All posts by Lindsay Hiltunen

Flashback Friday: The Game of Guts

The Library Bar Guts Frisbee team, 1979.
The Library Guts Frisbee team, 1974 (previously thought to be 1979).

Flashback Friday pays tribute to Guts Frisbee, which had its first invitational tournament in Eagle Harbor, Michigan in 1958. Our image takes us back to this day in 1974, when the Library Bar Frisbee Team had a grand year in Guts Frisbee. The team took home the world championship as well as all major tournament wins. The team can be shown showing off all their hardware in this triumphant photograph. Standing from left, are Bill Dwyer, Jon Davis (team sponsor), and Bill Hodges; in front, from left, are Bob Hansen, John Hodges, Joe Wickstrom (captain), and Bob Reade.

While this photo is from 1974, the game of Guts Frisbee has an origin story that dates back to the 1950s. In 1958, brothers Boots and John Healy discovered a “Pluto Platter” in a shop in Minneapolis. The disc was passed around the family until Tim and Mary Healy, along with some friends, began tossing the frisbee around on July 4, 1958. By the end of the day, the game of Guts Frisbee was invented. The first tournament was held later that year at a family picnic in Eagle Harbor and the rest is history. For a full rundown of the history and modern day status of Guts, be sure to check out their website!


Flashback Friday: Ahmeek Mining Company

The shared shaft house for Ahmeek No. 3 and No. 4 is shown in this photograph, taken on this day in 1963. The image is courtesy of the Calumet and Hecla Photograph Collection.
The shared shaft house for Ahmeek No. 3 and No. 4 is shown in this photograph, taken on this day in 1963. The image is courtesy of the Calumet and Hecla Photograph Collection.

There is one more long weekend ahead of us before classes resume on Tuesday, September 4. A splendid opportunity to hit the road and explore the Copper Country! One way or another, all roads lead to copper and the rich history of the region.

Today’s Flashback Friday looks down the road to points north of campus, offering a glimpse of Ahmeek, Michigan. The village of Ahmeek, a small community in Keweenaw County, derives it name from the Ojibwe amik, which means beaver. The village grew up around the Ahmeek Mining Company, which opened for business in 1903. The founding of the village is credited to Joseph Bosch, of Bosch Brewing Company fame. The Ahmeek No. 3 and No. 4 site is featured in this photograph from August 31, 1963.

Although the Ahmeek Mining Company began operations as an individual enterprise in the early 1900s, the company was initially organized in 1880 as a subsidiary exploration wing of the Seneca Mining Company. Initial extraction took place through two shallow shafts, but the lode proved to be unreliable and production was irregular at best. In 1903, with the discovery of the Kearsarge Amygdaloid lode, the Ahmeek Mining Company became a separate operation. The operation consisted of four shafts that reached a depth of approximately 3,000 feet.

The uniqueness of shafts No. 3 and No. 4 is highlighted in the photograph, demonstrating that both shafts were serviced from a common shaft house. There is certainly more than meets the eye when you compare the surface to the underground architecture at this site!

In 1923 the Ahmeek Mining Company was absorbed by Calumet & Hecla. Operations eventually suspended in 1931. After the Great Depression ended, the mine reopened in 1936 and continued until the mid 1960s, with most accounts indicating that the mine officially closed permanently in 1966.

Wherever your Labor Day weekend adventures may bring you, we hope our Huskies all make it back to campus safely with plenty of good stories from the summer! Please note, the Van Pelt and Opie Library will be closed on Monday, September 3 in observance of Labor Day. The library, including our department, will reopen with regular hours on Tuesday, September 4.


Flashback Friday: Move-In Weekend

Three students relax in a dorm room, 1983.
Three students relax in a dorm room, 1983.

It is hard to believe, but Michigan Tech’s Move-in Weekend is upon us! Move-in weekend is a big part of the new academic year as the university prepares to welcome a new group of Huskies to the Copper Country.

The majority of newcomers plan to arrive sometime between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday to get settled into their dorms, meet new friends, and start the year off right. Housing staff and dormitory resident assistants will be on campus this weekend to welcome new students and their families as well as to help students get acclimated to dorm life.

Our Flashback Friday pays tribute to all the great things about dorm life, looking back to three friends relaxing in a dorm room in 1983. The loft, a classic part of the experience, is prominently featured. For more information about Move-in weekend, see a detailed write-up on the Keweenaw Report website.


