He’s one of the Copper Country’s most prolific authors. His name is synonymous with local history.
With the publication of his first book in 1974, Clarence Monette has been researching and writing about the towns, businesses, railroads, and events that make up the storied past of the Keweenaw and its people. His work, over 50 individual publications, comprises the heart of any comprehensive collection on Copper Country history. Each of his volumes gathers together a wealth of facts and details about a particular topic.
In 2008, Monette donated his personal research collection to the Michigan Tech Archives. It was carefully processed by long-time Archives student worker Ryan Cooper, and described in detail by University Archivist Erik Nordberg. The finding aid is available through the Archives’ website. You can link directly to it here.
The material contained in the 54 boxes of material donated by Monette has been rehoused and organized by topic. The collection holds photographs, maps, newspaper clippings, and other information assembled by Monette during the course of his research.
To learn out more about this collection and others, call the Archives at 906-487-2505, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.”]
The Michigan Tech Archives and Center for Diversity and Inclusion are pleased to host visiting researcher Dr. Valerie Bradley-Holliday for “Northern Roots: African Descended Pioneers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” at 7:00 p.m. on September 28, in Dow 642.
What do Sampson Noll, a 19th century runaway slave, and Charlotte Preston, a member of the first class to graduate from Northern State Normal School (now NMU) have in common? As it turns out, two things. Both of these people lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and both were Americans of African descent.
Dr. Valerie Bradley-Holliday will tell these stories and more on Tuesday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 642 of the Dow Building. The event is free and open to the general public.
Bradley-Holliday, a resident of Marquette, is an avocational historian and the author of several books, most recently Northern Roots: African Descended Pioneers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She has a PhD in social psychology from The Union Institute and University, and masters in social work from Wayne State University. She is currently researching an African American settlement at the Elmwood logging camp in Iron County, Michigan. Copies of Northern Roots will be available for purchase at the event.
Her visit is jointly sponsored by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. The Michigan Tech Archival Speaker Series features researchers whose work makes use of the rich resources in the Copper Country Historical Collections. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion supports programs that promote diversity and build an awareness of social injustice issues.
For more information contact the Archives at 906-487-2505, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday, September 14, at 7 p.m., the Michigan Tech Archives Speaker Series hosts visiting scholar Jennifer Gunn in Room 642 of the Dow Building on the Michigan Tech campus.
Gunn will present “Matching the Care to the Place: Medical Provision in Mining Regions, 1900 to 1950.” Mining, logging, and farming could mangle bodies and it took more than a wife to mend them. In the Copper Country, mining companies employed doctors, built hospitals, and taxed their workers to support that medical infrastructure. On the Iron Range of Minnesota, however, a similar contract system was used to induce private doctors to take responsibility for creating hospitals and the public health in the remote rural areas. As mining and extractive industries declined, what were the remaining residents’ expectations of health and medicine? What arrangements emerged for health care in small towns and rural communities to replace the industrial-dominated medicine?
Jennifer Gunn is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in the History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania., where her dissertation was on the history of graduate medical education in the United States. Her first publication was on industrial medicine. Currently working on a book on rural health and medicine in the Upper Midwest, 1900-1950, Professor Gunn’s interest in mining communities and rural health disparities in an urbanizing society is informed by her experience as a coal miner in Alabama.
Gunn’s presentation is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives. The program is intended to encourage research using the Archives’ lesser known collections or promote new methodological approaches to well-known collections. From a competitive field of applicants, the grant committee selected four scholars this year whose research typifies the spirit of the grant program. They join the ranks of twenty-two past recipients in this most recent round of awards.
For more information on the September 14th presentation, call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505.
Update: Here is a photo from the event, with more than 40 in attendance:
“People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, has moved to the Ontonagon County Historical Society museum in Ontonagon. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public through September 25 during the museum’s regular hours.
On Friday, September 3, the Society will host a public reception and program in conjunction with the exhibit installation. Erik Nordberg, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University, will give an illustrated presentation, “Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara” featuring dozens of historical photographs of the Keweenaw. The presentation is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the museum complex.
John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, Michigan, in the heart of America’s most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, J. W. Nara’s lens also captured the people, place, and time he experienced in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw’s rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses, and pastoral back roads.
The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, works from historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Robert and Ruth will be attending the reception. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming, and the 1913 Michigan copper miners’ strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection.
The exhibit will remain on display at the Ontonagon County Historical Museum through Saturday, September 25. Its next stop will be the Finnish-American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan.
The Northland Historical Consortium will convene its Fall 2010 meeting on Saturday, September 25, 2010, in Ontonagon. The event, hosted by the Ontonagon County Historical Society, will be held at the Holy Family Catholic Church at the corner of Pine Street and Michigan Avenue in the village of Ontonagon. The public is invited to attend, regardless of their affiliation with a heritage organization and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m. eastern time.
The meeting will feature two presentations. The first, by Michael Genrich, will discuss the research and writing process for the author’s third novel, titled Interior, and will include an illustrated presentation concerning the ghost town of the same name in Ontonagon County. In the second segment, Bruce Johanson, president of the Ontonagon County Historical Society, will discuss the group’s efforts to engage younger people in local history and museum activities, and suggest projects and programming that historical societies can use to involve a new generation of youth in this important work.
The day will be rounded out with tours of the historic Ontonagon Lighthouse, which has been under continuing restoration and interpretation by the historical society, as well as the group’s main museum in downtown Ontonagon. All tours, access to the facilities, and a luncheon are included in a $15 event registration fee. Following lunch, historical organizations will have an opportunity to report on their recent activities and to discuss the Consortium’s work to highlight heritage activity in the region.
The Northland Consortium is an informal association of local historical societies, archives and historians in Northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Central and Western Upper Peninsula. A $15 event registration fee will include all presentations, tours, refreshments and the luncheon.
