All posts by Lindsay Hiltunen

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!


Welcome to Summer Intern Gabrielle Wood

Summer Intern Gabrielle Wood
Our new FMTL Archives Intern for summer 2019, Gabrielle Wood

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 2019. Gabrielle Wood was selected as the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Archives Intern after a competitive national call for applicants. While in Houghton, Gabby will be assisting with research support services and collections processing in the Michigan Tech Archives. We are very excited to have her on board! Below, please take a moment to get to know her as she introduces herself in her own words.


Hello!

My name is Gabrielle (or Gabby for short) and I am excited to be this summer’s Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Archives Intern. I come to Michigan Tech from Southern California and am looking forward to taking in all the natural splendor of the Upper Peninsula- and hopefully not getting bitten by too many bugs along the way. I received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Irvine and am currently working towards a master’s degree in library and information studies with a specialization in archiving at UCLA.

Probably reflecting my background in history, one of my favorite things about archives/the archiving field is being able to help people interact directly with the past- I think history goes from black and white to vivid color when you see or hold an original document in your hands and think about the life it has had and who has held it before you. This summer at Michigan Tech I look forward to gaining more hands on experience, learning more about the local area, and helping patrons with their research needs!

3 Fun Fact about me:

  • I am originally from the Boston area, specifically a small town that is located right next to Quincy, Massachusetts – so while not yet familiar with the local area, some of the local names have been very familiar to me
  • I love to bake, if given a superlative mine would probably read: “most likely to be found in a kitchen at 10 pm on a Tuesday night making cookies just because”
  • The Space Race (late 1940s to 1960s) is one of my favorite historical periods to study

Feel free to come by to see the collections and me this summer!


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.


Flashback Friday: The Bridge Over Fanny Hooe Creek

Bridge Over Fanny Hooe Creek
A photograph of the bridge over Fanny Hooe Creek taken on July 5, 1930.

As we continue into the long holiday weekend, it is our sincere hope that you have time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and do some exploring in the beautiful Copper Country. Our Flashback Friday shares a historic image of a site you just might see if you are taking in some hiking near Copper Harbor.

This photograph is of the bridge over Fanny Hooe Creek, which is about a mile east of Copper Harbor, right next to Fort Wilkins State Park. The photograph was taken on this day in 1930 and is part of the Reeder Photograph Collection.

US-41 Fanny Hooe Creek Bridge
A fall scene of the bridge in October 2012. Courtesy of Historic Bridges.

The bridge has an interesting history, starting with the passage of the State Trunk Line Act in 1913. The Act allowed for the construction of a state route through Keweenaw, Houghton, Ontonagon,  and Gogebic counties. Sections of this route eventually became part of US 41 and US 45. In the 1920s, new bridges were included in the trunkline to improve accessibility and expand the route. The small concrete arch bridge was constructed by the Keweenaw County Road Commission. The bridge is quite beautiful to behold, with an elliptical arch ring, filled spandrels, and decorative fieldstone work. Of special highlight is the decorative stonework, which was uncommon for many Michigan bridges of the era.

Perhaps if you took in the fireworks in Copper Harbor last night or are looking to head north this weekend, be sure to check out this small but mighty Michigan marvel!

 

 

 


Flashback Friday: The Ranger III

Ranger III Launch Posed Photo
A group poses for a photograph at the launch of the Ranger III in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on this day in 1958.

To those who live in or visit the Copper Country, the sight of a large blue and white vessel on the Keweenaw Waterway is a welcome and familiar one. Today’s Flashback Friday looks back to the launch of the Ranger III and remembers those vessels that came before her.

The Ranger III is a 165 foot long, 34 feet wide, 648 ton vessel that can carry up to 128 passengers. The nine-member crew operates the ship with skill to safely navigate the unpredictable waters of Lake Superior, carrying people and cargo back and forth from Houghton, Michigan to Rock Harbor on Isle Royale. The vessel is owned and operated by the National Park Service (NPS.)

The journey to Isle Royale National Park on the Ranger III begins at the home port in Houghton. The six-hour long, 73 mile journey to Rock Harbor starts out through the Keweenaw Waterway, also known as the Portage Canal, and passes under the famous Portage Lift Bridge. The bulk of the journey is spent on the open, majestic waters of Lake Superior and the destination is the rugged, north woods landscape of Isle Royale.

