Category Archives: Speakers and Presentations

Copper, Cords and Cabbage: The Story of the Mineral Range Railroad’s South Range Branch

Some railroad employees pose with Mineral Range Railroad Engine #4. (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)
Some railroad employees pose with Mineral Range Railroad Engine #4. (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)

 

Please join us for visiting scholar Mark Worrall at 4:00 pm on Monday, November 10 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Worrall will explore the history of the section of the Mineral Range Railroad that extended from Keweenaw Bay, through Mass City, to Riddle Junction. Many aspects of the line’s tenure will be examined, from its construction at the beginning of the twentieth century to its final abandonment in the 1930s. Major topics include the railroad’s connection to local industries, driving factors behind the line’s installation, complications faced during construction of the branch, passenger train operations and the influence that local Finnish culture had on the railroad.

Mark Worrall is a railroad historian whose research interests include the Duluth South Shore & Atlantic, historic interactions between Michigan’s railroads and the mining industry, Michigan rail wrecks and disasters, and late nineteenth and early twentieth century imagery of Michigan railroads. He is the current president of the Michigan Railroad History Conference and chaired the last two conferences. Mark’s research goals are to promote awareness and interest in Michigan’s rich railroad history.

Worrall’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505, email at copper@mtu.edu, or visit on the web athttp://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.


Passengers, Packages, and Copper: The Steamer Pewabic, Its Archaeology, Management, Material Culture and the Development of the Keweenaw Peninsula

steamer bon voyage
The S.S. Bon Voyage, a passenger steamer ship similar to the Pewabic. (Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Digital Archives)

 

Please join us for visiting scholar Philip Hartmeyer at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 6 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Hartmeyer will examine the passenger/package freighter Pewabic and speak to the multiple roles it played in the development of the Keweenaw and its copper industry. The hybrid steamer was a popular vessel to bring downstate tourists to the Copper Country and it also filled its hold with native copper on return trips, an important component of the Detroit mineral market. Pewabic embodies the mid-nineteenth century Great Lakes economic and cultural zeitgeist, having tapped into two profitable enterprises. Historical sources and underwater archaeological data will be used to unearth the identities of Pewabic afloat as well as the new identities it has adopted as an archaeological site, mass grave site, and salvage training ground.

Philip Hartmeyer is a maritime archaeologist currently working at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan. Originally from San Francisco, California, Hartmeyer’s passion for maritime heritage has taken him all over the world to conduct surveys and excavations of shipwrecks. He received his masters in maritime archaeology from East Carolina University, where he wrote his thesis on the passenger/package propeller Pewabic, a middle 19th-century vessel that was instrumental to the copper industry and the settlement of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Hartmeyer’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505, email at copper@mtu.edu, or visit on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.


Environmentalism at the Point of Extraction: Viewpoints, Politics, and Memory in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the Environmental Movement

A glimpse of activity at Gregoryville Sawmill on Torch Lake, near Lake Linden.  (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)
A glimpse of activity at the Gregoryville Sawmill on Torch Lake, near Lake Linden, Michigan. (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)

 

Please join us for a presentation by visiting scholar Camden Burd at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 14 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Burd will address an environmental approach to the history of natural resource extraction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Where once the Upper Peninsula was a booming industrial region, it is now a draw for vacationers to experience its sprawling forests and apparent wilderness. Between this era of environmental degradation and natural appreciation, there were disputes over the future of the U.P.’s environments. In the midst of the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s many voices attempted to understand, define, and direct how the Upper Peninsula would be perceived by future generations. This talk examines the different voices of the environmental movement and show the complexities behind today’s UP environmental identity.

Camden Burd is a PhD student at the University of Rochester where he studies American Environmental History. He earned his MA in History from Central Michigan University and BA of History from the University of Utah. He has received numerous travel funds from Central Michigan University and was the recipient of the Grace H. Magnaghi Visiting Research Grant at Northern Michigan University to study the environmental perceptions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan he is especially interested in the environments of the Great Lakes Region and the connection between people and place.

