Mackinac National Park, 1875-1895 - Mackinac State Historic Parks | Mackinac State Historic Parks

Mackinac National Park, 1875-1895

Reports in Mackinac History and Archaeology, Number 4

This book details the time from 1875 to 1895 when Mackinac Island State Park was a National Park.

From the book: “In 1872 the United States Congress created at Yellowstone in Wyoming the world’s first national park. Three years later Mackinac Island, Michigan, became the site of the second. Although much has been written about our national parks, Mackinac National Park has received scant attention. Perhaps this is because it existed for only twenty years from 1875 until it was transferred to the State of Michigan in 1895 and became Michigan’s first state park. …

Mackinac National Park was under the jurisdiction of the War Department rather than the Interior Department. This meant the army was able to use some soldier labor from Fort Mackinac to police and maintain the park. Even though Congress was not in the habit of appropriating funds for park purposes, the commander of Fort Mackinac gave attention to the park as soon as it was established. …

Since the National Park was part of a small island community, its policies and administration closely affected the residents of the village outside the park boundaries. This meant the park superintendents at times had to cooperate and other times oppose private citizens’ activities in the park. The local inhabitants and businessmen found the park both an economic asset and a point of irritation when their access to its resources was curtailed. In short, preservation of the park’s wonders and simultaneously exploiting them occasionally produced conflict. But above all, the government did preserve and maintain the national park of the benefit of the people.”

Chapter#1: Mackinac National Park Established
Chapter#2: Preserving the Enchanted Island
Chapter#3: For the Enjoyment of the People
Chapter#4: The Visitors Accommodated
Chapter#5: From National Park to State Park

Author: Keith R. Widder
Publisher: Mackinac State Historic Parks
ISBN: 0-911872-20-5
Illustrated, 48 pages, 1975. Second printing 1993.
Price: $5.00