This is the audio-only described version of the official National Park Service brochure for Keweenaw National Historical Park. This brochure has paintings, historic black-and-white photographs of people, objects, and processes, conceptual paintings, maps, and color photographs of objects. The associated text provides overviews and detailed information about the history and objects that are highlighted in this brochure. Three maps provide visitor orientation and a better understanding of the larger area that was associated with the copper mining industry that the park preserves and interprets. This brochure lasts for about 50 minutes, which we have divided into 24 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1-11 cover the front of the brochure, and sections 12-24 cover the back of the brochure. The front of the brochure presents the more technical aspects of the copper mining industry with a large color painting that illustrates the connections between underground copper mining, milling, and smelting. The text introduces visitors to the copper mining connection and places it in a national context that has existed on the Keweenaw Peninsula for over 7,000 years. Additional text, photos, and illustrations provide details of artifacts that were important to the mining industry at the peak of copper production in 1910.
The back of the brochure provides visitors with more of the social history connections and information about the park today. The top of the brochure is a visual collage that overlays a historic image of a group of miners posing outside of a mine entrance. Below the collage is a large map that illustrates present-day roads, lakes, and park heritage sites while two smaller map insets provide detailed information that is contained within the two park units: Calumet and Quincy. At the bottom of this Unigrid brochure is information on how to plan your park visit along with contact information.
Keweenaw National Historical Park is located in Michigan and is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 1,500-acre park is situated 430 miles north of Chicago on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Surrounded by Lake Superior, this peninsula is known for its copper mining history and natural scenery and resources. This park, established in 1992, is operated much like a heritage area. Each year, visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be found at the park and partner locations, known as Heritage Sites. We invite you to explore the park's many experiences. Feel the moist, cool air in an underground copper mine. Take a walk on a Lake Superior beach and listen to the waves tumble rocks as the wind cools your skin. Visit historic buildings and hear stories of those who passed before. Walk a woodland trail and taste wild raspberries or thimbleberries. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, exhibit transcripts and tactile maps of the region can be found at the park's main visitor center. To find out more about what resources might be available at the park or with partner organizations, contact the park directly or listen to the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.
The front side of the brochure places the park's copper mining heritage into a regional and national context and provides detailed information about how the copper mining companies of the early 20th century operated on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
IMAGE 1 of 2: Float copper
DESCRIPTION: The photo is of an unevenly-edged oval mineral. The dark brownish-red mineral is naturally weathered and has small flecks of both dark and light green pieces protruding from it. A lighter coloration of brown and off-white surround some of these protrusions as well. The oxidized green pieces of copper give the mineral a slightly textured appearance from the different colors.
CAPTION: Pieces of mass copper exposed and transported by Ice Age glaciers are known as float copper.
IMAGE 2 of 2: Ontonagon Boulder
DESCRIPTION: A slightly angled black and white pencil sketch framed by a cream-colored border. On the bottom of its frame, the words "Mass of Native Copper on the Ontonagon River" are printed in all capital letters. At the left forefront of the sketch are three canoes. The first two canoes on the far left have six people each. The farthest canoe to the right has three people in it. The people are paddling the canoes toward a large gray-and-white boulder on the shoreline at the water's edge on the right side of the sketch. Several medium-sized rocks are scattered on the sandy beach as well. Tall pine trees line the edge of the beach. The same type of dark gray and black pines line the river's edge on the left side of the sketch. The canoes and people are much smaller in size compared to the large boulder. On the far right of the sketching, located next to the boulder, is a leafless tree with a vulture perched on a horizontal branch and looking downward. The vulture's shoulders and wings are positioned behind its narrow head and give it a slightly hunched look. Beyond the boulder and canoes is a body of water forming a bed in the river. The river tapers in the middle of the sketch as it flows between two steep hillsides on either side. At the top of both hillsides on either side of the river are pine trees, that are sketched in a darker color. The sky is mostly clear with some gray and white clouds to the left.
