Category: Alumni

Digging for Copper Predates Settlers

Wonderful Power
Wonderful Power

Digging for copper predates European settlers in the Keweenaw by 7,000 years

Susan Martin, retired professor from the Michigan Technological University Department of Social Science, has written a book about the use of copper by ancient people in the Lake Superior region.

She said the title of the book, “Wonderful Power,” was a term used by a 19th century Ojibwa man to describe copper.

Jo Urion, Keweenaw National Historical Park historian, said park officials work with tribal members whenever work is planned on properties that are eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including archeological sites.

Jessica Koski, mining technical assistant for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, said copper has traditionally been an important part of Ojibway/Anishinaabe people of the Keweenaw, and it still is.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kurt Hauglie.


Summer Digging

Cliff Mine Map
Cliff Mine Map

We toured the latest dig of the social sciences department’s industrial archeology program at the Cliff Mine recently.

They continued to work on the town of Clifton, across the road from the main industrial site.

We started out at what they think was an old slaughterhouse, complete with animal bones, as MS student Rob Anthony filled in the details for us.

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter, by Dennis Walikainen.


Larry Lankton at Italian Hall Ceremony

Larry Lankton Italian HallCeremony conducted at Italian Hall site

Giving the historical perspective for the tragedy was Larry Lankton, professor emeritus of 19th century industrial history at Michigan Technological University.

Lankton said at the time of the 1913-14 copper strike, Finns were the largest foreign-born ethnic group in Houghton County and the fourth largest ethnic group working the copper mines in Calumet. Many mine bosses didn’t like the Finns, which often made life difficult for them.

“I think you would have found things less inviting,” he said.

At the time of the strike, Lankton said the copper coming out of the Calumet & Hecla mines in and around Calumet was the lowest grade in the United States and it brought the lowest price per pound in the U.S.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kurt Hauglie.

Videos, photos: Italian Hall Ceremony in Calumet

A large crowd gathered at the site of the 1913 Italian Hall disaster in Calumet on June 20, 2013, for a ceremony honoring the 73 victims, mostly children, who who were crushed to death in the stairwell of the Italian Hall when someone yelled “Fire” — a false alarm — during a Dec. 24, 1913, Christmas Party for the children of striking miners.

Read more and watch video at Keweenaw Now, by Michele Bordieu.


Alumni Here for Cliff Mine Tours

Cliff Mine Tours
Tim Scarlett explains the history of the Cliff to visitors.

A successful Seafood Fest
Venerable event survives weather

Despite low temperatures and rain, thousands of people came to the Houghton waterfront for their annual taste of lobster, mussels and more at the Houghton Rotary’s Seafood Fest.

The 27th annual festival took place Friday and Saturday at the Ray Kestner Waterfront Park.

Chris and Sarah Fraley were at Seafood Fest for the first time. Chris, a Michigan Technological University graduate, was up here for a project at the Cliff Mine.

“We saw the Seafood Fest sign where you drive in, and we said ‘Okay,'” Sarah said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.


Susan Martin Speaks June 9 on Prehistory Copper Mining

Susan MartinArchaeologist Susan Martin to speak on prehistory copper mining June 9

Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (KUUF) will continue the monthly forum series on mining in the UP with a presentation by Susan Martin, Michigan Tech University professor emerita of archaeology, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, June 9, 2013.

Martin will speak on prehistory copper mining in this region. The early Native Americans lived primarily by fishing, gathering and hunting. They had great knowledge of the physical properties of materials they used.

Read more at Keweenaw Now.


Alum Marc Sanko in Malta

Sanko in Malta 2013Associate Professor Mary Durfee reports on a talk given by alum Marc Sanko, History ’11, in Malta. Sanko gave a very successful talk on his Master’s work about Catholicism and the Maltese Diaspora of Detroit at the University of Malta.

Photo, from left: Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Melissa Martinie, Amanda Morley, and Marc Sanko.

Sanko received his MA at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and will be doing his Ph.D. at the University of West Virginia. Michelle Jarvie-Eggart received her BS in Environmental Engineering, an MS in Environmental Policy (from Social Sciences), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering all at Michigan Tech.


Job Posting – Industrial Historian

PAL, New England’s leading cultural resource management (CRM) firm, is currently accepting applications for an Industrial Historian. PAL offers services in the fields of archaeology and historic architectural survey, cemetery investigations, expert testimony, Section 106, HABS/HAER, and state level documentation. Our staff of more than 45 professional archaeologists, architectural and industrial historians, preservation planners, and support personnel is committed to providing clients with responsive service and expert advice in historic preservation. PAL’s outstanding reputation within the CRM industry springs from more than a quarter-century of high-quality performance in support of more than 3,000 development and planning projects.The Industrial Historian coordinates the technical and logistical aspects of research, fieldwork, data collection and analysis, and synthesis of data within project specific research designs and frameworks.  Project responsibilities range from conducting archival research, photo-documentation, and survey mapping/recordation to the development and execution of site and building evaluations. The Industrial Historian conducts industrial structure, landscape, and artifact analyses, writes technical reports, and coordinates report preparation, delivering a variety of finished, professional work products with appropriate content and technical detail on time and within budget. Assigned projects primarily consist of locations with documented industrial resources (standing structures, archaeological sites, ruins, and landscapes) in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Requirements:

  • A graduate degree in industrial archaeology and at least two years of professional work experience
  • Knowledge and understanding of the laws and regulations relating to cultural resource management (CRM)
  • Excellent organization, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience in the evaluation of industrial resources in accordance with National Register of Historic Places criteria, the completion of state inventory forms (historic buildings, structures, objects, sites), National Register nominations, the preparation of cultural resource management reports, and other basic historic preservation projects
  • Availability to travel for day and overnight trips, and occasional longer trips throughout the Northeast

Contact:Qualified applicants should send a resume, references, and a writing sample to Donna Callahan, Human Resources Director at dcallahan@palinc.com by June 1, 2013.