All posts by Lindsay Hiltunen

Flashback Friday: Women’s History Month

Biography - Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks at a press conference at Michigan Technological University, May 20, 1989.
Biography - Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks poses for a photo after the press conference.

Today marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. This years national theme is Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence. To help kick-off the month our Flashback Friday pays tribute to a national treasure and icon of peace, Rosa Parks. Parks, an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, was an honored guest at Michigan Tech during the 1989 spring commencement exercises. She spoke at the graduation ceremony and also received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the program. While on campus she also engaged with the university community through a press conference and various discussions with campus leaders and students.

Please be sure to check our other social media outlets throughout the month of March for various posts dedicated to the many visionary women of Michigan Tech!

 


Archives Travel Grant Program 2019 – Call for Applicants

A photo of the photographer J. T. Reeder at his desk in the Calumet & Hecla offices, date unknown.

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, a department within the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library, is currently accepting applications for its annual Travel Grant Program, which brings scholars and researchers to Michigan Technological University to work with the archives’ collections. Financial support for the Travel Grant Program is provided by the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library, a support organization for the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Grants are awarded for up to $750 to defray the costs of travel to visit and conduct research in Houghton, Michigan. In addition, graduate students applying to the program may request up to an additional $200 to help defray any duplication costs incurred during a qualified research trip.

The Michigan Tech Archives houses a wide variety of historical print, graphic and manuscript resources related to the Copper Country and Michigan Technological University. Subject coverage is vast, some of which includes university and campus life, regional towns and cities, local industries and businesses, social organizations, events and personalities of the Copper Country and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Primary topical research areas include the western Upper Peninsula, industrial history, particularly copper mining and its ancillary industries, social history, community development along the Keweenaw Peninsula, transportation and the environment. Finding aids for some of the collections can be found here: http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/collections/.

To apply for funding through the Travel Grant Program please visit the program website: http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/programs-and-services/travel-grants/

Applications are due on March 29, 2019. Award recipients will be notified by late April or early May. The successful candidate must complete their travel by December 6, 2019. Electronic submission of applications is required.

For further information, please contact:
Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist
Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections
J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
Phone: (906) 487-3209
E-mail: copper@mtu.edu


Flashback Friday: Winter Carnival Then and Now

Today’s Flashback Friday celebrates all things Winter Carnival with this image from on this day in 2001. Students work diligently to finalize their statue just as our campus community saw a few nights ago during the 2019 all-nighter.

Winter Carnival is a time-honored tradition here at Michigan Tech, with its beginning taking place back in 1922 when the Student Organization presented a one-night show called the “Ice Carnival.” The show consisted of acts, whimsical displays and performances put on in the traditional circus style, with students in an assortment of costumes. The show was held in the old Amphidrome ice rink, so of course the carnival also included ice skating events, including speed and figure skating contests. The circus theme continued for the next two years and, behold, the tradition was born.

The carnival progressed and made changes as the years went on, with the addition of a Carnival Queen competition and the parade in 1928. There is film footage of the 1928 carnival available on YouTube.

A glimpse back at Winter Carnival Queen Candidates.

After 1929, there was a lapse of a few years, but in 1934 the Blue Key Fraternity took over the sponsorship of the festivities and put one on that year. The Winter Carnival of ‘34 looked more like the carnival of today, with a two-game hockey series, a parade, skiing, skating, and snowshoe races, and a dance. The focal point of carnival was the parade, with Greek organization, campus societies, and other student organizations developing elaborate floats.

1936 was the debut of the snow statues, which were built by students and student organizations, as well as local school children. As information on the building methods was passed on from year to year, the statues became bigger and more elaborate, with fine detail work and inclusion of ice art.

Decades, and nearly 100 years later, Winter Carnival continues to be a most treasured time of year for Michigan Tech. This year’s theme is “Years of Innovation STEM from this Snowy Situation.” For more information about activities, contest results, and more, please check out the official Winter Carnival website

A glimpse back at the Winter Carnival Beard Competition.

The Michigan Tech Archives will be open for Second Saturday during Winter Carnival from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, February 9. Take a break from statue gazing and stop in to see some memorabilia and photographs from Winter Carnivals gone by. For more information, please call the archives at (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu.


