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2015 Collections Acquisitions

The year 2015 was a busy one for collections as the Mackinac Island State Park Commission accessioned 140 gifts and 150 purchases to the historic object and archival collections. Many of the objects acquired this year were images of Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City and the surrounding area. These include photo album pages with images from visitor’s trips, stereo views that were a popular souvenir in the late 1800’s, postcards and press photographs. The park purchased a rare bill for fish from 1853 and a medal commemorating one of Fort Mackinac’s commanders.

1919 PhotographMounting photographs, postcards, brochures and other items in photo albums was a popular way for travelers to present and store their memories from vacations. Photographs were personal snapshots of locations seen during the trip, some now being historically important for the viewpoint shown. One image acquired this year shows the area behind Fort Mackinac looking toward the west from Garrison Road dated 1919. Stereo views were another way to share scenes from distant places by way of 3-dimension images. The double images were professionally taken with a special camera and sold, sometimes as part of a series. The park purchased a number of stereo views adding to an extensive collection that was completely digitalized this year.

Fish BillBy the 1830’s, commercial fishing replaced the fur trade as Mackinac Island’s primary industry. The waters around the island were full of whitefish, lake trout and other species. Fishing, like the fur trade, became a lucrative business and dealers like Chapman & Gray profited. The park purchased a fish bill from August 14, 1853 which shows the sale of whitefish for $62.00. The fish bill was a great find as objects from the island fishing industry and this time period are rare.

Richard WhileyLieutenant Richard Whiley served in the United States Army, Artillerists and Engineers at Fort Mackinac from 1796 until 1802 and from 1799 until 1802 as post commander. After his military service, he founded the North River Insurance Company in 1822. This medal was commissioned in 1922 by the company to commemorate its centennial anniversary and shows a portrait of Whiley on the front. The medal was designed by noted medallic sculptor Julio Kilenyi.

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



2015 Collection Donors

Marian Jaeschke
Arch Rock and Michigan State Ferry Dock in Mackinaw City color postcards

Cheboygan History Center
Lakeview Hotel brochure

Jaime Dickens
Mackinac College Bookstore bags

Jacquline Jeffery
40th Anniversary Mackinac Island Girl Scout Service Camp patches

Audrey Jaggi
Mackinac Rhapsody novel by S.B. Meier and Roger’s Rangers child’s doll

Phil Porter
The Grand Stand menus, Mackinac Island State Park Commission admission ticket, Belle Gallagher Boarding House business card and Richard Whiley bronze centennial medal

Tanya Pulte
Mackinac State Historic Parks color postcards

Frank Pompa
Wood walking sticks belonging to E.M. Tellefson and set of child’s bow and arrows

Russell Magnaghi
Mackinac Island color postcard folder

Carol Vieau
Black and white snapshot of Henrik Olsen at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Niagara Historical Society and Museum
Black and white photographs of Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock, Perry Cannon, Fort Holmes and Old Agency House

Richard Moehl
Grand Hotel bellboy uniform, cap, bell and maid’s dress

Alger County Historical Society
Black and white photograph of Mackinac Island from the water

Scott Rausch
Hardcover copy of Anne by Constance Fenimore Woolson and color postcard of Fort Mackinac and harbor

Chuck and Jeri Baron Feltner
Dry suits, fin holders, diving weights, hood and gloves, Eber Ward bell handle and black and white photographs of Great Lakes vessels

Richard and Alice Hill
Michigan State Highway Ferry logbook

Dr. Keith Widder
Fort Staff Nutzi Champ T-Shirt

Mackinaw Area Historical Society
Mackinac Island color postcards and Straits of Mackinac Region booklet

Margaret Greicar
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and Indian baby paintings by Lloyd Desy, Photographs of Mary and Chester Marshall

Debra Orr
Scrapbook pages of Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island photographs, brochures, postcards from 1962 visit

Thomas Pfeiffelmann
Mackinac Bridge 50th Anniversary banner, Straits Transit Inc. schedules, black and white photographs of Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City

Brian Jaeschke
JoAnn’s Fudge Box

Barb Wade
Mackinac Under Three Flags guidebook

Kay Winchell
Benjamin Blacksmith Shop tourist leaflet, aerial postcard of Fort Michilimackinac and photograph of Mackinac Bridge construction

Cal Pomarius
Fort Mackinac reproduction iron wall spike

John Franzen
Wrought iron garden hoe from Fort Michilimackinac

Doris Marsh
Photograph album pages with black and white photographs of Mackinac Island

Jim and Melody Montcalm
Wood cargo block from schooner Sandusky

Carol Van Dyke
Fort Michilimackinac sketch postcard and map of Mackinaw City tourist locations

Glen Lewis
Mackinac Island Map and Guide by Florence Fuller and Old Fort Michilimackinac booklet and envelope