Mission and Projects

Mackinac Associates’ mission is simple and encompassing: “Friends preserving and sharing Mackinac’s heritage.”

Members support programs and share in benefits at Mackinac State Historic Parks’ sites: Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City, and at Fort Mackinac, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Historic Downtown Mackinac and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island.

Children's programs
Archeology Program

Funded Projects

Thanks to the generosity of Mackinac Associates members, Mackinac State Historic Parks has been able to fulfill its mission of preserving the cultural resources of the Straits of Mackinac and educating our guests. Over the past ten years, Associates have provided nearly $1,000,000 in support of programs. Below is a sampling of recent projects funded through Mackinac Associates member support.


Each year, parks interpreters take to the road to present Mackinac’s rich cultural and natural history in classrooms across the state. Mackinac Associates have funded this project since its inception in 1988. Over the past 10 years members have provided more than $280,000 in support for this program.



Members support has helped to create the following exhibits over the past 10 years:

  • Beaumont Exhibit
  • Historic Downtown Mackinac Island Children’s Discovery Room
  • Fort Mackinac North Blockhouse Exhibit
  • Fort Mackinac Lighthouse Exhibit


Visitors to Mackinac State Historic Parks enjoy a variety of living history, interactive programs and interpretive signs made possible by Mackinac Associates’ members’ support:

  • Naturalist programs at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park
  • Interpretive panels: Arch Rock, Mackinac Geology, Mackinac Natural Series, Historic Mill Creek.
  • Portable audio program at Colonial Michilimackinac
  • Paddle with the Voyageurs interactive program
  • Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park Canopy Bridge
  • Kids’ Rendezvous play area
  • Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park Forest Friends play component



Mackinac State Historic Parks publishes more than 100 titles, many made possible by member support:

  • “Keys to the Past” archaeological treasures coffee table book
  • “Home to Mackinac” chapter book
  • “Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse” souvenir book
  • Robinson’s Folly vignette

Video Productions

Mackinac Associates has sponsored the production of several informational videos:

  • “Summer of Sports” video
  • Access video at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
  • Orientation video at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park
  • Colonial Michilimackinac exhibit video
  • Shipwrecks of the Straits video at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse


Other Programs

Mackinac Associates members have supported needed projects in every area of museum operations:

  • Historic structures reports (Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse)
  • Curriculum consultant
  • Collections intern
  • Guest surveys
  • Research (St. Anne of Michilimackinac)
  • Historic furnishings
  • Costumes Park picnic tables and benches
  • Preservation of trees
  • Building preservation (Mission Church and Scout Barracks)
  • Collections acquisition (Dashwood Painting, DePeyster Bowl, Whistler Collection)
  • Signs and banners