Intern Update 3

Angie standing under the Nordberg steam hoist in the 1917 hoist house on the Quincy Mine site. The Nordberg is the largest steam hoisting engine in the world.
Angie standing under the Nordberg steam hoist in the 1917 hoist house on the Quincy Mine site. The Nordberg is the largest steam hoisting engine in the world.

Alumni Reunion is here and we are busy as ever this week helping all sorts of patrons! That doesn’t mean we were so busy that Angie couldn’t provide her regular update though. Read on for an update in Angie’s words!

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Hi!

I hope everyone’s summer is going splendid, I know mine is! My summer internship is now past the halfway point and, while I am sad that it is going by so fast, I am excited to tell you all about the cool activities I am working on.

I recently started accessioning new materials into the archives, which means taking intellectual and physical control over the materials and then entering information into our database ArchivesSpace. This allows the archives to keep track of the materials in its repository and it serves as the first step of processing collections. I have had the opportunity to accession and then process five scrapbooks into the Brodeur and Banks Family Papers Collection (MS-920). These scrapbooks include photographs and newspaper articles from the family’s international and domestic vacations. It has been great getting hands-on experience using these archival skills.

I am also continuing to assist patrons with their reference requests both in-person and through email. I am getting better at finding the material patrons need and learning the tricks to genealogical research.

This internship has also provided the opportunity to visit other archives in the surrounding area. Taking fieldtrips to visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park Archives in Calumet and Finlandia University’s Archives in Hancock allowed me to see the variety of archival repositories. Each archive holds collections that focus on different aspects of the Keweenaw Peninsula, but together they create a rich history of the region.

Additionally, we took a fieldtrip to tour the Quincy Mine up in Hancock. The Michigan Tech Archives holds some of the Quincy Mining Company’s records, including employment records. Seeing the steam hoist (largest in the world at the time) in-person and taking the tram down into the mine really helped me to understand the working conditions for the miners and opened my eyes to life during the early history of Upper Michigan.

I only have a few weeks left, but I am hoping to make the most of it and learn all that I can. Before I go, I also want to give a quick shout out to the MTU Archives’ staff, Lindsay (University Archivist), Allison (Archivist), Emily (Archivist) and Allyse (Archives Assistant), who have been amazing supervisors and coworkers during this internship. Their patience and immense knowledge have made this internship both enjoyable and educational and I am very grateful to get to work with them.


Summer Intern Update

Angie investigates our historic newspapers on microfilm to assist a remote patron.
Angie investigates our historic newspapers on microfilm to assist a remote patron.

Summer is breezing by and our intern has been busy keeping things running smoothly in the archives. Read on for an update in Angie’s words!


Hello again!

I’m back with a quick update on my first few weeks as an intern for the Michigan Tech Archives. I have been busy learning all about the department and different aspects of the profession. I have been able to explore the collections including the employment cards for the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, naturalization records and court case records. I also had the opportunity to use microfilm to scan through our newspaper collections for articles, birth announcements and obituaries. It is fascinating to learn about the local history through these archival materials.

Additionally, I am shadowing the awesome archivists here while they work the reference desk. This allows me to learn how they work with researchers that visit the archives and sometimes I am able to assist pulling collections for the patrons or help them with the microfilm materials. I look forward to taking the lead at the reference desk soon.

The most challenging aspect of the internship is discovering the difficulties of genealogical research. Tracking down the right birth and death dates or researching various spellings of last names can seem never-ending, but it is worth it in the end. Providing patrons with their family member’s employment card or naturalization record is always exciting and fulfilling. In the upcoming weeks, I am really excited to start processing archival collections, assisting more patrons with their research requests and gaining more archival skills.

Outside of the archives, I am having a great time exploring downtown Houghton, walking along the Waterfront Trail, watching the sunset over Lake Superior and attempting to survive the humidity. I’m hoping to go on a mine tour and continue exploring the Copper Country before my time here is up. As always, don’t hesitate to come in and visit! We are here to help with any research and historical questions.


Welcome to Summer Intern Angie Piccolo

Our new FMTL Archives Intern for summer 2018, Angie Piccolo.
Our new FMTL Archives Intern for summer 2018, Angie Piccolo.

On behalf of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, in partnership with the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library, we hope you will help us welcome our new Archives Intern for summer 2018. Angie Piccolo was selected as the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Archives Intern after a competitive national call for applicants. While in Houghton, Angie will be assisting with research support services and collections processing in the Michigan Tech Archives. She will also be responsible for helping us research a forthcoming exhibit related to World War I. We are very excited to have her on board! Below, please take a moment to get to know Angie as she introduces herself in her own words.

