Mackinac Island State Park Commission Honors Frank J. Kelley

The Mackinac Island State Park Commission, in honor and memory of Frank J. Kelley and with the blessing of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, returned a large taxidermy moose head donated by Frank J. Kelley to its original location in the Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence. The moose head was a family heirloom that Kelley had donated in 1982 and hung in the residence until 2012.

Kelley, who passed away in March, served as the attorney general of Michigan from 1961-1999, and at the time he left office was the longest serving attorney general in the nation’s history. He was appointed to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission by Governor John Engler in 1999 and was appointed char of the commission in 2007 by Governor Jennifer Granholm. He remained chair until 2011.

“In honor of Mr. Kelley, we had requested to the governor’s office this spring that the moose head be put back in the residence, and we are thrilled that Governor Whitmer agreed,” said Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Steve Brisson. “We know that Mr. Kelley was disappointed to learn it had been removed, so we’re happy we can provide this little tribute in his honor.”

A white house with a lawn and flowers in front of it

Description automatically generated with low confidenceIn addition, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission has passed a resolution officially naming the parlor at the Commanding Officer’s Quarters “The Frank J. Kelley Parlor.” The Commanding Officer’s Quarters is an original Fort Mackinac building and serves as a guest house for the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. It was a favorite of Kelley’s, and he would reserve time at the residence during the July 4 holiday. During his time staying at the house Kelley would personally replace or update items there, making it more comfortable for himself and other visitors.

In an official resolution read by current commission chair Daniel Loepp, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission commended and thanked Frank Kelley for his dedicated and successful service to the State of Michigan and the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites—which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums—include Fort Mackinac, the Biddle House, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present the parks’ rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of future generations. Visitor information is available at (231) 436-4100 or online at