CAPTION: Word of the Ontonagon Boulder, a 3,700-pound chunk of float copper, sparked the copper rush to the Keweenaw Peninsula in the 1840s. The Ontonagon Boulder now resides in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
DESCRIPTION: A photo of a jagged piece of mass copper on a white background, with blue typed text. The copper piece is similar in shape to a handle on a walking cane. The left side is larger and a bit rounded at the top with a small jagged nodule extending to the left from the mass copper. In the middle of the mass copper, where one would place their palm, the rock is raised and khaki-colored. This khaki color extends up and down from the center. To the right, where one would place their fingers around the handle, the mass is copper in color and has shiny flecks throughout the surface. Extending to the right beyond the center of the mass piece is a solid chunk of copper that is reddish and brownish with a few spots of greenish color, where the copper has oxidized with oxygen. The entire piece is rough and jagged and would feel sharp if held.
CAPTION: Mass copper
"There can scarcely be a shadow of a doubt [that the Keweenaw Peninsula] will eventually prove of great value to our citizens and to the nation." – Douglass Houghton, leader of the 1840 expedition that surveyed the mineral resources of Lake Superior’s southern shores.
From the top of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a lonely arc of land points northeast into Lake Superior’s expanse. This is a world of trees and water, of a fiery north woods autumn against a backdrop of cool blues. Roads trace the shoreline, trails wind through forests. Around the corner or over a hill, structures emerge—survivors of the Keweenaw’s industrial age. Back then the forests were fuel, the waters were commercial routes, and the shaft-rockhouses, stamp mills, and smelters churned out copper day and night. The structures, their setting, and stories of the mining life are preserved and protected at Keweenaw National Historical Park.
The Keweenaw Peninsula had the largest deposit of pure elemental copper in the world. The land was formed by the Portage Lake Volcanics, a series of hundreds of lava flows. The flows hardened into rock layers, some extraordinarily rich in native copper. Over time, these layers tilted to form the peninsula’s ridged spine, exposing the copper deposits.
Early Native Americans were the groundbreakers—literally. Some 7,000 years ago, Lake Superior peoples developed sophisticated mining techniques. The copper was so pure it could be used straight from the ground to make beads, tools, and ornaments. Extensive trade routes carried Keweenaw copper to places like Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Ohio, and Alberta, Canada.
More recently, copper captivated French, British, and American explorers. When the United States gained title to the Keweenaw in 1842, it opened the door to commercial mining ventures. By the 1870s the mines had caught the world’s attention and held a place in the international copper market until the last mine closed in 1996. The architecture, landscapes, and heritage that remain tell us that the fortunes of the mining companies and the communities they fostered were inseparable. The Keweenaw’s story is more than lakeside sunsets, picturesque towns, and winter sports. It is also one of natural wealth and human ingenuity.
DESCRIPTION: An aerial or birds-eye view of a watercolor painting that shows all of the primary mining operations as well as the communities, housing, and rail lines. The intention is to put all of the above-ground copper processes into a single snapshot to demonstrate land-use, as well as the rail and sea infrastructure. More specifically, the image shows the relationship between the operations. The image does so utilizing red circles with white numbers, that correspond with the historical photos that are right-aligned. Each historical photo shows the different steps in the mining process, featured in the following two infographics labeled: From Rock to Ingot, and the Shaft-Rockhouse.
The primary image is a scenic overlook of a mining community. The sky is clear but has smoke coming out of different smokestacks and other buildings. On the left are rolling hills and trees that are illustrated with watercolors of navy blues and greens and are highlighted in a soft gray. The scene develops as it moves right and crosses the train tracks, to the four-shaft-Rockhouse, which is silver in color, and severely sloped on the left side. The slope then connects to a multistory rectangular structure of the building. Continuing to the right, the landscape rolls over a section of a forest that has dark green trees, with abundant foliage. As the trees become sparse, they give way to a mining town with a mixture of red brick buildings, white and off-white houses, and little churches. The activity does not end when the land meets the water but continues with a cargo ship just off the shore.
