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“Preservation at Mackinac” Among Three New Publications for Mackinac State Historic Parks in 2021

Mackinac State Historic Parks published three new books in 2021, all of which are now available: Preservation at Mackinac: A History of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, 1895-2020, Pipes and Bottles or Bacchanalian Revels? The Truth About Robinson’s Folly, and House 7 of the South Southwest Rowhouse: Excavations at Fort Michilimackinac, 1998-2007.

“For over 60 years the Mackinac Island State Park Commission has used publications as a way to share Mackinac’s rich history,” said Steve Brisson, Mackinac State Historic Parks Director. “We’re pleased that we are able to continue this important work with these three new titles.”

Preservation at Mackinac: A History of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, 1895-2020 is an update to 100 Years at Mackinac: A History of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, 1895-1995, by David A. Armour. After 25 years, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission is pleased to present this updated and revised version of 100 Years at Mackinac. Using the original text by Armour as a foundation, Preservation at Mackinac includes additional research as well as information from the last 25 years. It features the original chronological and thematic layout and now also includes MSHP history since 1995 as well as several new and interesting subjects. Many of the historic images used in the original have been retained and are augmented with photos acquired since 1995. New sections were added by former MSHP director Phil Porter and current director Steven Brisson.

Preservation at Mackinac was originally scheduled to be published in 2020 as part of the 125th anniversary of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project was suspended. Thanks to a generous gift from Clayton and Anna Timmons, MSHP was able to finish the book and have it published this past March.

Pipes and Bottles or Bacchanalian Revels? The Truth About Robinson’s Folly is leaflet number two in volume five of the Mackinac History Series: A Continuing Series of Illustrated Vignettes. This publication, written by Todd E. Harburn and Brian Leigh Dunnigan, attempts to answer two questions: who was Robinson, and what was his folly? While Mackinac Island is liberally sprinkled with names and tales inspired by Native American legends and folklore, only one tale recounts a story set in the early historic period when France, Britain, and the United States vied for control.

Funding for Pipes and Bottles or Bacchanalian Revels? The Truth About Robinson’s Folly came from the Martin Petersen Fund for Historical Writing, the Mackinac Island Community Foundation, and the Samuel Bayard Poole Memorial Fund.

House 7 of the South Southwest Rowhouse: Excavations at Fort Michilimackinac, 1998-2007, by Lynn L.M. Evans and Tood M. Reck, is number 19 in the Archaeological Completion Report Series. After strategic planning for Mackinac State Historic Parks in the 1990s identified the need for new exhibit space and visitor amenities inside Michilimackinac, administration realized that excavating the final unit of the South Southwest Rowhouse, mostly excavated in the 1960s, would allow for the reconstruction of a large building that could meet its needs. This report analyzes the results from all ten years of excavation to better understand life in the multicultural fortified fur trading community of Michilimackinac. This publication was funded by the Samuel Bayard Poole Memorial Fund.

The three new books join over 110 other titles published by Mackinac State Historic Parks since 1960. The current selection of books still available can be found at https://www.mackinacparks.com/more-info/books-publications/. Those wishing to purchase books can call the administrative office of Mackinac State Historic Parks Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at (231) 436-4100.