For further information on the event, or to register to attend, contact Bruce Johanson at 884-6886 or Josie Olson at 886-2645 / email@example.com
The Michigan Tech Archives serves as coordinating organization for the Northland Historical Consortium.
The Michigan Tech Archives hosts local author Gary Kaunonen for a presentation and book signing in the JR Van Pelt & Opie Library’s East Reading Room on Tuesday, August 17 at 4 p.m.
In his latest book, Challenge Accepted: a Finnish immigrant response to industrial America in Michigan’s Copper Country, published by Michigan State University Press, Kaunonen tells the story of the Finnish immigrant challenge to the historic social order. He explores their clash with Copper Country industrialists by examining the written record and material culture of the Finnish immigrant working class through analysis of buildings, cultural institutions, and publication of print media.
Challenge Accepted takes an in-depth look at the way a portion of the Finnish immigrant working class gambled the success of early organizational efforts by participating in the bitter and bloody 1913-14 copper miners’ strike. This nine-month struggle between organized labor and the mining companies culminated in the tragic events at Italian Hall. Kaunonen examines the events of the 1913-14 Strike and Italian Hall using often-overlooked proletarian Finnish immigrant sources.
Kaunonen suggests that the most noteworthy accomplishment of these Finnish immigrants in the Copper Country was that as a largely unskilled group of immigrant laborers, newspaper employees, and radical “hoboes,” they had a very considerable impact on the history of a place dominated by powerful mining companies and the men who ran those companies. This was truly remarkable, a challenge accepted by a proactive segment of the Finnish immigrant working class to have a say in their own working conditions. Embedded in this study of ethnic political-labor history is also a story of division and decline that ultimately fractured a working class movement dedicated to solidarity. This demise is significant when recounting the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the American labor movement in the early twentieth century.
Gary Kaunonen is a social and labor historian currently working on a PhD at Michigan Tech. He received a Master’s in Industrial History and Archaeology from Michigan Tech in 2007, and for a while worked as an archivist at the Finnish American Historical Archive at Finlandia. Kaunonen studies the history of the UP’s Finnish immigrant population, and the interaction between Finns and American industry. Both of his grandfathers worked in the iron mines of Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, and Kaunonen himself charged blast furnaces and operated a bull-ladle before turning to academics. His first book, also published by Michigan State University Press, is called The Finns in Michigan.
Limited copies of Kaunonen’s latest book, Challenge Accepted, will be available to purchase at the August 17 event at the JR Van Pelt & Opie Library at Michigan Tech.
For more information, call the Archives at 487-2505.
Dr. Charles Hyde, professor of history at Wayne State University, will be the featured speaker at a brown bag seminar hosted by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Social Sciences department. The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4th in the Alumni Lounge of the Memorial Union Building.
Professor Hyde has done significant work in the field of industrial archeology, completing more than 70 projects involving the documentation of historic buildings or structures. His 1978 survey of industrial sites in the Upper Peninsula identified the significant material culture remains at the Quincy mine site. This encouraged a subsequent intensive survey of the site by Hyde and other historians, including current Michigan Tech professor Larry Lankton. Hyde and Lankton coauthored Old Reliable: An Illustrated History of the Quincy Mining Company in 1982 and Hyde went on to publish Copper For America: The United States Copper Industry from Colonial Times to the 1990s, a survey of the United States copper industry, in 1998.
Hyde’s publication and historical documentation efforts include significant work with Michigan’s automotive industry. These include studies of the Dodge Main, Chrysler Jefferson Avenue and Chrysler Highland Park assembly plants, scholarly articles on architect Albert Kahn’s work for the automobile industry, and book publications on Dodge, Chrysler, Nash, Hudson, and American Motors.
The informal seminar is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch or refreshments. For further information contact Erik Nordberg in the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Michigan Tech Archives has planning underway for the following events:
Tuesday, August 17, 4:00 p.m., East Reading Room, Van Pelt and Opie Library
Gary Kaunonen will present information from his new book Challenge Accepted: A Finnish Immigrant Response to Industrial America in Michigan’s Copper Country. The book draws upon work Kaunonen did in the Archives’ collections for his master’s degree in industrial archaeology. Further details about this event are available here.
Tuesday, September 14, 7:00pm (Room 642, Dow Environmental Sciences Building)
Jennifer Gunn, the fourth recipient of a 2010 research travel award, will provide a public presentation about her research which examines rural medicine practices in twentieth-century America.
Tuesday, September 28, 7:00 p.m. (Room 642, Dow Environmental Sciences Building)
Dr. Valerie Bradley-Holliday will discuss research from her recently published book Northern Roots: African Descended Pioneers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
More information about these events will be distributed when available. Contact the Michigan Tech Archives by telephone at 487-2505 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The ups and downs of iron mining around Lake Superior will be the topic of a public presentation at 7:00pm on Tuesday, July 20, Room 102 of the Chemical Science Building at Michigan Tech. The presentation is part of the “Archival Speakers Series” and is free and open to the public.
Jeff Manuel, assistant professor of history at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will discuss his research into mining communities and their response to economic challenges in the second half of the twentieth century.
The economic fate Lake Superior iron mining has long been tied to volatile global markets in the iron and steel industry and residents in the region have experienced a roller coaster of booms and busts during the last 60 years. At the same time, politicians, community leaders, and economists have pushed various plans to develop local economies and ensure a stable economic base for the region. A review of different approaches to development in past decades reveals the good (and bad) of economic development efforts throughout the region.
Manuel’s research is supported by a Michigan Tech Archives travel grant, with funding provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant has assisted more than 25 scholars advance their work through research in the department’s varied historical collections.
For more information on the July 20 presentation, call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505,or visit them on the web at www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives.