All posts by Lindsay Hiltunen

Flashback Friday: The Milwaukee Road’s Ontonagon Station

Archive Image of the Milwaukee Road's Ontonagon Station
Exterior of the Ontonagon station.

Today’s Flashback Friday is a quick glimpse back to the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific railroad station in Ontonagon. Once the terminus of the line’s famed Chippewa passenger route, the depot has performed only freight service for several years. The Chippewa now terminates its Chicago-Milwaukee and northern Michigan service at Channing.

The first photograph is an exterior view of the station. The second photo shows the crew as they pause for a moment in the sun before the return journey, the next stop of which will be Rockland or Mass. From left, James Benish, conductor; H. M. Leeman, engineer; L. Lindeman, fireman; F. J. Bender, Ontonagon agent; W. Schaltz, brakeman, and Donald Carey, brakeman. All crewmen are from Channing. The agent resides in Ontonagon. These images ran in the Daily Mining Gazette on this day in 1958.

 

Archive Image of the Milwaukee Road's crew.
The crew pause for a moment in the sun, November 8, 1958.

Travel Grant Talk – “The Hats of Calumet and Women in Front” on November 1

Portrait of Katherine Belliel.
A portrait of 2019 Travel Grant recipient, Katherine Belliel.

Please join us for visiting scholar Katherine Belliel at 4:00 pm on Friday, November 1 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus for her travel grant talk, “The Hats of Calumet and Women in Front: Creative Writing About Women of the Copper Country.” This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Belliel will discuss the research process and inspiration behind her two creative projects on the life of Calumet native, and Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Anna Klobuchar Clemenc. The Hats of Calumet is a collection of short fiction pieces told from the perspective of a variety of hats worn by different historical characters narrating the crucial events in Anna’s life. This project illustrates how domestic violence, infertility, immigration, and the “third culture kid” (TCK) experience both influenced and spurred her activism, tying Anna to not only American Labor History, but also the current Women’s Movement of today. “Women in Front,” a braided essay comparing and contrasting the role of women in the 1913 Copper Country Strike with the 2013 Gezi protests in Turkey, will also be discussed. A short reading from both creative projects will follow the discussion.

Katherine Belliel is an American writer based in Turkey and the US. She is the co-editor of Expat Sofra: Culinary Tales of Foreign Women in Turkey (Alfa 2019), and her work has also appeared in several expat anthologies such as Tales from the Expat Harem (Eds. Ashman and Gokmen, 2005), Encounters with the Middle East (Bowman and Khashan, 2006), and Single Mothers Speak on Patriarchy (eds. Hendren and Daly, 2016). She is currently an MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University.

Big Annie carries a large flag during a strikers parade during the 1913-1914 copper miners' strike.
Big Annie leads a a strikers parade on Calumet Avenue near the C&H hospital during the 1913-1914 copper miners’ strike. Photo is undated.

Belliel’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.


Flashback Friday: Lake Superior Performance Rally

Image of a rally car driving by some spectators.
Lake Superior Performance Rally 2000.
This weekend the Copper Country will be alive with the sounds of revving engines and screeching tires, as the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) marks its 25th year. The event takes place October 18-19 in various stages throughout the Keweenaw. Today’s Flashback Friday zooms back to October 2000 as an unidentified driver of car 21 passes a group of spectators.

Rally has deep roots in the Upper Peninsula, with 2019 marking 70 years of the sport. In 1949 a time-speed-distance rally called the Press on Regardless started up. 20 years later the event became a full stage rally event, with recognition as a round in the World Rally Championship coming a few years later in 1973. While Press on Regardless opted out of stage rally and returned to its time-speed-distance history, the first Lake Superior Performance Rally was held in the Copper Country in 1994.

For the past few decades, LSPR has been the ultimate round on the American rally circuit as well as the final event of the season. Traditionally held in October, the spectacular fall colors and the possibilities of all kinds of weather events (even snow!…though hopefully not this year…) makes for a unique experience for drivers, navigators, and spectators. Viewing stages near sharp corners can be quite dangerous in certain weather, turf, and speed conditions, so be sure to stay alert at all times! The LSPR is a world-renowned event and a favorite for many, with the popular street stage in downtown Houghton allowing fans to get very close to the action. 

More information about LSPR 2019 can be found on the Lake Superior Performance Rally website.

Flashback Friday: Homecoming

Today’s Flashback Friday offers a little homecoming and gridiron nostalgia for your weekend. Very few homecoming festivities on any campus across the country can rival Michigan Tech’s for zaniness, uniqueness, and all-around fun! In addition to the sacred gridiron tradition of the Michigan Tech Huskies homecoming football game, the celebration features the crowning of the homecoming royalty, a cardboard boat race on the Portage Canal, competitive challenges, and many other events that promote Husky Spirit.

Homecoming queen candidates, 1963.
Homecoming queen candidates in the parade, 1963.

