Historic Indian Dormitory

Becoming State of the Art Museum

The historic Indian Dormitory is becoming one of the most talked about state of the art museums in Michigan and perhaps in all of the Mid-West.

The Mackinac Island community is thrilled to see this impressive tall white building which sits on the east side of busy Marquette Park becoming a focal point for their beloved Island.

The building was built on Mackinac Island due to the need to provide Native Americans a place to stay when arriving on the Island to receive payment as part of the 1836 Treaty of Washington. The Mackinac Island United States Indian Agency called for these improvements due to this Treaty in which Indian Nations of the Great Lakes deeded significant portions of Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas to the United States.

Around 1844 it no longer was needed and was converted into the Mackinac Island schoolhouse. It served as the Mackinac Island Public School for nearly 100 years.

In 1964 the Mackinac State Historic Parks purchased the historic Indian Dormitory from the Mackinac Island Board of Education. The building at that time was completely restored to its 1838 appearance by removing previous additions.

Exhibits about Native American crafts and historic maps were installed and it was opened to the public during the summer months from 1966 to 2002. It was closed due to budget cutbacks in 2003.

Thanks to a major grant from the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation it has reopened as the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.

Insider Tip: If you love Mackinac Island become a member of Mackinac Associates.   Marcia and Kathy wish to thank the 4,000 members, volunteers and staff of this important organization for their commitment to Mackinac Island's past, present and future.

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