A crowd in 1958.
A crowd gathering to see the Ranger return in September 1958.

Today’s Flashback Friday looks back to the launch of the vessel, which was covered in the Daily Mining Gazette on this day in 1958. The photo depicts people, widely known locally in the mid-twentieth century, on the occasion of the Ranger III’s launching. Easy to spot are Daniel J. Tobin, regional National Park director; C. R. Christianson, head of the Christy Corp., Congressman and Mrs. John Bennett, Superintendent John Lewis of the Isle Royale Park. Mrs. C. R. Christianson, local Coast Guard Auxiliary head Edward Lieblein and Senator Leo Roy. This photograph was taken in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

The Ranger III before launch.
How the Ranger III appeared just before her maiden voyage.

Large vessels were an integral part of the history of Isle Royale and its opening as a national park. The basic idea of establishing a national park like Isle Royale came about in March 1931, when President Herbert Hoover authorized Congress to build a conservation effort around a prime expanse of northern wilderness. During 1937, the effort to open the park received two surplus, wooden hull United States Coast Guard cutters and their two-man crews. These vessels were originally designated NPS-1 and NPS-2, but some confusion led to these boats being renamed and NPS-1 became the first Ranger. While the early cutters served the island well, including during the official establishment of Isle Royale National Park on April 3, 1940, eventually the NPS-2 (the Beaver) was returned to military service and the Ranger fell into disrepair due to lack of proper maintenance during the war. After World War II, the Ranger was taken out of service and replaced by a surplus Army Minelayer, which became the Ranger II. This 114 foot wood ship served Isle Royale from 1946 to 1958.

During the Eisenhower Administration, a nationwide program was initiated to rejuvenate National Park lands and facilities. The program was dubbed “Mission 66” and it provided the opportunity for Isle Royale Park staff to ask for a new ship, the Ranger III. The park’s request was granted and the Christy Corporation of Sturgeon Bay built the ship at a cost of 1.16 million dollars. The Ranger III continues to serve the island to this day and it is currently the largest vessel owned and operated by the National Park Service. For decades the ship has been a symbol of exploration and a welcome sight for children enjoying the local beaches. The wake created by the ship provides large, rolling waves just the right size to rock an inner tube or a canoe.

Full statistics for the USNPS Ranger III can be found on the National Park Service website.

For information about the current schedule, fares, and reservations, please visit the Ranger III Information page on the NPS website.

The Ranger on the Portage Canal.
A recent photograph of the Ranger III on the Portage Canal.

Copper Range Exhibit Hits the Road

Last October the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections launched its latest traveling exhibit, “Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula: A Glimpse at the Early Years of the Copper Range Railroad.” Starting this month, the exhibit hits the road! The six panels will be on display at various heritage sites from June to December 2019. The exhibit will include a free souvenir postcard and commemorative booklet at each site (while supplies last.)

The schedule is detailed below:

June: Ontonagon County Historical Society, Ontonagon Historical Museum in Ontonagon, Michigan

July: CopperTown USA Mining Museum, Calumet, Michigan

August: Iron County Historical Society Museum, Hurley, Wisconsin

September: Quincy Mine Hoist Association, Quincy Mine, Hancock, Michigan

September 28: Grace Lutheran Church, Northland Historical Consortium Fall Meeting, South Range, Michigan

October: Portage Lake District Library, Houghton, Michigan

November and December: Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, Houghton, Michigan

If you have any questions regarding how to view the exhibit, please contact the appropriate site to check for hours and visiting information. In addition, the exhibit is available to borrow from January – June 2020. If your site is interested in hosting the panels, please contact Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist, Michigan Tech Archives at lehalkol@mtu.edu or (906) 487-2505.

This exhibit was funded in part by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission Heritage Grant program. 


Flashback Friday: Memorial Day

Michigan Tech ROTC

Today’s Flashback Friday serves as a reminder that the Michigan Tech Archives will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. The photograph depicts Michigan Tech ROTC cadets on campus in the late 1930s.

Each May, the United States celebrates Memorial Day, which was first widely observed as a national holiday in may 1868. The day was originally meant to commemorate the sacrifices of the Civil War and honor a proclamation made by General John A. Logan that, “the 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion…”

Since World War I, Memorial Day has transformed into a celebration to honor all of those who died in service to the United States, as well as veterans and current members of the military. In 1971 the holiday became an official federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday of May.