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.
Professor Emeritus Larry Lankton was one of the tour guides for Historic Jacobsville by Boat & Bus on Monday, June 17, 2013. The tour visited the sandstone quarry village Jacobsville on a combination boat/bus tour. The tour also included the Suomi Synod Lutheran chapel (including a short hymn sing), stops at the historic cemetery, sandstone quarries and lighthouse.
Tour guides were author Larry Lankton, Frank Fiala, retired Superintendent of Keweenaw National Historical Park, and Jeremiah Mason, Archivist/Historian at Keweenaw National Historical Park, as well as Jacobsville community members.
The Finns Are Here and Tech is Key
We’ve heard about it for three years–FinnFest in the Keweenaw–and it’s finally arrived. Michigan Tech is one of the main venues, and everybody has been pitching in to help, according to Mike Abbott, director of GLRC operations.
Some other interesting events include a combination boat trip/history tour to Jacobsville with Professor Emeritus Larry Lankton (SS). There will also be a business forum to attract businesses to the Keweenaw and an education forum.
Read more at Tech Today.
National Park Service at FinnFest
The National Park Service at Keweenaw National Historical Park will be busy during FinnFest USA 2013 welcoming visitors at the Calumet Visitor Center as well as the Tori at the Student Development Complex on the campus of Michigan Tech.
The Italian Hall Ceremony will commence at 2 p.m. with a brief talk by noted author and historian Dr. Larry Lankton.
Read more at the Mining Gazette.
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.
The free tours start this weekend, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with the last tour starting at 3:30 p.m. both days. Tours, which leave from the east end of Cliff Drive, about a mile from the town of Phoenix, near the junction of U.S. 41, will also be held June 22-23 and 29-30, the final two weekends of the seven-week field school program.
People are welcome to stop by and ask questions between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday as well while the teams work on the site.
“It’s critical to us that the public be involved in this. We’re not doing this just for ourselves,” said Sam Sweitz, Michigan Tech associate professor and co-principal investigator and instructor at the site, along with Tim Scarlett. “Yes, we want to train students so they can go on and be good archeologists, but that idea of sharing this site and sharing the knowledge that we gain from this site with the public is critical to what we’re doing here.”
Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Stephen Anderson.
Tech archaeologists hosting free tours of Cliff Mine site
The Michigan Technological University Industrial Archaeology Field School is in its fourth year excavating sites near the Cliff Mine – the first profitable copper mine in the Keweenaw – and students in the program are once again preparing to guide the public on tours of the historic site.
The project has continuity through the leadership of Sweitz and Scarlett, and through several graduate students who have pursued theses and dissertations based off work at the site. Lee Pressley, a Ph.D. student in Tech’s industrial heritage and archaeology program – the only such program in the country – for example, is in her second year studying food systems, local farming and consumption patterns at the site.
Read more at the Mining Journal, by Stephen Anderson.
Copper Country school students in grades 4-12 are being invited to participate in guided explorations of Lake Superior and its tributaries this summer, on Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz. The program, called “Ride the Waves with GM,” is sponsored by General Motors and Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.
Among the tour leaders is Carol MacLennan, who will join with Noel Urban to lead the exploration “Mine Waste Remediation Tour and Torch Lake Restoration” on June 19, July 3, and July 12, 2013.
Read more at Tech Today.
The former area of Yugoslavia conjures up images of war and civil unrest for many people, but for some members of the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, the Eastern European region is where many great memories were recently made.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen clear evidence in Bosnia of the conflict after the break-up of Yugoslavia,” said Susan Martin, Tech professor and choir member for about 20 years. “There are cemeteries that are crammed full of people that all died during the same month and same year.”
Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Stephen Anderson.
The tours are led by faculty and students in Michigan Technological University’s industrial archaeology program. The tours leave from the east end of Cliff Drive, about one mile from the small town of Phoenix, near the junction with US-41. Tours start at 10 a.m. and begin about every 30 minutes. The last one will begin at 3:30 p.m.
The team will provide maps with self-guided trails for people who wish to explore on their own. “We’re cutting new paths through the woods this week and will put historic photos and maps around to help people see the site,” said project co-director Sam Sweitz.
“We’d like to be able to look at the map of rose bushes, for example, and see how the different plants overlap with residential buildings,” said project co-director Timothy Scarlett.
Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Marcia Goodrich.
Archaeologist 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.
Professor Emeritus Willie Melton (SS) delivered introductory remarks to the Presidential Address, “Sharp Right Turn: Globalization and Gender Equality,” during the 76th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society, March 27 through March 30 in Chicago. The address was delivered by Midwest Sociological Society President, Linda Lindsey.
From Tech Today.