Rockland Hosts Archives’ Photo Exhibit

Calumet photographer J.W. Nara documented everday life in the Copper Country, including camp scenes such as these. An exhibit of Nara's photography will be in place at the Rockland Museum from August 5 to September 14. Nara image number 42-093. Click image for further details.

The Rockland Township Historical Museum is currently hosting “People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives. The exhibit will remain on display through September 14. The Rockland Museum is located at 40 National Avenue in Rockland and is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and includes 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 Rockland Museum through Friday, September 14. For more information on the exhibit, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at or the Rockland Museum at 906-886-2821 and