Burd’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505, email at copper@mtu.edu, or visit on the web athttp://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.


Female Spaces, Working Class Communities, and the Labor Movement

Please join us for visiting scholar Shannon Kirkwood at 4:00 pm on Thursday July 17 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Kirkwood will address the politics of female space in a male-dominated labor movement, as well as class consciousness based home, kin and neighborhood networks. These themes will be discussed in the contexts of the Copper Country, Seattle and Glasgow.

Kirkwood is a doctoral student at Central Michigan University and a recent presenter at “Retrospection and Respect: the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014”. Her research has focused on the participation of miners’ wives in the 1913-14 Copper Strike and the indirect relationship these women had with the mining companies, their relationships with their men, and their relationships with each other.

Kirkwood’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant program has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505, email at copper@mtu.edu, or visit them on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.


Michigan Tech Archives to Host “Fourth Thursday In History” Presentation June 26th

When: June 26th at 7:00 PM

Where: East Reading Room

Van Pelt and Opie Library

The upcoming Fourth Thursday In History event will be hosted by the Michigan Tech Archives on Thursday, June 26th in the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s East Reading Room. The talk, to be presented by Larry Molloy will focus on the Detroit Publishing Company’s photographs of the local area.

Between 1900-1910 the Detroit Publishing Company photographed much of the Copper Country, including photos of towns, mines, mills, smelters, trains, etc. Over 60 of these images have been digitized as high-resolution images by the Library of Congress. Join Larry Molloy as he examines many of these images and uses them to identify historic sites and buildings. Larry will also discuss the Detroit Publishing Company Collection and how an individual can gain access to these and other Library of Congress images.

The Fourth Thursdays In History, organized by the Keweenaw National Historical Park, are presentations on local or regional history. Programs are free and open to the public. For more information, including directions or site accessibility, contact either:

Keweenaw National Historical Park

(906) 337-3168

www.nps.gov/kewe

or

Michigan Tech Archives

(906) 487-2505

Email at: copper@mtu.edu

The Heart of the Copper Country, Calumet, Mich.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Shelden St., Houghton, Mich.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divisions Washington, D.C.

Travel Grants Awarded to Five Scholars

The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections has selected five recipients for the 2014 Research Travel Award. This year’s grant recipients take a fresh approach to the rich array of material housed in the Archives.

”]Cameron Burd, a graduate student at Central Michigan University will explore environmental activism in the Lake Superior region during the modern environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s and document those who attempted to control the natural fate of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Philip Hartmeyer is a graduate student pursuing maritime studies at East Carolina University.  Hartmeyer will focus his research on the vessel “Pewabic” and the crucial role shipping played in the lives of the Keweenaw’s population, its copper mines, and its civil development in the 1860s.

”]

Shannon Kirkwood is a doctoral student at Central Michigan University and a recent presenter at “Retrospection and Respect: the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014.   She will continue her research in the participation of miners’ wives in the 1913-1914 Copper Strike and the indirect relationship these women had with the mining companies, their relationships with their men, and their relationships with each other.

Paul Lubotina, visiting assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University and also a participant in the symposium will examine the role Croatian immigrants played in the 1913-1914 Copper Strike.  He will examine the Seeberville murders and try to shed light on whether mining officials had a more compelling reason other than trespassing for the death of two immigrant laborers.

Mark Worrall is an independent researcher working on the history of the Mineral Range Railroad’s South Range Branch.  He will examine the geographical and anthropological setting of the line, its history, its operations, notable events on the line, and the eventual abandonment of the line.

Since its inception over ten years ago, the grant has enabled more than twenty researchers to travel to Houghton from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the unique social and cultural resources in the Archives collections. Past grant recipients have studied a wide variety of topics, such as the use of images and models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites above and below ground; the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities; and the adoption of the English language by European transplants to Michigan’s Copper Country. This year’s awards continue a tradition of supported research using the manuscript collections curated by the Michigan Tech Archives.

”]The grant program is financially supported by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. This year’s award committee included Larry Lankton and Susan Martin, retired professors from the Michigan Tech Department of  Social Sciences, Don Durfee, also from the Department of Social Sciences and the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, and Beth Russell, representing the Michigan Tech Archives.  For further information about the awards program or about the collections of the Michigan Tech Archives, call 487-2505.


Symposium Travel Grant Awards Announced

the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014
Join us April 11-12, 2014.

The University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections has selected nine recipients for the 2014 Symposium Travel Award. These grant recipients will be among the many scholars and researchers participating in “Retrospection & Respect: Michigan’s 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium,” to be held in Houghton, Michigan, April 11-12, 2014, on the occasion of the centennial of the cessation of the 1913-1914 Western Federation of Miners labor strike against copper mining companies in the Copper Country of Upper Michigan.

John Beck, from Michigan State University, will explore Father Dietz and the Catholic Church within the history of the 1913-1914 Copper Miners’ Strike.  Thomas Mackaman, from Kings’ College (PA), will look at new immigrants and American industry in 1914 and Erik Nordberg, from the Michigan Humanities Council and formerly Michigan Tech’s University Archivist, will present a paper on company houses along the picket line.

Roger Burt, from the University of Devon (UK) will present on the role of fraternal organizations in mining communities.  Peter Krats, from Western University (Ontario), will explore ethnic identity in the Keweenaw and Nickel Belts to 1930.  Peter Lubotina, from Middle Tennessee State University will profile Teofilo Petriella, a Marxist revolutionary.

Shannon Rebecca Kirkwood, from Central Michigan University, will explore gender and feminine strategies in the 1913 copper strike.  Patrick Allan Pospisek, from Grand Valley State University, will present on federal authority and the development of corporate mining from 1807-1847 and Ryan Driskell Tate, from Rutgers University, will present on cross-class cooperation in the 1916 Iron Range strike.

”]

Funded by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library since its inception over 10 years ago, the grant has enabled more than 20 researchers to travel to Houghton from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the unique social and cultural resources in the Archives collections. Past grant recipients have studied a wide variety of topics, such as the use of images and models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites above and below ground; the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities; and the adoption of the English language by European transplants to Michigan’s Copper Country. This year, the Friends of the Library provided generous support for competitive travel awards for the symposium.

The award committee included Larry Lankton, Professor Emeritus from the Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences, Susan Martin, Professor Emerita from the Department of Social Sciences, Don Durfee, Friends of the Van Pelt Library and Social Sciences, and Beth Russell, University Archives. For further information about the awards program or about the collections of the University Archives: 906- 487-2505; www.mtu.edu/library/archives/ or copper@mtu.edu


Symposium Speakers Announced

The  speakers for Retrospection & Respect: The 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014” have been announced!  FinnForum X speakers will be added soon.

Full conference registration is $30.00 and includes Friday reception and Saturday sessions for both the 1913-1914 Mining/ Labor Strike and FinnForum X concurrent sessions, and includes breakfast and lunch. Keynote dinner reservations must be made separately.

Registration opens February 15, 2014 at Registration, 906-487-2505, or copper@mtu.edu. The full conference registration deadline is April 9, 2014. Walk-in registrations are welcome, but meals tickets will not be available.

the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014
Join us April 11-12, 2014, running concurrently with FinnForum X.

The following topics will be covered:

John Beck Co-director, Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives, Associate Professor, Labor Education Program, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI :

“Father Dietz, the Catholic Church and the 1913 Michigan Copper Strike”

Roger Burt, Professor Emeritus, History Department, College of Humanities, University of Exeter, Devon, UK :

“The role of fraternal organisation in migration and informal Labour organisations in mining communities: Cornwall, the Keweenaw and California Compared”

Peter Kratz, Professor, History Department, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada :

Mainari, Farmari, Lumperjäkki, Piika : “Ethnic Identity” and Earning a Living in the Keweenaw and Nickel Belts to 1930″

