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2016 Collections Acquisitions

In 2016, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission accessioned 131 gifts and 142 purchases to the historic object and archival collection. Postcards, stereoviews and ruby souvenir glass by island businessman Frank Kriesche added to established collections in the state park. As in previous years, the new acquisitions represent a wide array of topics including some of the first color glass plate negatives, a mezzotint of the Mackinac Bridge being constructed and a large collection of Mackinaw City related objects.

brown%2c-helen-gertrudeSometime prior to World War I, photographers came to Mackinac Island to experiment with the Autochrome Lumiere process to develop color glass plate negatives. They took images including this one of Helen Gertrude Brown and blooming lilacs. This process was successful and was used for thousands of images until the 1930’s when film became the norm. Her granddaughter, Sally Zorn donated a family scrapbook and several of the color glass plate negatives.

mezzotinttinMichigan artist Reynold Weidenaar created three pieces of art showing the Mackinac Bridge construction. The park purchased an etching entitled Building The Bridge in 2009 which is now on display in the Mackinac Art Museum. In 2016, the park was able to purchase the mezzotint entitled The Bridge and the Storm. This piece will be framed and added to the art museum display in 2017. The park continues to search for the third piece entitled Bridge Builders.

Mackinaw City has played an important role in the growth and prosperity of the Straits of Mackinac region. After two railroads were completed in 1881, Mackinaw City became the terminus for visitors arriving from around the country. The city provided hotels, restaurants and stores that catered to guests coming to and from Mackinac Island. Several objects related to the history of Mackinaw City were purchased in 2016 from a local family. Some of these items include the Waiting Room sign, wall clock and waste basket from the Mackinaw City Railroad Depot, dinnerware from local hotels, room keys, local souvenirs and a bottle from the Coffman Drug Store. This collection will help present the story of the Mackinaw City – Mackinac Island connection.coffmans-medicine-bottle

Oil on canvas entitled Dock Scene Mackinac Island by Charles E. Waltensperger

This is only a small sample of the type of objects the state park 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.barnum-engine-plate


Mackinac State Historic Parks
2016 Accession Gift Donors

Emergency steering wheel from the SS Cedarville

Arnold Line Transit
Collection of objects and paper ephemera from the Arnold Line Transit Company and Dock

James Bond
Sofa from Cloghaun Cottage

Larry Coplin
Pilothouse ladder from the SS Cedarville

Brian Dunnigan
Photograph album with ship images, postcards and newspaper clippings
Photograph album with photographs of Mackinac Island
Sound recording reel with An Island Called Mackinac
View master reels
Sepia postcards
Black and white photograph of Great Lakes ships
Black and white photographs of James Dunnigan, family, state park staff and island guests
Photograph set of Mackinac Bridge construction

William Dunniway
Original photograph of Alice Garrison Dryer
Original photograph of Hiram Dryer McCaskey

Dr. Lynn Evans
Cassette tape Songs of Mackinac by Hilt and the Boys
Milton Bradley jigsaw puzzle of Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Joanne Galvin
Mackinac Island & St. Ignace souvenir postcard folder

Kenneth Larson
Triple wheel block from William H. Barnum shipwreck

John McClure
J.R. Bailey & Son pharmaceutical bottle
E.R. Durkee & Co. salad dressing bottle
Clear glass bottle with neck and lip

Polly Nicholson
Out of the Evil Night by Leif Hovelsen
Moral Re-Armament book order form
Sound reels of Valley Forge and Lincoln Day broadcasts

Debra Orr
Brass mail padlock

John Polacsek
Hills McKenna Company oil pump lubricator for marine engine

Paula Sage
Original artwork by Dirk Gringhuis of Huron, Ottawa, Chippewa and Pottawatomi

John Scherbarth
Package of Mackinac Island napkins

Gary Skory
Grand Hotel souvenir bowl

Dale Skovera
Projectile point from Fort Michilimackinac

Greg Teysen
William H. Barnum brass engine plate

Sally Zorn
Scrapbook with photographs, postcards and sketches from Brown family
Six color glass plate negatives of Helen Brown and lilacs