Beginning with the labels at the top of the image are the above-ground operations for mining: the hoist house, dry house, shaft-Rockhouse, poor rock, and company housing. The train then connects this area to the machine shop, boiler house, and blacksmith shop. The railroad track continues down to a silver stamp mill with a brick smokestack, billowing a large cloud of black smoke, and a large pipeline pouring a black liquid into the sea. To the right of this and more inland is company housing which is identical to the aforementioned company housing. Further down the rails go through a mineral house before terminating. The surrounding areas have a smelter, which housed the smelting and casting process, This is within a brick building with four smokestacks, all releasing black smoke. To the west and south of the building is black slag piles, and to the north is a white warehouse. To the east of the smelter and warehouse is a dock that extends the rest of the landmass. Little brick buildings are on the shoreline. And a red and black vessel with square pallets is leaving the dock
CREDIT: NPS / Wood Ronsaville Harlin, Inc.
Two conceptualized scenes (this component and the next component, Shaft-Rockhouse) document the multi-faceted, labor-intensive process of producing copper for export in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the block diagram are the underground operations. The numbers relate to specific sections of the illustrations, which also are illustrated by historic photographs.
IMAGE 1 of 10: Drilling and blasting
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo of the inside of a mine with two men in hard hats and matching attire. The one on the left is holding a drill at the same level as his waist. The one on the right is closer to the wall and is facing the end of the drill with a thin white wire that curls upward. At his foot is a toolbox.
CAPTION: 1. Drilling and Blasting: Following the copper vein, miners drilled holes into the lode and filled them with explosive charges. Blasts freed copper rock for removal.
IMAGE 2 of 10: Hauling
DESCRIPTION: An historic black-and-white photo set inside a mine. The wall is rounded on the right and to the left is a rail track with bars on either side that run parallel to the ground. A railroad car is being dumped by two men with hard hats, one at each of the ends of the cart. A third man is to the left in the same attire and is standing to the back of the operation, supervising the process.
CAPTION: 2. Hauling: After hand-loading the copper rock into tram cars, workers hauled the trams through the drift to the shaft. There the rock was transferred to skips and hoisted to the surface.
IMAGE 3 of 10: Hoisting
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo of a wheel and wires wrapping around it, with v-shaped tracks to the right. The wheel is positioned to the far right of the image. A wooden operation box is to the left of the wheel, along with a large lever. A man is looking at the camera while operating the hoist. His stance is very spread out, with his left hand against the wall and his right on the aforementioned lever.
CAPTION: 3. Hoisting: Steam-powered drums rotated to wind and unwind cables, which raised and lowered skips, bailers, and man-cars.
IMAGE 4 of 10: Crushing and separating rock
DESCRIPTION: The historic black-and-white photo is inside a shaft house with two columns on the left with three dividing stalls with wood dividers that are angled upwards and to the left. To the right are two rounded metal machines. Four men are working between the two systems. Three men are leaning over working with rocks, while the fourth is standing on something and is facing towards the wooden stalls, moving material.
IMAGE 5 of 10: Transporting
DESCRIPTION: Two trains are backed up to a building with an open face and a square column that separates the two tracks. The train on the left has the letters DS on it and is pulled forward out of the building, while the one on the right is backed into the building. A man is climbing halfway up the column to the point that his torso is the only part above the train, and is looking into the train. The building has a square shoot that is dumping a large amount into the container section of the train.
CAPTION: 5. Transporting: Railroads served the peninsula’s mining industry, linking mines, mills, smelters, and support facilities. Spurs and sidings off the mainline carried rail cars into buildings for loading.
IMAGE 6 of 10: Stamping / Concentrating
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo of approximately 12 steam bases with a large circular reservoir on top. The equipment is in a straight line, and the closest one is to the right of the photo. To the left of each machine is a metal beam that extends above the machine and later extends past the machine. On the ground are two parallel lines that lie across from the equipment.CAPTION: 6. Stamping / Concentrating: Massive steam-powered stamps pounded the copper rock repeatedly, breaking it down into smaller pieces. Efficient stamps processed 600–800 tons of rock per day.
