Exhibit: Made in the Copper Country

C. M. Bailey exhibits one of the wooden rolling pins made in the Shepperd Parrish plant at Ewen, October 23, 1953. Photograph courtesy Michigan Tech Archives, Daily Mining Gazette Collection.

A new exhibit of photographs in the reading room of the Michigan Tech Archives highlights the many products and types of produce which have been “Made in the Copper Country.”   

Some photographs capture expected items from the region’s historic industrial base, like the thousands of copper ingots lining the Houghton shoreline and copper wire produced at a mill in Dollar Bay. The timber and wood products industry is also represented in photos of the Gregoryville sawmill near Lake Linden, samples of the work of the Ripley Bowling Pin Company, as well as rolling pins manufactured in Ontonagon County. 

The Copper Country has also been a significant producer of food products, a topic represented throughout the exhibit. Vollwerth sausages and Hancock’s Star Bakery are both included, as are the raw materials grown in the local area such as fish, eggs, strawberries, and maple syrup

The historical photographs are also augmented with displays of some tools underground miners used to produce copper. Local collector and historian Bill Haller has assembled an informative display of miners’ lamps and artifacts relating to the use of explosives in area mines. Objects on loan from Allan Johnson and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association help to tell these important stories. 

In addition to the physical exhibit in the Archives’ reading room, many more images documenting the people and places of Michigan’s historic Copper Country are available online at the Keweenaw Digital Archives.  Photographs may be reviewed from any web browser and visitors are encouraged to add online comments about each image. 

The exhibit will remain in place through Labor Day and is accessible during the Archives normal hours for public research.  For further information contact the MTU Archives at (906) 487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu