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Seasonal positions

Museums and historic sites

2024 seasonal positions

The Michigan History Center is Michigan’s state history organization, dedicated to fostering curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. The Michigan History Center is part of the Department of Natural Resources. We operate 11 museums and historic sites across the state and the DNR’s archaeology, heritage trail and state historical marker programs.

For the summer of 2024 we are hiring 16 historical interpreters across the state of Michigan. These positions are opportunities to expand skills, gain experience, and work independently in a variety of public history contexts in some of Michigan’s most beautiful places. Submit questions and the DNR non-career employment application directly to the site contact.

Lower Peninsula

Cambridge Junction Historic State Park (Walker Tavern Historic Site)
Brooklyn, Michigan
2 positions from late May through mid-September
25-35 hours per week

Hartwick Pines Logging Museum (Hartwick Pines State Park)
Grayling, Michigan
2 positions from May through August
29.5 hours per week

Higgins Lake Nursery & Civilian Conservation Corps Museum (North Higgins Lake State Park)
Roscommon, Michigan
1 position from mid-May through Labor Day
40 hours per week

Mann House
Concord, Michigan
2 positions from late-May through mid-September
25-30 hours per week

Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park
Cass City, Michigan
3 positions from mid-May through early September
30-35 hours per week

Upper Peninsula

Fayette Historic State Park
Garden, Michigan
2 positions from mid-May through early September
30-35 hours per week.

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park and Copper Harbor Lighthouses
Copper Harbor, Michigan
4 positions from June through August
40 hours per week.

Cambridge Junction Historic State Park

Walker Tavern Historic Site

Nestled among the rolling green hills and lakes of northwestern Lenawee County, Cambridge Junction Historic State Park is home to Walker Tavern, a National Register designated historic site. Built in 1832 by Calvin Snell, the tavern became famous in the 1840s under the ownership of Sylvester Walker as a stagecoach stop on the “Old Chicago Road,” now US 12. The site has national importance as a place that served a pivotal role in Michigan’s quest for statehood. During the 20th century Walker Tavern became a colorful part of southeast Michigan’s early tourist economy. The site is generously supported by an active volunteer group, the Friends of Walker Tavern, which runs many of the events and programs at the site.

Interpreters will hone their skills in education program creation and presentation, exhibit development, collections care and daily site operations. The site affords students of early 19th century social and political history or early 20th century tourism the joy of sharing their knowledge with the site’s visitors. This position is perfect for someone with a background in history and/or museum studies who is independent, creative and looking to gain experience in interpretation and historic site management.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/CJ

Contact: Laurie Perkins, PerkinsL1@Michigan.gov

A two-story white New England saltbox-style building with green shutters and a cedar shake roof.

Hartwick Pines Logging Museum

The Hartwick Pines Logging Museum is in Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling, MI. The Logging Museum is housed in two log structures built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps to resemble a logging camp of the late 1800s. The museum showcases the life, labor and innovations of Michigan’s nineteenth century logging era. After walking through the largest old growth forest in the Lower Peninsula, guests can explore the logging museum, historic logging equipment, and 1914 steam engine and sawmill.

Summer programming includes blacksmithing, cooking and crosscut saw demonstrations. Interpreters research, produce, and present programming for school groups, park visitors and campers. While wearing 1890s historic costuming, interpreters provide excellent customer service and engaging, educational opportunities for the public. The historical interpreters conduct routine cleaning of the Logging Museum and present nineteenth century crafts and foodways. Interpreters also staff the Hartwick Pines Visitor Center, opening and closing the building, staffing the front desk and conducting routine cleaning. Interpreters may also conduct guided nature walks and present natural history programming. This position is perfect for someone with a background in history and/or museum studies who is looking for experience in interpretation and visitor center operations.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/HP

Contact: Hillary Pine, PineH@Michigan.gov

A women in historical clothing stands in front of a large outdoor fire. A pot is suspended and a skillet sits on a grate above the fire.

Higgins Lake Nursery and Civilian Conservation Corps Museum

The Higgins Lake Nursery and Civilian Conservation Corps Museum are in North Higgins Lake State Park near Roscommon, MI. The nursery, Michigan’s first, was once one of the largest in the world. It produced 20 million seedlings per year at the height of operation and aided Michigan in its fight to combat deforestation. The CCC Museum, located on the nursery site, tells the story of the boys who served in the CCC during the Great Depression. They spent endless days fighting forest fires, building state and national park infrastructure, and planting 484 million trees just in Michigan. After the environmental devastation of the logging era, the Higgins Lake Nursery and the CCC boys worked tirelessly to conserve Michigan’s soil, rivers and forests.