IMAGE 7 of 10: Sorting
DESCRIPTION: A historic black and white photo of four tables with thin metal legs and a tilted top. The table has metal arms that are above the surface. The surrounding area is filled with other mechanical bases.CAPTION: 7. Sorting: Stamped rock was sorted by water. Heavier pieces, about 60 percent copper, fell to the bottom of the sorters and were collected for smelting. Waste rock, or tailing, was washed into the lake.
IMAGE 8 of 10: Smelting
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo of a metal container that has a rounded bottom, held up by two triangular bases on each end with a wheel connected to the basin. A man is facing away from the camera and is pouring liquid copper concentrate out of the container into a smaller bucket, causing sparks to fly.
CAPTION: 8. Smelting: Smelter furnaces heated copper concentrate to a liquid. Slag—rock debris—was skimmed off the surface. Air stirred into the molten copper oxidized (burned off) the remaining impurities.
IMAGE 9 of 10:
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo of two men working in a casting plant. At the center of the photograph is a tool with a bowl structure that is pouring copper into an ingot mold. Liquid copper is being poured into the third in a line of 16 molds. The two on the left are filled, and the rest are empty. The pouring apparatus has a bowl on the left of a long pole that is attached to a chain at the center, and a square-shaped handle the width of the controller's body. He has his hands on both sides of the square and is controlling the pouring process. The second man is on the far left, facing the camera, and moving material to his right, away from the man pouring the ingots.CAPTION: 9. Casting: Workers ladled pure molten copper into molds. As it cooled, the copper hardened into blocks called ingots. Ingots were cast in different shapes and sizes for different markets.
IMAGE 10 of 10: Shipping
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo taken with bright sunlight casting workers shadows to the left. The photo is a dock area along a lake that is filled with stacks of copper ingots on the left and along the back of the dock that is closest to the water's edge. Six men are working to stack the ingots, each man doing a specific job. In the immediate foreground is a roller conveyor belt that extends from the lower front left of the photo to the back center of the photo. A man on the left side of the conveyor is pushing an ingot along the conveyor belt toward another man with his back to him. A man at the end of the conveyor belt has just taken off an ingot and is handing it to another man who stands about two feet above him and is stacking ingots to about shoulder height. On the left, between the conveyor belt and the stacked ingots is a man bending over while another man at the end of the stack holds an ingot with his arms extended, indicating that the solid copper ingot is quite heavy. All men are wearing dark pants with suspenders over a button-down shirt and are wearing hats. To the left of the black-and-white photo is a watercolor painting of a steamship loaded with ingots. The blue-sided ship is traveling through the water, leaving a small wake and a stream of gray smoke from the ship's smokestack. The red floorboards on the ship's carrying area have two large light brown rectangles in the middle of the ship, illustrating how the ingots were transported by ship.CAPTION: 10. Shipping: In summer, ships loaded with ingots traveled to ports like Detroit and Chicago. Ingots were stock-piled for months at a time in harsh winter weather.
PHOTO CREDITS: Michigan Technological University Archives, Copper Specimens Courtesy of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association, Keweenaw NHP Museum Collection, Drill bits via David L. Masten.
DESCRIPTION: A watercolor painting that shows all of the primary mining operations that occur below ground and the process that brings ore to the surface. The intention is to put all of the copper processes into a single snapshot to demonstrate the geology and process of mining, showing the above-ground process and operations being demonstrated as well as the geological process that created the potential for this mining operation in the first place.
Above-ground is a tall building known as a shaft-Rockhouse. This multi-storied building is steel gray in color, has several angled rooflines, and has sporadic windows throughout. The narrow roof on the left is angled from the lower left to the top right at a steep angle. This roofline illustrates the angle of the underground shaft that went from the surface to the underground part of the mine. The gray structure sits atop a round brown steel tube that is on top of a square-shaped cement block with an opening for a train car to go through for loading from above.
