Mission

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

Mackinac Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports programs at Mackinac State Historic Parks. Mackinac State Historic Parks is a family of living history museums and parks that includes Mackinac Island State Park, Fort Mackinac, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and The Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum on Mackinac Island, and Michilimackinac State Park, Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Mackinac Associates members are passionate about preserving the rich history and natural beauty of the Straits of Mackinac. Through membership dues, donations, sponsorships, and other gifts, Mackinac Associates members have supported needed projects in every area of museum operation. Member support makes possible:

  • Interpretive programs
  • Publications
  • Video production
  • Building preservation
  • Collections acquisition
  • New and renovated exhibits
  • Education outreach programs
  • Natural history education
  • Park improvements
  • Signs and banners

Canopy Bridge
Soldier with Anvil
Soldiers at Fort Holmes

Funded Projects

Thanks to the generosity of Mackinac Associates members and sponsors, Mackinac State Historic Parks has been able to fulfill its mission of preserving the cultural and natural resources of the Straits of Mackinac. Since its inception, Mackinac Associates has provided over $2,000,000 in support of programs including over $700,000 for education outreach programs.

Each year Mackinac State Historic Parks interpreters take to the road to present Mackinac’s rich cultural and natural history in classrooms across the state. Mackinac Associates has proudly sponsored this project since its creation in 1988. Students can explore Michigan’s early fur trade history or learn about our state’s natural history.

Mackinac Associates provides support in all areas of museum operation, from the small such as providing funding for a historically accurate anvil for the blacksmith shop at Colonial Michilimackinac to our largest project – the reconstruction of Fort Holmes.

Other recent larger initiatives include:

  • Funding of the renovation of the Biddle House to include the Mackinac Island Native American Museum (opening 2020)
  • Supporting the production of the PBS documentary Mackinac: Our Famous Island
  • Renovation of the Fort Mackinac Office exhibit (formerly the Post Headquarters)
  • Funding production of a new orientation video at Colonial Michilimackinac Kings Storehouse
  • Native American Cultural History Trail
  • Mackinac Island Peace Garden
  • Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park canopy walk