island for many years and when the island became a National Park in 1875, several companies offered tour services. Acquired this year was a black and white photograph showing one of these carriages on Main Street loaded with tourists. The specific company is unknown, however, the side of the carriage promotes the National Park, Arch Rock and Fort Holmes. This is one of the few images the park owns that can be definitively dated to the national park era.

The Cudahy Pool.

In 1900, Milton Tootle Jr. of St. Joseph, Missouri purchased the East Bluff home of George Smith and remodeled it in the Neo-Classical Revival style. Tootle and his family spent many summers on the island enjoying their home and spending time with fellow cottagers including the Cudahys, Gilberts and Strohs. Milton was involved in several businesses but enjoyed gardening and hired landscape architect T.R. Otsuka to design gardens behind the island home. Several photograph albums, postcards and glass plate negatives were donated to the park commission by family descendants showing family members, the cottage and the beautiful gardens. Once scanned, the collection will be a welcome addition to the parks photographic collection.

Tootle Garden.

Tootle Garden.

Golfers at Wawashkamo Golf Club.

Golfers at Wawashkamo Golf Club.

This is only a small sample of the type of objects Mackinac State Historic Parks collects during a given year.  We are always looking for donations and items to purchase which will help the state park to continue its mission of educating the public about the history of the region.


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