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Decades after a summer job up north, this man writes an insider account of Mackinac Island

Sep 8, 2014

Mackinac Island
Credit User: Mackinac Island - Mackinac.com / facebook

You just never know what that summer job during college might do. It just might affect the course of your life and send you down a path you'd never expect.

Dennis Cawthorne's summer job in 1960 found him on Mackinac Island. He was a kid who was standing on the street and enticing tourists onto horse-drawn tour wagons and taxis.

That humble summer job led to some 50 years of living and working on Mackinac Island for Cawthorne. He has been a lawyer, a state legislator, the chairman of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission and much more.

Cawthorne has poured his decades of insider knowledge about Mackinac Island into a new book: Mackinac Island: Inside, Up Close, and Personal.

Cawthorne says that besides the beauty and history of Mackinac Island, it is the people that drew him back and have fascinated him to this day.

"In the book we quote one gentleman who said that Charles Dickens would have a hard time matching the characters that you will find on Mackinac," says Cawthorne.

* Tune in to Stateside today at 3 p.m. and listen to our conversation with Dennis Cawthorne, as he shares the history, controversies, and secret spots on Mackinac. The full interview will be posted around 4:30 p.m.