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Hello!

My name is Angie Piccolo and I am honored to be spending the summer in Houghton as the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library 2018 Intern. Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, I am brand new to the Midwest and the Upper Peninsula, but I am excited to learn more about the history of this region and explore the beautiful natural environment that Michigan has to offer. I graduated from Gonzaga University in 2015 with a BA in History and I just recently graduated from Western Washington University with a MA in History, focusing on Archives and Records Management. My goal is to one day work for an institution, like Michigan Tech, that strives to provide patrons with the best access to historical materials. As the archives intern, I am ecstatic to continue pursuing my passion of history and I look forward to developing new archival skills, gaining knowledge about the local history, and helping researchers and community members find the historical materials they need.

Some fun facts about me: I had the opportunity to intern at Yellowstone National Park’s archives last summer where I not only learned about the history of the Park, but I also had the chance to visit Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, as well as take pictures of black bears and bison (from a safe distance of course.) When I am not in the archives, I love to explore antique shops, go on nature walks and spend time with friends and family. I also love watching period dramas, such as Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, but my guilty pleasure is reality TV (anything Real Housewives.)

I will be here until mid-August so make sure to stop by with any history and archive questions or recommendations for the best pasty bakeries around town.

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For more information on the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Internship Program or to set up a time to say hello to our new intern, please call our University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen at (906) 487-2505 or e-mail us at copper@mtu.edu. The Michigan Tech Archives can also be found on Twitter: @mtuarchives, Instagram: michigantecharchives, and Facebook.


Travel Grant Talk – Circling Lake Superior: Rephotography to Document Changing Landscapes of the Lake Superior Circle Tour

MTU_Talk_Photo_Lieschalternate
A historic image of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and a 2018 image of the same location. The bridge is an iconic part of the scenic Lake Superior Circle tour’s Keweenaw loop. (Photos courtesy of the Michigan Tech Archives and Matt Liesch)

 

Please join us for visiting scholar Dr. Matthew Liesch at 4:00 pm on Monday, June 25 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus for his travel grant talk, “Circling Lake Superior: Rephotography to Document Changing Landscapes of the Lake Superior Circle Tour.” This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Liesch will guide the audience on a photographic journey to explore changing landscapes from throughout the Copper Country and the Lake Superior Circle Tour. This presentation features historic landscape photography from the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, and supplements these with other scenes along the route. For comparative purposes, Liesch has rephotographed ordinary landscapes around Lake Superior during 2018. Observations are illuminated through archived policies, and plans, plus perspectives from geography and land use planning alike.

Matthew Liesch, PhD, is an Associate Professor at Central Michigan University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. His areas of research interest include cultural and historical geography, landscape studies, park and protected areas, and environmental policy. He has published and presented extensively on these topics and is active in the professional community.

Liesch’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech 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 Michigan Tech 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/. You can also find us on Facebook, @mtuarchives on Twitter, and as michigantecharchives on Instagram.


New Donation – White Pine Mine Slides

Roger Hewlett delivers the White Pine Copper Company slide collection to university archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen in May 2018.
Roger Hewlett delivers the White Pine Copper Company slide collection to university archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen in May 2018.

We are happy to announce a recent donation to the Michigan Tech Archives! The new acquisition consists of slides related to the history of the White Pine Copper Company. The materials were delivered to the archives by Roger Hewlett on behalf of George Haynes. The slides originally belonged to the late J. Roland Ackroyd, a former Secretary and Director of the Copper Range Consolidated, the Copper Range Railroad, and the White Pine Copper Company. The slides will be inventoried this summer and available for researchers this fall. Subjects represented include above and below ground images of industrial activities at White Pine. The slides are believed to be Copper Range’s official corporate collection of photos on the building of the White Pine Mine and surrounding area.

Roland Ackroyd (1912-1979) was born in Needham, Massachusetts and was the son of James A. (1872-1957) and Emily P. Ackroyd. He was educated in Needham schools and went on to graduate with an accounting degree from Northeastern University and Bentley University School in 1936. His professional career began at the Copper Range Company in 1933 on a temporary basis as a bookkeeper. During this first appointment his father was the secretary of the company. Over the years, Ackroyd would go on to hold many prominent positions in several firms with business related to White Pine, including the Copper Range Consolidated, the subsidiary railroad, and the White Pine Copper Company.

