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Mackinac State Historic Parks 2014 Collections Review

The Mackinac Island State Park Commission accessioned over 120 gifts and 67 purchases to the state park historic object and archival collections in 2014. The items represent a board spectrum of Straits of Mackinac history covering topics such as shipwrecks, the Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp and businesses in Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island.

Many of the donations were given to the park for the new Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. Diving gear including a dry suit, pants, boots, gloves and air tank were donated to show how diving was done in the 1970’s. From the S.S. Cedarville, a station bill represents the most recent tragedy in the straits and safety gear including a lifeboat oar represents equipment found on ships to save lives. Purchased were a ships compass and radio to tell the story of navigation and communication on the lakes.

Boy Scout UniformThe Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp has been an important part of summer on the island since 1929. Many Boy and Girl Scout troops have served as guides to Fort Mackinac and over the years, the scouts have donated items from their time on the island. This year we received donations of uniforms, patches and photographs from the 1970’s. These items, along with others already in the parks collection, represent the role Mackinac Island has played in shaping the lives of Michigan youths.

The state park continues to collect items related to the businesses in the communities of Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. These items could be ones sold in the business such as souvenir china and pennants, postcards, and photo albums. In 2014, we purchased a souvenir ashtray sold at the Benjamin of Mackinac Island store, a postcard showing the deer herd that once lived on Mackinac Island and stereo views of Fort Mackinac’s interior and Leaning Rock. They may also have the logo or name of the business such as a business card from the Fenton and Wendell Indian Bazaar, an envelope from the LaChance Cottage and a matchbook from the Chippewa Hotel. Insian Bazaar

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.



2014 Accession Gift Donors

Charles and Jeri Baron Feltner
Diving belt with weights, two air tank back plates, two buoyancy compensators, regulator, two dive knives with sheaths, bottom timer, two pairs of swim fins, two pairs of dive gloves, two diving hoods, two diving masks and snorkels, dry suit jacket, pants, gloves, boots and bag, Kodak camera, two underwater camera cases, air tank, pony tank, diving pennant, two underwater lights and rechargers, a urinal, wood sheave and coal hoe from the SS Eber Ward and brass port hole cover from the Northwest.

Brian Jaeschke
SS Irvin L. Clymer lifeboat oar and cloth Pilot On Board flag

Kay Smith
Color slides by Clarice McKeever of Mackinac Island and leather photograph album

Frank Pompa
Boy Scout uniform shirts, pants, belt, neckerchief and slide, Black and white photos of radio tower and shack on Mackinac Island, Mackinac Bridge brochure, Mackinac Island Tourism map, Moral Rearmament leaflet, E. M. Tellefson correspondence and Certificate of Title to Willys Roadster

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Nelhiebel
Color postcards of Grand Hotel, Mackinac Bridge, Castle Rock and Fort Mackinac musket demonstration

Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association
SS Cedarville emergency station bill and crew member hardhat

Pat Majher
Fenton and Wendell Indian Bazaar business card

Homer Historical Society
Mackinac Bridge scrapbook

Martin and Sharon Scott
Raymond McCoy paintings of Fort Michilimackinac and Fort Mackinac

Steve Voisin
Michigan State Highway ferry pass and Memoriam for Captain of the steamer Northwest

James S. Davis
Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp patches and photographs