The interpreter researches, produces, and presents interpretive programming relating to the Michigan CCC and Higgins Lake Nursery to school groups, visitors, and campers. They ensure accurate and timely communication between many members of DNR staff. This person may also conduct research at state facilities including the Archives of Michigan. This position is perfect for someone with a background in history, forestry and/or museum studies who is independent, creative and looking to gain experience in interpretation and historic site management.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/HLN-CCC

Contact: Hillary Pine, PineH@Michigan.gov

A green and gold historical marker sits in front of a red wooden work building.

Mann House

The village of Concord, Jackson County, is home to the National Register-designated historic Mann House. Built by prosperous farmers Daniel and Ellen Mann in 1883, the two-story middle class Victorian home was once the center of Concord’s social whirl. The Mann daughters Mary Ida and Jessie were women who excelled in a challenging age, pursuing higher education, teaching mathematics, promoting physical education for women and traveling around the world. In 1969, Jessie gave this family home and all its contents to the state of Michigan. This historic house museum provides a unique opportunity to interpret the stories and changes in the lives of a multigenerational family.

Mann House interpreters learn about the care of these diverse collections while honing their skills in educational program creation and presentation, exhibit development and the daily operations of an historic site. This position is perfect for someone with a background in history and/or museum studies who is looking for experience in collections, interpretation and historic site management.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/Mann

Contact: Laurie Perkins, PerkinsL1@Michigan.gov

A 2-story Late Victorian home with elements of Eastlake design; yellow exterior with green trim.

Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park

The 240-acre Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park consists of a lush and lively floodplain forest that has attracted people to the area for thousands of years. The heart of the park is Michigan’s largest known collection of early Native American teachings carved in stone. These petroglyphs are internationally significant and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This land is sacred to Great Lakes Anishinabek, holds important archaeological information about our region’s past, and is a cherished destination for hikers and birders who enjoy the peaceful one-mile trail loop. This is Michigan’s first state park comanaged with a tribe, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.

Are you interested in Native American history and culture, archaeology, historic preservation, and environmental stewardship? Do you have a passion for public outreach? Interpreters become park experts and advocates, educating visitors while working closely with local, state and tribal partners to protect this extraordinary place.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/Sanilac

Contact: Stacy Tchorzynski, TchorzynskiS@Michigan.gov

Woman standing at the edge of a large carved stone outcropping

Fayette Historic State Park

Once a bustling iron smelting town, Fayette is now a premier museum village in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Jackson Iron Company built Fayette in 1867 to turn Upper Peninsula iron ore into “pigs” to be used in iron and steel production. Superintendents and unskilled workers lived together on the site, which had a vibrant village life as well as work life.

Seasonal interpreters have an opportunity to absorb Fayette’s rich history, interact with diverse groups of people, interpret Fayette’s historic structures, people, and artifacts, and become a member of the Michigan History Center team. Are you interested in Archaeology? Exhibits? Research? Historic preservation? Collections? Inspired interpretation? The educational possibilities at Fayette incorporate a multitude of specialties in the field. The quality experience of working at the Michigan History Center’s largest historic site bolsters the resumes of future history professionals.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/Fayette

Contact: Troy Henderson, HendersonT7@Michigan.gov

Viewed from above, several historic buildings sit on a strip of land between two bodies of water.

Fort Wilkins and Copper Harbor Lighthouses

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park comprises 22 historic buildings, two campgrounds, hiking trails, a picnic area, a boat launch and a park store. The Fort was built in 1844 during the Keweenaw Copper Rush and was used again from 1867-1870. Today, 19 buildings – 12 of them original structures dating from the 1840s – are preserved and interpreted in a breathtaking natural setting that has changed little in more than 175-years. The nearby village of Copper Harbor is a summer tourist destination and a point of departure for ferry service to Isle Royale National Park. Annual attendance at Fort Wilkins State Park is approximately 150,000 visitors.

Costumed interpreters at the fort participate in a living history program where they present life using the first-person, role-playing method of interpretation for the year 1870. Interpreters gain valuable professional field experience working in museum interpretation. The program lasts a minimum of 12-weeks and runs June through mid-August. This position is perfect for someone with a background in history and/or museum studies who is looking for experience in historical interpretation, education and/or outdoor recreation.

Webpage: Michigan.gov/MHC/Museums/FWCHL

Contact: Barry James, JamesB@Michigan.gov

A boy carrying two wooden buckets with a yoke walks a gravel path with a man and a woman. All are in historic costume.