Flashback Friday: MLK Week Tradition Lives On

An MTU Lode article about Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations in 2003.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019 will be observed on Monday, January 21. This year, Michigan Tech is celebrating 30 years of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Banquet and MLK Week under the theme of “Living Fearlessly.” Today’s Flashback Friday honors Michigan Tech’s tradition of celebrating MLK in creative and inclusive ways. 

The tradition of formally recognizing Dr. King was started by campus leaders in the late 1980s and has taken many forms over the years. The banquet and reading of speeches have been important components since the early years of the celebration, but there have also been art installations, discussion groups, campus and community marches, and other enriching outreach and service activities throughout the history of Tech’s MLK celebrations. 

MLK Day vigil, 2009.

Staring on Sunday, January 20, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, along with campus and community partners, will kick-off an entire week of activities planned to honor King’s legacy and remember his activism and leadership. Programming begins with a community-wide gathering and panel discussion at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church called “Let’s Talk About Race.” On Monday, during the official observance of MLK Day, Michigan Tech students will visit local elementary schools to read from selected works highlighting the life, leadership, and lessons of the civil rights leader. The annual banquet will be held Monday night.

In an effort to join the celebrations, the Van Pelt and Opie Library will be hosting a small display of books and images related to Civil Rights and Black History on the first floor of the library. In addition, the Michigan Tech Archives will post a call for participants for phase two of the Black Voices in the Copper Country – My Michigan Tech Experience Oral History Project. The oral history project is part of an ongoing effort to support diversity in the department’s collection development strategy. 

A full schedule of events is included below:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

“Let’s Talk About Race,” in the Copper Country– A Community-Wide Gathering and Panel Discussion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4:00 pm
1100 College Avenue, Houghton, MI

Monday, January 21, 2019

MLK Reading Day
Houghton, Hancock, and Dollar Bay Elementary Schools, 9am-3pm

30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Banquet
Memorial Union Building (MUB) Ballroom, 5:30pm
Keynote Speaker- Donzell Dixson, Michigan Tech ALumni

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Fearlessly Facing Fear Panel Discussion
Memorial Union Building (MUB) Alumni Lounge, 6-8pm
Presented by Speak It Tour featuring: Donzell Dixson, Elijah Kondeh, and Donte Curtis

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

NSBE Host’s “What Do You Know about Dr. King?” discussion
Fisher 138 @ 6 pm

For more information about MLK Week celebrations at Michigan Tech, please contact the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at (906) 487-2920. For more information about the Black Voices project or the Archives, please call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu.

Banner image for the 30th annual MLK Day Banquet, courtesy of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. For more information about the event, visit the Michigan Tech Events Calendar. Tickets are free for the Monday night banquet but registration is required.

Flashback Friday: Bosch Beer

Showing off the 100,000th keg of Bosch beer, December 1955.

Joseph Bosch, founder of the Bosch Brewing Company, had always yearned to enter the brewing industry. He had learned much from his father, a brewer in his native country of Germany, who had brought the family to Lake Linden, Michigan in 1867. A desire for more knowledge and experience led the young Bosch to Cleveland, Fort Wayne and finally Milwaukee, where he worked for the Schlitz brewery. He returned to Lake Linden in 1874, erected a small wooden building and began brewing operations as the Torch Lake Brewery, Joseph Bosch & Company. Bosch operated the brewery on his own for the first two years, but in 1876 admitted several men on a partnership basis. The company continued as a partnership until around 1894, when the reorganized firm issued stock under its new name, the Bosch Brewing Company. The company continued in operation for nearly a century, closing the last of its facilities in 1973.

In the early years of brewing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, little if any beer was sold in bottles. Bosch saw the potential of this packaging, however, and the company began bottling on a small scale before 1880. By 1883, the original wooden building in Lake Linden had been enlarged and the company was producing 4,000 barrels of beer annually, one quarter of which was bottled. The brewery was completely destroyed in a great fire that swept through Lake Linden in 1887, but the demand for its product fired quick construction of new facilities. By the turn of the century the Bosch Brewing Company had brewing facilities in Lake Linden and Houghton, as well as branches and storehouses in Calumet/Laurium, Hancock, Eagle Harbor and Ishpeming. Having survived the difficult years of prohibition, the company finally closed the Lake Linden facility in favor of the better-situated facilities in Houghton.

