Historic Downtown Mackinac – Interpreter


Department: Museum Programs
Locations: Historic Downtown Mackinac and Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island
Start/End Date: early May-early June through August/mid-October
Positions vary from 12 weeks to 23 weeks.
Pay Rate: Starting at $13/hr

Click here to fill out an application.

Scope of Duties:
This position serves visitors to Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP) by working as a historic interpreter at the Biddle House, featuring the Mackinac Island Native American Museum and the American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum on a daily basis and the McGulpin House and Benjamin Blacksmith Shop on a weekly basis. All original 19th and early 20th century sites are located on Mackinac Island (Mackinac Island State Park), Michigan. This full-time seasonal position is responsible for interpreting these sites with various themes connected to the 1820s and 1830s fur trade.


Historic Downtown (Biddle House, American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum, McGulpin House, Benjamin Blacksmith Shop):

  1. Put visitors to our sites on Mackinac Island and other MSHP sites first by treating them with respect, serving their needs, and providing an enjoyable and educational experience.
  2. Present formal daily programs focusing on the Anishnaabek of northern Michigan, the 1836 Treaty of Washington, and merchants on Mackinac Island in the early 19th
  3. Present informal interpretive programs about Mackinac Island in the 1820s and 1830s focusing on Indigenous treaty rights and negotiations and other appropriate topics at the Biddle House. Present informal interpretive programs about the fur trade, medical history, and the American Fur Company at the American Fur Company Store/Dr. Beaumont Museum.
  4. Demonstrate 19th century foodways and skills such as cooking, baking, laundry, mending, letter writing and other historically appropriate household tasks.
  5. Demonstrate and interpret 1950s blacksmithing at the Benjamin Blacksmith shop, if needed.

Position Requirements:

  1. Must have an interest in public history and historical interpretation and be dedicated to public engagement and education.
  2. Must be outgoing, enthusiastic, self-motivated, and have strong public speaking skills.
  3. Experience with or interest in learning historic interpretation, Anishnaabek history, 19th century material culture and society, hearth cooking, mending and other period and exhibit-appropriate topics is strongly recommended.
  4. Must be able to follow verbal and written directions and be able to verbally communicate with visitors and coworkers.
  5. Must be able to work the assigned position length. Positions range from approximately 12 weeks to 23 weeks.

Work Location and Schedule:
This is a full-time seasonal position, which typically works 40 hours per week for approximately 12 weeks. The workstation for this position is Fort Mackinac and Historic Downtown Mackinac on Mackinac Island, although the employee may be required to work at other MSHP park sites. The position is based both indoors in historic structures and outdoors on site. Work schedules are posted in advance and are subject to change depending on park operational needs. The employee must be willing to work independently and may be asked to work evenings, holidays, and/or weekends as park needs dictate.

Physical Requirements:
Stretching and bending are moves commonly made throughout the day by employees in this position. The employee must have the ability to do the following activities, with or without, reasonable accommodation: frequent lifting, carrying, transporting, loading and unloading of supplies, walking long distances and on rough terrain, frequent twisting, bending, stooping, reaching and grasping, sitting and/or standing for long periods of time, and ability to utilize ferry boat transportation to and from Mackinac Island. The employee will be required to wear a historic costume or a uniform as required while working indoors and outdoors in various weather conditions. This position will be exposed to extreme heat conditions working near an open hearth within historic buildings and outdoors around the site; individual must be able to work in this type of environment.

Dress Code:
MSHP maintains a dress code for employees in the public service to promote a productive and safe work environment and to maintain MSHP’s public image. This means no inappropriate hairstyles, jewelry, clothing or fashion statements are allowed. Employees are required to be in approved park costume at all times while on duty, which includes the wearing of proper footwear. MSHP will furnish the employee with the required costume items which must be returned at the end of seasonal employment. Violation of the dress code may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The employee works under the direction of the Interpretation Coordinator and the Historic Downtown Lead Interpreter.

General Position Information:
This is a temporary seasonal at-will position which serves at the will of the employer and does not include recall rights or benefits (other than those mandated by governmental laws). This position will expire at the time employment is ended for the season and the employee does not have recall rights to this or any other MSHP position in the future. Specifically, the park is under no obligation to hire the individual in subsequent seasons. The number of weeks and hours worked may vary as park needs dictate. Additional information will be provided upon employment.

Due to the high volume of applications, only those applicants invited to interview will be contacted.

Click here to fill out an application.

Questions or cannot apply online?
Please contact:

P.O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
231-436-4100 x111


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