Paul Lubotina, Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN :

“Teofilo Petriella: Marxist Revolutionary”

Thomas Mackaman, Assistant Professor of History, King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, PA :

“Our lives, our thoughts and our allegiance : New immigrants and American industry in 1914″

Alice Margerum, Houghton, MI :

“Beneath the Starry Flag: the Flags and Songs of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike as Image-making in the American Labor Movement”

Erik Nordberg, Executive Director, Michigan Humanities Council, Lansing, MI :

“Company Houses along the Picket Line”

Brendan Pelto, Student, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI :

“The 1968-1969 Copper Strike”

Patrick Allan Pospisek, Department of History, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI :

“Federal Authority and the Development of Corporate Mining, 1807-1847”

Ryan Tate, PhD student, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ :

“Flash in the Pan: Cross-Class Cooperation in 1916 Iron Range Strike”

Joanne Thomas, Allouez, MI :

“100 Years to Red Jacket – and Annie : An Extraordinary Mass”


Archival Speaker Series: Austro-Hungarian Immigrant Identity

This photograph of a Hungarian immigrant laborer was included with the Declaration of Intention application for United States citizenship.

The Michigan Tech Archival Speaker Series will feature visiting scholar Dr. Robert Goodrich at 7 PM on Thursday, June 13 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Goodrich will talk about the complexities acting to make Habsburg-influenced national identity in Austro-Hungarian immigrants to Michigan so difficult to identify, despite the large numbers that came to America in the 19th and 20th centuries. His presentation will highlight how modern concepts of ethnic heritage and identity do not always fit neatly into our ideas of fixed national traits.

Dr. Robert Goodrich is an Associate Professor of History at Northern Michigan University. His teaching focuses on broad themes in modern Europe. He earned his PhD from University of Wisconsin – Madison, where his dissertation addressed identity formation of working-class Catholics in the Rhineland of Germany. He is working on a book on the construction of Habsburg emigrant identity in the United States.

Goodrich’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant program has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives.

For more information call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505, e-mail to copper@mtu.edu, or visit them on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/


Painesdale Hosts Labor History Exhibit

Company houses at Osceola location. The role that company-provided houses played in the 1913 Michigan Copper Strike will be the topic of a presentation at the Jeffers High School Library at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Photograph courtesy of the Michigan Tech Archives, Image #MTU Neg 05670.

Labor and and management conflict in the Keweenaw Peninsula is explored through a traveling exhibit in Painesdale during the month of April. “Tumult and Tragedy: Michigan’s 1913-14 Copper Strike,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, will be on display through May 1. The exhibit is hosted by the Sarah Sargent Paine Historical Research Center in the Jeffers High School Library in Painesdale.

A special open house will take place Wednesday, April 10.  Michigan Tech Archivist Erik Nordberg will present an illustrated talk entitled “Company Houses Along the Picket Line” exploring the role of company-owned houses in the 1913 strike. The event is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the exhibit will be open to visitors. Support for this event is provided by the Sarah Sargent Paine Historical Research Center.

On July 23, 1913, members of the Western Federation of Miners took to the streets over grievances about pay and working conditions. The strike was marked by violence and tragedy, including the deaths of more than 70 people, mainly children during a Christmas Eve party at Calumet’s Italian Hall. Local mining companies refused to recognize the union, however, and the strike finally ended in April 1914. The confrontation between organized labor and mining companies affected local residents from all walks of life, created headlines across the nation, and continues to resonate in Michigan’s Copper Country today.

The “Tumult and Tragedy” traveling exhibit consists of 12 panels and includes photographs, excerpts from newspapers, documents, and songs from the strike era. A free giveaway brochure contains links to related web content about the 1913-14 Michigan copper strike online here.

The exhibit was made possible through a $14,500 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided by Michigan Technological University, Cranking Graphics, and Dr. Robert and Ruth Nara.

For further information, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at copper@mtu.eduor 906-487-2505, or the Jeffers High School Library at 906-487-0599.