From the top of the building are two cables that connect to three metal beams that hold them until they are within the top window of a small brick hoist house with a steep pitched white roof. To the right of all of this is a larger piece of float copper. The shaft-Rockhouse connects the above ground to below because the steep angle of the roof on the left extension continues below ground to the railroad tracks and is the same width of the building. It is to the left of the below-ground process.
The following three levels are counted by the first being closest to the ground and continue in this fashion. The first level features three workers drilling and blasting, while another set of men are pushing a full tram car to the tracks. The minerals between the first and second below-ground levels are the copper ore with a mass copper hidden within. The railroad tracks on the second level have a full skip being pulled up on the track, and to the right, two people are talking beside a tram car. Above this is a stope, which is denoted by a gray textured area, because the copper is already removed. The third level denotes wooden pillars and stulls near the edge of the stope. Once again men are pushing a tram car. To the right are depictions of the geological levels of stone, with the mining caricature located in the copper lode followed through the many layers of black stone to denote the lava flows, before a gray sandstone. All of the aforementioned processes and land formation are labeled in the painting.
CREDIT: NPS / Wood Ronsaville Harlin, Inc.
The focal point of any mine, the shaft-rockhouse stood directly over the mine opening. Inside, man-cars carried workers in and out of the mine. Skips hauled mined rock to the shaft-rockhouses, where it was crushed, sorted, and readied for milling. Bailers brought up water, helping keep the mine dry.
A huge steam-powered drum, with a cable attached, pulled loaded skips from the mine. At the same time, another skip or man-car descended on a parallel track, balancing the load.
At regular intervals along the shaft were drifts—horizontal tunnels—that led to the mining sites. Drift floors usually had tracks along which tram cars hauled copper rock to the skips.
Most shafts followed the angle of the copper lode from the surface to a mile or more underground. Man-cars (for workers) and skips (hauling equipment and copper rock) were counterbalanced on parallel tracks.
Stopes, Pillars, and Stulls
From the drift, miners drilled and blasted overhead, relying on gravity to help free the copper rock. A stope was the cavity left after the rock was removed.
Eons ago, a rich solution rose from deep within the Earth, permeated the existing rock layers, and created three types of copper rock. Amygdaloid copper formed within the vesicles and holes of ancient lava flows. Conglomerate copper developed within the sedimentary rock layers. Mass copper formed in large fissures and fractures.
DESCRIPTION: A photograph of a tall round silver lunch pail against a white background with blue caption text below it. The lunch pail has a removable lipped round top or lid. Atop the lid is a dark thick wire metal handle affixed in the middle to lift the lid off. Below the lid is another rounded lip on top of the lower portion of the pail. The pail is angled so the viewer can see a dark metal hinge with two lighter screws connecting a large rounded thick metal handle to the sides. The hinged handle is allowed to move up and down but is positioned downward with the middle of the curved handle landing about an inch or two above the base of the pail. About 3 inches above the base is another lipped edge curving around the pail. Three rounded ridges line the midsection of the pail slightly below the handle's hinges and wrap around the entire pail. These are not as prominent as the lip of the lid.
DESCRIPTION: A metal hard hat used for mining. The hat is circular with a pyramid top and a bill. The front of the hat has a metal rectangular bill, that connects to the top with two circles, then bends to the front part of the hat. Directly after the bend, the hat has a circle that may hold clips. The metal bill continues and follows the curvature of the hat. The hat appears weathered and used.
CAPTION: Mining hat.