The crowning of the homecoming royalty is one of the most anticipated aspects of homecoming week. The photo in the insert was taken of the homecoming queen and candidates at the 1963 parade by Roger La Mothe. Shown on the float from left to right we have Maria Mustonen, Peggy Foley, Kristine Rowbottom, Mary Lou Junttila and Barbara Perlich.

In celebration of the football game, the main Flashback Friday photograph shared at the front of this post takes us to September 1958 when the Michigan Tech football coaches were hard at work making a game plan for the upcoming Mankato State game. At left, Head Coach Omer LaJeunesse shows a new play to Back Coach Verdie Cox and End Coach Bill Lucier. LaJeunesse indicated that he might unveil an updated version of his standby offense based on the material at hand.

The coaching meeting took place on Thursday, September 11th to plan for the opening game at Tech’s Hubbell field that Saturday. Despite blackboard tactics and intense on-field practices, the Huskies fell to Mankato State, 26-16. But even though Coach LaJeunesse started off the season with a young squad and two defeats, the Huskies pushed back with three straight victories and continued to show improvement throughout the 1958 season. The

Michigan Tech football players pose on the field, 1974.
Football players, 1974.

team closed out the season with a 4-4 record, which was admirable in the first year of play in the Northern States Colleges Conference. While much of the buzz this week has been about hockey in all its forms, the focus this weekend is on the Michigan Tech Huskies against Grand Valley State for this year’s home opener match up. Kick-off is at 1pm at Sherman Field. 

Other homecoming traditions have included various kinds of parades, creative and athletic contests,  and races in all shapes and sizes. For a full schedule of this years homecoming events, please see the Homecoming page on the Student Leadership and Involvement website.


Award Winning Author Mary Doria Russell Coming to Houghton

Author Mary Doria Russell poses for a publicity photograph.
Acclaimed author Mary Doria Russell. Photograph by Don Russell.

Award winning author Mary Doria Russell will be coming to Houghton for two special events centered around her recent novel The Women of the Copper Country. The Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) and the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library (Van Pelt and Opie Library) are excited to host her for a two-part presentation series. 

A formal lecture will take place on October 8 at 7 pm in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. A social hour and book signing will follow the presentation. A second event, an informal book talk and book signing, will take place at the PLDL on October 9 from 6-8 pm. Refreshments will be served at both events and all are welcome to attend!

The front cover of the book The Women of the Copper Country.
The cover of Mary Doria Russell’s latest novel, The Women of the Copper Country.

The Women of the Copper Country centers on the life of American labor activist, Annie Clements, as well as paints a broader historical portrait of the lives of local people in the midst of a turbulent labor movement and social landscape. The historical novel is startlingly relevant today and would be of great interest to the campus and local communities. Some of the research for her book was conducted with assistance from the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections. 

For more information about the events please contact Katie Edson (906) 487-1636, Lindsay Hiltunen (906) 487-3209, or Michael Stanitis (906) 482-4570. The author’s visit is made possible by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library and The Women of the Copper Country Planning Committee.


Summer Intern Farewell

A young woman sits at a desk with a newspaper.
Gabby is still working hard, even on her last day in the archives!

We say goodbye to our Summer Intern, Gabby, as today is her last day in the archives. Over the course of seven weeks she had a major impact on our customer services and assisted with a plethora of processing and backlog projects. She was a joyful presence this summer and we are sorry to see her go. Please take a moment to hear about Gabby’s take on the experience in her final blog update.


At the risk the risk of sounding like a broken record this week, I can’t believe that my time here at the Michigan Tech Archives is almost over and that fall and a return to classes is right around the corner. While I will definitely be a little sad to leave and miss all the autumn fun*, I consider myself lucky to be able to bring home so many lovely memories from this summer- from walks down by the canal and many shared baked goods to touring the Quincy Mine after handling so many of their and other mine’s records. I apologize in advance to my friends and family back home who will be subjected to looking at all the photos that I took as well as listening to my description of pasties and how cold mines are. 

Three women are pictured in a tram car with hard hats on, preparing to descend into the mine tour.
Our intern Gabby (left) was treated to a tour of Quincy Mine by archivists Emily (center) and Allison (right.)

I have truly enjoyed my time here and have learned so much from not only my colleagues, but also from our patrons. I am walking away far more knowledgeable about mining, genealogy, and Lake Superior than I would have ever expected (look out Jeopardy and all other assorted trivia activities!) Outside of helping patrons find the information they are looking for, one of my favorite parts of this internship has been the opportunity to handle so many interesting materials from the collection. While they are all fun in their own way, some of our sports photos are particular favorites of mine- who doesn’t love a good vintage hockey action shot and/or fight photo especially if the players have great 70s and 80s hair? 

All joking aside, I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome here in the archives and the library as a whole. An additional thanks to our patrons who came by and were patient with someone who was new and learning the ‘archival ropes’ so to speak. This internship has been a great opportunity to gain more hands on archival experience and I can not wait to take what I have learned with me back to UCLA as I go into my second (and last!) year of my master’s program! 