Stressing the relationship of its product and the community, the Bosch Brewing Company featured many local themes in its advertising. Promotional phrases such as the “Refreshing as the Sportman’s Paradise” kept the small brewery close to the hearts of Copper Country natives and visitors from farther afield. The company found itself increasingly unable to compete locally with the larger breweries of Milwaukee and St. Louis, however, and the last keg of beer was ceremoniously loaded onto a wagon for delivery to a local tavern on Friday, September 28, 1973.


Flashback Friday – Diverse Dialogues Series

Image of the Michigan Tech Afro-American Society, 1973.

Today’s Flashback Friday takes us back to the 1973 yearbook and the Afro-American Society. The society’s major purpose was to uplift black students, promote learning, and engage in building better relationships with diverse students across campus. The group was active in many beneficial on and off campus projects. Students shown in the photo- Row One: Seth Boone, Billy Walker, Jerry Muff, Renald Paul; Row Two:Cynthia Edmonds, Jack Fray, Brenda Jones; Row Three: James Parker, Willie Edmonds, Errol Baker, W. Larry Scott. We are sharing this photo not only to remember this particular student organization, but also to promote the Michigan Tech Archives participation in the Diverse Dialogues Series, which is sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI.)

“Black Voices in the Copper Country: Exploring Community and Michigan Tech Campus Life, 1850-1990,” our award-winning exhibit, oral history, and conversation circle project, examines the African-American experience in the Keweenaw, particularly on the Michigan Tech campus. The online exhibit was intended to highlight materials that explore the stories of underrepresented individuals and narratives in Michigan history and serves to encourage researchers to consider more inclusivity when telling regional and state history. The ongoing oral history project and the accompanying discussion groups seek to build awareness about the need for diverse stories in our historical record. The Black Voices project is a multifaceted research initiative that has included substantial archival research, public programming and exhibits. 

The CDI and the Archives would like to invite you to be part of a critical campus discussion at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 in the University Archives on the garden level of the library. Learn about the project that can serve as a stepping stone to further research and encourage critical investigation to uncover stories and individuals not widely known, but deeply important to the rich heritage of the Copper Country and its unique history. The exhibit will be presented by University Archivist Lindsay Hiltunen and hosted by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

The Diverse Dialogues series provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff to have conversations about relevant issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, social justice and much more. The conversations are designed to be an informal, yet guided gathering to allow participants to educate and learn from one another. While each dialogue in the series has a centralized theme, we want to encourage participants to determine where the conversations go. This series is meant to start the discussion on difficult topics, elevate the diversity and inclusion efforts and work being done by faculty/staff on campus, and implore individuals to push their awareness, knowledge and action related to themes of diversity and inclusion.

For more information about the Diverse Dialogues series or the Michigan Tech Archives, please call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu.


Flashback Friday: Timber Riches in Bergland

Mr. Ludger Belanger and his horse, Prince pose at the White River Lumber Company in Bergland, Michigan, October 24, 1953. From the Daily Mining Gazette Photograph Collection.

Today’s Flashback Friday takes us to this week in 1953. A great still image of Ludger Belanger and his horse, Prince, pays tribute to the Upper Peninsula’s rich logging tradition. Both Belanger and his horse Prince worked for the White River Lumber Company of Bergland, Michigan.

Bergland, an unincorporated community in Bergland Township, Ontonagon County, has a rich timber tradition that stretches back to the communities founding at the start of the twentieth century. The first settlement documented was established in 1900 following some seasonal timber cultivation in the late 1800s north of Lake Gogebic. Gunlek A. Bergland, who had been logging

Record load of pine logs hauled to the White River mill in Bergland by Ed Brown. Date unknown.

near Sidnaw, Michigan, purchased a large tract of timber land west of Lake Gogebic in 1900 and decided to move his operations to that area. The lake was a key asset in floating logs to the sawmill. The tract was rich with hardwood, hemlock, and some stands of pine. Although the heydey of pine logging from the 1880s and 1890s was over, hardwoods were coming into more general use and lumberman were quick to turn their attention to those types of forests.

The history of the town of Bergland is the history of the logging era after 1900. After G. A. Bergland made his first timber stand purchase, the hardwood and

A copy of Bergland, by Knox Jamison available at the Michigan Tech Archives.

hemlock timbering activities just north of Lake Gogebic accelerated greatly. In 1903 he built a sawmill on Lake Gogebic, so logs no longer had to be shipped by rail to Sidnaw. After the sawmill, shingle and lathe mills were also constructed, with operations running day and night. In the early 1900s four lumber camps cropped up around the growing industry. Thanks to G. A. Bergland’s industrious nature and his views on private ownership of businesses and homes, the town of Bergland turned into a bustling community of logging operations for many decades. A brief history of the community, including reference to mineral extraction and the timber industry is available in the Michigan Tech Archives.