DESCRIPTION: The image is of three drill bits on a white background, all of which have a circular base and a cross-shaped cutting end. At the point of intersection, each bit has a hole. The bits are not identical. The bit on the left is darker in color, has deeper peaks and valleys, is wider, and has two crests to the peaks. The middle bit is copper in color and the quality is much more degraded, compared to the others. The peaks of the cross are rounded and are a dull silver color. The two leftmost bits are standing on their circular bases, while the bit on the right lies on its side, with the cross end pointed off-axis toward the cam. This bit is a dull silver color and the peaks are a darker shade of silver. The deepest part of the valley has holes in them.
CAPTION: Drill bits
DESCRIPTION: The copper hand lantern is placed on a white background and has an hourglass shape. The center has a few rings around it. This pattern extends to an upward cone with a rounded top. The lid has a few illegible words and an extension that has latches. On the back, the lantern has a handle that extends outwards and down, but at the bottom, it does not reconnect to the base. The center of the basin is a cone, that extends outwards and in the center of the cone is a small light. The equipment is weathered and used.
CAPTION: Hand Lantern
DESCRIPTION: A modern-day photo of a cut piece of copper rock against a white background with blue caption text under the copper rock. The copper rock has been cut from top to bottom and is very smooth on the cut side, which faces the camera. On the right, where the rock wasn't cut, the rock is rough and has two copper pieces exposed near the top but contained within the rock. The flat cut surface shows many green and copper-colored pieces of varying sizes that are embedded within the rock and are now exposed through the cutaway piece. While smooth, the cut piece has the appearance of striations and the copper embedded within the rock appears to have filled in holes and gaps as the rock was formed.
CAPTION: Copper rock (cut)RELATED TEXT: In 1843, reports of mass copper on the Keweenaw Peninsula spurred one of the first mineral rushes in the United States. Copper was valued for its use in everything from guns to cookware to telegraph wire. Prospectors looked for prehistoric mines in the Keweenaw and often built shafts right over them. In 1855, new shipping locks at Sault Ste. Marie linked Lake Superior and Lake Huron, opening eastern and European markets to Keweenaw copper. The Civil War and the increasing growth and industrialization of America’s cities encouraged many companies to establish mines in the region. Eastern stockholders financed and directed most of these operations. Earnings not reinvested in mining properties went to Boston, New York, and other distant cities.
By the 1870s, the Copper Country was earning its name and producing over three-quarters of the nation’s copper. At that time, the amygdaloid and conglomerate deposits in the central part of the peninsula were the most profitable. Two of the most successful companies that tapped these deposits were the Quincy and Calumet & Hecla mining companies. Mining copper required a large workforce. Companies recruited men and provided them and their families with houses, schools, hospitals, and libraries. They donated land for churches and parks, and they encouraged the development of banks, shops, and other businesses. By 1910, the region’s population reached 100,000, and over 30 nationalities called the Keweenaw Peninsula home. Towns turned from pioneer settlements into bustling industrial communities as mining operations expanded.
Mines operated year-round, day and night. Even with several feet of snow on the ground, the mines were warm or even hot. Underground workers carried equipment, lights, meals, and anything else needed for their shift. Besides miners, there were timbermen reinforcing the drifts with wooden posts, trammers operating the rock-hauling cars, and general laborers. Surface workers operated hoists, monitored rock crushers, stoked the smelter, repaired equipment, and tracked payroll at business offices. Some unskilled workers were young boys. Women did not work in the mines.
Falls, fires, explosions, rock falls, and mechanical mishaps took their toll: about one man a week died. Others suffered from blindness, hearing loss, lost limbs, and head injuries. A local newspaper report from 1900 documents one accident: “Richard Trevarrow, aged 21 years, employed at No. 5 Shaft, Calumet branch . . . as timberman, went to work this morning just as cheerful as usual. Before 9 o’clock he was injured so seriously that he died within an hour.”
Despite their success, by around 1900, new mines out west challenged the Keweenaw’s dominance. Managers looked for ways to increase production while cutting costs. They introduced new technologies like the one-man drill, which meant that men worked alone instead of in pairs. In 1913, frustrated by low wages and long workdays, miners walked off the job. The strike polarized the region and brought hardship and tragedy before ending in 1914. Concessions were made by both miners and managers, but the bitter dispute left lingering resentment.
