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Contact: Timothy Putman (906) 847-3328
Agency: History, Arts and Libraries

Phil Porter Appointed Director by Mackinac Island State Park Commission

September 22, 2003

Mackinac Island, Mich.— At its September 18 meeting, the Mackinac Island State Park Commission appointed Phil Porter as director of the 108-year-old agency.

“This commission had great confidence in Mr. Porter’s abilities,” noted MISPC Chairman Dennis O. Cawthorne. “We are totally confident that he is the person to lead us in the years to come.”

As MISPC Director, Porter takes the helm of the agency that administers some of the most prestigious parkland and historic sites in Michigan. Its properties include Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island State Park and Historic Downtown on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Historic Mill Creek, Old Mackinac Point Light Station and Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City. Combined annual attendance for all sites is approximately 1.2 million visitors.

“I am deeply honored to receive this appointment as Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks,” said Porter. “I want to thank the Commission for placing their trust in me with this appointment and I look forward to devoting all of my experience, passion, energy and skill to the continued success of this great organization.”

Porter has worked for the MISPC for 31 years and has a long history with Mackinac. As a youth growing up in Grosse Pointe he spent his summers at the family residence on Mackinac Island. He worked summers in college as a uniformed soldier guide at Fort Mackinac beginning in 1972. Four years later he joined the permanent staff as curator of collections and was promoted to curator of interpretation in 1982. Porter was appointed chief curator in 1997 and acting director on May 1, 2003.

Porter is an authority on the history of the Mackinac region and has authored a variety of books published by MSHP, including A Desirable Station, Soldier Life at Fort Mackinac, 1867-1895; View from the Veranda; Mackinac: An Island Famous in These Regions and Fudge: Mackinac’s Sweet Souvenir. Porter earned his undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and a graduate degree in history museum studies from the State University of New York, College of Oneonta, Cooperstown Graduate Program. He is on the board of trustees of the Michigan Museums Association and the City of Cheboygan Historic Resources Commission.

The Mackinac Island State Park Commission administers Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in Northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac region including Fort Mackinac and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, as well as Colonial Michilimackinac and Historic Mill Creek in Mackinaw City. The sites are accredited by the American Association of Museums. Visitor information is available on the Web at and by phone at (906) 847-3328 or (231) 436-4100.

Mackinac State Historic Parks is an agency of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries, whose mission is to enrich the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan’s heritage and fostering cultural creativity. The department also includes the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Michigan Film Office, and the Michigan Historical Center.

Read more press releases from the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.




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