Positions held included:

Copper Range Consolidated 

J. Roland Ackroyd's official Copper Range Consolidated photograph.
J. Roland Ackroyd’s official Copper Range Consolidated photograph.

1944-46        Asst. Secretary

1947-62        Secretary

1962-70        Secretary/Treasurer

1968-70        Director

Copper Range Railroad

1954-62        Secretary

1962-71        Secretary/Treasurer

White Pine Copper Co.

1950-51        Director

1950-62        Secretary

1962-70        Secretary/Treasurer

Ackroyd lived in Needham and Stamford, Connecticut throughout his career and summered at Ocean Point, Maine. He retired in 1970. After retirement, he and his wife Natalie moved permanently to Ocean Point. Ackroyd was a key adviser in the development of the White Pine Mine and the local community. He was known to visit the area regularly throughout his career. Beyond his professional commitments, Ackroyd was also very active in his community. He was very dedicated to community service, serving with the Needham Board of Selectmen, Masons, Boy Scouts, Lions Club, Power Squadrons, the Boothbay Conservation Commission and various regional clubs in Maine.

The Michigan Tech Archives is very pleased to receive this important donation. We look forward to sharing the history of White Pine for generations to come! For more information about this collection, please contact university archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen, at (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu.  


Student Awards Spotlight 2018 – Becky

Becky poses with her certificate by the State Records Collection in the Archives stacks.
Becky poses with her certificate by the State Records Collection in the Archives stacks.

During the month of March, the Van Pelt and Opie Library hosts the annual Student Awards for all the student assistants in the library. This year’s event took place on Wednesday, March 21 and it included delicious food and a festive awards ceremony, which offered awards in eight categories. We are pleased to announce that both of our student assistants won awards!

To thank our students for their hard work and to further congratulate them on their award-winning work, we are featuring our students on social media to showcase all their efforts. Becky, our veteran student assistant, won the Excellence in Job Performance Award which goes to show that she is always on top of the many projects she works on over each semester. Our nomination for Becky is included below:

This student continues to excel and embody all the characteristics of an exceptional worker. This student consistently receives rave reviews from colleagues in the department and continues to positively impact our customer service in the department. This student turns in nearly all projects ahead of schedule and provides work that transcends that quality of normal student work. For instance, I asked for some assistance on some research and the student was able to finish several complex research tasks in a 2-hour shift, work that would normally take another student assistant at least 3 hours. In addition, this student takes initiative on research projects by anticipating patron needs and working with the supervisor to make sure no stone is left unturned. This student’s writing skills are equal to their research skills and I cannot imagine our department without this student! The quality and excellence of work projects, the care and attention to detail, and the constant cheerful demeanor set this student a cut above the rest!


Student Awards Spotlight 2018 – Jeremy

Jeremy poses by MS-080: Copper Range Collection, which has been the main collection he has worked with to build the railroad exhibit.
Jeremy poses by MS-080: Copper Range Collection, which has been the main collection he has worked with to build the railroad exhibit.

During the month of March, the Van Pelt and Opie Library hosts the annual Student Awards for all the student assistants in the library. This year’s event took place on Wednesday, March 21 and it included delicious food and a festive awards ceremony, which offered awards in eight categories. We are pleased to announce that both of our student assistants won awards!

To thank our students for their hard work and to further congratulate them on their award-winning work, we are featuring our students on social media to showcase all their efforts. Our first student award winner is Jeremy, our Copper Range Railroad exhibit research assistant. Jeremy won the Project Achievement Award. Our nomination for Jeremy is included below:

This student has gone above and beyond on a complex research project related to a grant-funded exhibit. This student provided accurate and timely research on a lesser known but historically important part of our local heritage. This student’s research findings are being applied to an exhibit project which will not only be on display in the Library, but will eventually travel off-site to other institutions. The student for this project maintained clear and consistent communication with the project team leader and was also able to earn the praise of project consultants and stakeholders interested in the project outcomes. In addition to achieving great research outcomes on this difficult and time-consuming project, the student was in a class of his own when it comes to positive attitude and enthusiasm. Not a day would go by without this student bringing joy and verve to research along with specific subject knowledge expertise which was directly beneficial to the project. This student has made this difficult project fun and informative. I always look forward to this student being in the department!


Thank you Jeremy for all of your efforts! You are a wonderful part of the archives team!