*To preemptively answer: It’s inconclusive as to whether I will be as sad to miss seeing all the snow, although I may daydream about it in the midst of a late October heatwave


Flashback Friday: The Vagabond

Boats - Fishing

For many Yoopers, if you refer to the news, the water cooler chat, or your social media feeds, there is plenty of mention of seafaring vessels the past few days. Today’s Flashback Friday is a short and sweet glimpse back to a boat that is a little more my personal style.

On this day in 1958, the Jamsen fishing craft Vagabond was put out into Lake Superior with a party of Upper Peninsula Traveling Workshop instructors aboard. The image shows the boat proceeding toward fishing nets that were placed beyond the opening to Copper Harbor. Fishing workshops were common in the 1950s, and many of the expedition vessels put out into Lake Superior were no bigger than the Vagabond. There is certainly more than one way to get out and enjoy Gitche Gumee!


Call for Independent Researchers 2019

Biography - Endicott R. Lovell
A photograph of Endicott R. Lovell signing papers at a desk, circa 1940s. 

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is updating its list of local historical researchers for hire. We are seeking individuals interested in providing a fee-based research service to patrons unable to travel to the Copper Country to undertake their own research projects at the Michigan Tech Archives. Although our primary interest is in supporting the use of our collections, researchers on this list may also be contacted for projects involving research at local records offices, cemeteries, and other archives.

The Archives’ only role is to maintain this listing for the convenience of our patrons unable to conduct their own research. It is up to each individual to establish their own operating procedures, manage contact with patrons, and bear responsibility for the outcome of their work. The Archives takes no involvement in setting fee schedules for this sort of research and will not include fees as part of its listing. In addition, the Archives bears no responsibility for the quality of each individual researcher’s work and reserves the right to remove listings at any given time.

Please note, the list will be posted on our website and will be publicly distributed. This list is maintained as a service to the public, and these researchers are not employed as such by the Michigan Tech Archives. 

To be included on our updated independent researcher list, please contact:

Lindsay Hiltunen
University Archivist
Michigan Tech Archives
Van Pelt and Opie Library
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
copper@mtu.edu
(906) 487-2505


Flashback Friday: Remembering the Steamer Isle Royale

Shipwrecks - Isle Royale
The steamer at port.

Today’s Flashback Friday photograph comes to us from the Ben Chynoweth Collection. It depicts the steamer Isle Royale in all of her majestic glory. A man stands on the upper deck looking into the distance, perhaps to the place where the edge of the Big Lake meets the edge of the big sky. 

The Isle Royale foundered from a leak this week in 1885. The steamer sprung the leak about 18 miles south of Isle Royale’s Washington Harbor. Thankfully the ship became swamped but the people aboard did not. The Isle Royale began taking on water on July 25 near Susie Island on the way back to Duluth. The passengers and crew were able to safely disembark and get to the nearby island. According to some articles, the ship fully sank in the wee hours on this day in 1885.

The vessel first launched in 1879 as a cargo ship of a different name, but it was later renamed the Isle Royale after she was purchased by the Cooley-Lavaque Fishery in Duluth in 1883. After the purchase she was refitted as a double-decker passenger steamer which made regular routes between Isle Royale and Port Arthur in Thunder Bay.


Summer Intern Update

Our summer intern, Gabby, is working on one of her inventory projects.

Summer is breezing by and our intern has been busy making sure things are running smoothly in the archives. Read on for an update in Gabby’s own words!


Hello!

I’m back with tales of my time here at the Michigan Tech Archives! For the last few weeks I have had the chance to train with/shadow (i.e follow around like a duckling or puppy) Emily and Allison as they answer patron requests, pull materials, and fulfill any other tasks that get thrown their way during the day. I have already learned so much about the different types of materials and databases available, locating collections in the stacks, local history, using the microfilm machines and all medley of scanners, as well as working with patrons both in person and electronically. I am sure in the coming weeks I will be able to add all sorts of new skills to this list!

One of my favorite parts of the internship so far has been getting to see so many collections and materials while helping answer research questions and inquiries. Coincidentally, one of the hardest parts is not getting too distracted by all of the interesting things! So far I have had the opportunity to see old mining maps of the county, microfilmed newspapers for 1920s (including their fantastic advertisements), campus photos, and early 20th century circuit court case files. I especially enjoyed the maps, because when you look at them you cannot help but feel like an enterprising young adventurer hoping to make their fortune in newly surveyed territory- I add a great hat to this daydream, but feel free to add your own accessories as you see fit.  

When not in the archives, I have been having a great time walking around town, exploring, and taking pictures. I am on a self-directed mission to go to as many of the local restaurants, cafes, and shops as I can- trying a pasty is high on my list of things to do before I leave. I can’t wait to see what the next 4 weeks hold!

Feel free to come by the archives to see our collections and get help with your research. We are open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, be sure to check us out on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!