Archives Month Continues – Special Events

Dr. Abraham Romney (center), shows off the “pencils only” policy while visiting the archives with his HU 6070 graduate class. Doctoral students Alfred (right) and Modupe (left) look through materials while their professor has some fun with the prop pencil. (Photograph courtesy of L. Hiltunen, University Archivist and PhD Student in Dr. Romney’s class.)

The Michigan Tech Archives has been having fun all month long for American Archives Month! The next week is no exception, with three special features taking place.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 24 at 4 p.m., travel grant recipient Wesley Thompson will be giving his presentation in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. This is event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information about Thompson’s talk, please see our initial blog post about the event.

In addition, this week our University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen will be a guest Instagrammer for the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Instagram page. Hiltunen is an active member of SAA, belongs to the Legislator’s Research Team, a subgroup of the Issues and Advocacy section of SAA, and she recently delivered a paper at the SAA annual meeting in Washington, DC which was held August 12-18.

Lastly, next Tuesday, October 30, at 6 p.m. in the Opie Reading Room, the Michigan Tech Archives will launch a new exhibit on the history of the Copper Range Railroad. Stay tuned for a detailed blog post later this week discussing the event.

We hope you will consider joining us for one, or all, of these special events to help us celebrate American Archives Month. For more information about any of our programs or activities, please contact the archives at (906) 487-2505 or by e-mailing copper@mtu.edu.


Travel Grant Talk: Banking on Copper on October 24

2018 Travel Grant Recipient, Wesley Thompson.

Please join us for visiting scholar Wesley Thompson at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 24 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus for his travel grant talk, “Banking on Copper: An Analysis of National Bank Financial Health and Copper Production within Michigan’s Native Copper Mining District.” This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Thompson will guide the audience on a journey through the economic history of the region. Though one of the most studied mining districts within the United States, the history of Michigan’s Copper Mining District remains fertile ground for innovative and relevant research. Of particular interest is the district’s economic history and the relationships between the local mining firms and the district’s professional service firms. This presentation will take a novel approach of examining the history of the region by exploring the empirical relationships that existed between the district’s National Banks and the local mining firms. Specifically, this presentation will analyze the symbolic and mutually profitable connections found between copper production and the health of the banks.

Wesley R. Thompson is an accountant currently working at a firm in metro Detroit. He received his MBA and Masters in Finance from Walsh College of Business. He also received his Bachelor’s in History from Wayne State University and his Masters in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University. His passion for mining history comes from his family’s past of working in both Michigan’s copper mines and West Virginia’s coal mines. His historical interests include historic preservation, economic history and architectural history. He is also interested in assisting communities in creating economic growth through public history and heritage tourism.

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.


Local Lore and History to Be Featured on Travel Channel

Travel Channel crew member filming in the Michigan Tech Archives stacks.
Travel Channel crew member filming in the Michigan Tech Archives stacks.

The Michigan Tech Archives, in cooperation with Travel Channel and Michigan Tech’s University Marketing and Communications, are happy to announce an upcoming episode of Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum, which will feature a few stories from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “Murder at Greystone, Paulding Light and Tumbleweed Tycoon” premiers Wednesday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Mysteries at the Museum features host Don Wildman who digs into the world’s greatest institutions to unearth extraordinary relics that reveal incredible secrets from the past. Through compelling interviews, rare archival footage and arresting recreations, the show illuminates the hidden treasures at the heart of history’s most incredible triumphs, sensational crimes and bizarre encounters.

Wednesday’s episode includes Wildman investigating the hidden truth behind the murder of a wealthy oil heir, an ominous orb in the north Michigan night sky and

Filming break in the archives stacks.
Filming break in the archives stacks.

a pesky plant that turned into a Kansas woman’s cash crop. A short segment will also include a feature from the Michigan Tech Archives.

For more information about the show, please check out Travel Channel’s website.

Research and filming were conducted on campus, including in the archives last December.

For more information about the Michigan Tech Archives or the show, please contact the department at (906) 487-2505 or by e-mailing copper@mtu.edu. The Archives can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.