Blog Posts

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Archaeology in Review: Brass Scale Weights

Among the unusual finds from the 2022 Michilimackinac archaeological field season were two brass scale weights. They were found in the cellars of the trader’s house.

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The Doherty Cottage (Geary House), on Mackinac Island’s Market Street, as it appeared in 1970.

Irish Ingenuity at Mackinac

In 1878, Alfred and Alice Doherty settled in Clare, Michigan, in the midst of the state’s booming lumber industry…Their four children, Floyd, Frank, Lyda, and Alfred Jr., were raised in Clare and would grow up to love Mackinac Island.

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Herbert Benjamin examining a horse and carriage in the 1950s.

Herbert Benjamin and Blacksmithing on a Changing Island

Herbert Benjamin ran his blacksmith shop into the 1960s – long after most village blacksmiths had closed their doors. Learn more about Herbert and how he navigated a rapidly changing time on Mackinac Island.

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Adam Christian Gaspari Map (1799, 1801)

Mackinac at the Museum (1798)

In 1798 an article detailed plans for an exciting new museum, a “cabinet of curiosities,” located in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Which Mackinac wonders would you pick to display in this “infant museum” of early America? How about nuts and wild rice?

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Artifacts stored at Mill Creek.

Archaeological Collections Management at MSHP and the IMLS

When you’ve had an archaeological dig that’s been active for more than 60 years, you end up with a million-plus artifacts and reams of field notes.

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Mackinac Art Museum - Artist-in-Residence

Artists Selected for Fifth Annual Artist-in-Residence Program

Eight artists have been selected for the 2023 Mackinac Island Artist-in-Residence program.

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A Closer Look at the Collections Artifacts of Literacy Header

From the Collection: Artifacts of Literacy

One of the next major projects tor Mackinac State Historic Parks will be the reconstruction of a unit on the Southwest Rowhouse. To prepare, MSHP staff have been going over the archaeological records and artifacts from the 1960s, when the unit was originally excavated.

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Mary Nexsen Thompson painting of 1827 hospital with portion of storehouse. Credit: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Archaeology at Fort Mackinac – Provision Storehouse

The largest archaeological excavation to take place at Fort Mackinac was the site of the original provision storehouse. Interestingly, it was the second time the provision storehouse was excavated, but the first time at Fort Mackinac.

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(banner) Great American Sea Serpent, 1848

The Sea Serpent at Mackinac

In 1847, Horace Greeley and Lewis Clark, newspapermen from New York on a tour of the Great Lakes, were seated on the porch of Mission House and saw a giant creature out in the lake. They agreed it was a Sea Serpent! But was it?

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2022 Mackinac State Historic Parks Collections Acquisitions

In 2022 Mackinac State Historic Parks accessioned 176 objects into its collection and archives. Learn about a few of them here:

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2023 - What's New for 2023?

What’s New for 2023?

As the calendar flips to the new year, the Mackinac State Historic Parks crew is busy preparing its historic sites and parks for an exciting 2023 season.

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Fort Mackinac soldiers clearing a path in front of Fort Mackinac in the 1880s.

Winter for the Soldiers at Fort Mackinac

Wintering on Mackinac Island has always been a desolate and isolated affair. While many were able to leave the island in winter, soldiers of the 23rd United States Infantry, Companies E and K, had to stay and adapt to their winter home.

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