The Great Depression and World War II added to the precarious state. Mining became more expensive as shafts went deeper. Labor disputes simmered, another stress that companies could ill afford. The Keweenaw faced increasing competition and copper’s market value fell. By 1968, all but one mine on the peninsula had closed their doors, ending one of North America’s longest and most profitable mining eras.
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white pencil sketch framed by a cream-colored border. On the bottom of this frame, the words "Ingersoll Rock Drill Co.," is printed in all capital letters, followed by the address: No. 1 Park Place, New York. Below this is the label: D. H. Merritt, Agent Marquette, Mich. Above the image is the following sentence, that begins indented and has a left alignment: "The cheapest and best Rock Drills and Air Compressors made. References given in every State in the Union."
Above all of this is a sketch of the inside of a mine, with rocks poetically placed at the margins to the top and right side. The center is a beam with wood used at the top and bottom, with a One-Man Drill at the center of the pole, which has a mechanical center attached to a long drilling arm pointed to the top right corner. It is drilling holes into the wall. A hose is connected to the machine then runs to the ground. To the left of the beam is a man in a hard hat with a light, standing in profile, looking at the holes made by the One-Man Drill. He is operating the machine.
CAPTION: One-man drill advertisement
This photograph shows a copper ingot against a white background. The copper ingot, cast from molten copper poured into a mold, is about the same size and rough shape as a building brick. But it looks different than a brick because of the prominent V-shaped notch in its middle. The V is not proportionate, though. It looks almost like a checkmark has been cut out of the metal, with one side short and steep and the other side long and more gradual. The ingot has a polished copper color, but it is not uniform in appearance, either. It has dark brown flecks peppered throughout, and a greenish patina is emerging on parts of its surface. The top right side of the ingot has a flat surface that is about four inches long by two inches wide. On the left, on the other side of the V, the top of the ingot is flat but only about one inch by one inch.
CAPTION: Processed copper ingot.
The back side of the brochure contains a visual collage at the top of the page that is made up of historic photographs and photos of historic objects, people, places, and buildings. Below the collage is a map of the Keweenaw Peninsula that highlights and labels major roads, towns, and each one of the park's partner locations, which are known as Keweenaw Heritage Sites. The map also identifies major lakes and bays. Elevation changes are indicated by relief shading. Indian reservations and state parks are also identified by different color block areas.This map orients visitors to the park and locations throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula, with two smaller maps at the bottom of the page highlighting greater details within each of the park's two units. Basic trip planning information is also provided in the text blocks along with park contact information.
IMAGE 1 of 10: Cliff Mine
DESCRIPTION: In a historic black-and-white photo, a group of four women, four men, five young girls, less than 5 years old, and a young boy, older than the girls, stand in a random order. They are dressed in clean, professional clothing, and they stand at the base of a hillside. That is Cliff Mine. Below the photo are two orange Water-Front passes from the Port of Houghton Lake Linden. Each pass includes a black-and-white photo of a different man with the date of 5/23/18 on both cards and the card number below. The following descriptions are on the right of the photo and are printed on to the card: Pass, Residence, Nationality, Occupation, Employed by, and Pass Good at. All of the answers are typed by a typewriter or handwritten for corrections. Below is an official statement by the United States Marshal which is right aligned and italicized.
Below the cards is a circle badge with a green border labeled Calumet & Hecla, which curves along the border. In the center is a man with a stark face and a thin chain around his neck, who holds a sign with the following numbers: 48732.
CAPTION: People outside Cliff Mine, whose early success helped spark immigration to the Copper Country in the mid-1800s; identification cards; Calumet & Hecla identification badge.
IMAGE 2 of 10: Early churches
DESCRIPTION: A historic black-and-white photo of two single-story churches and no other buildings, the land has little and low vegetation. The church on the left is a darker color and has trimming. It has a short steeple in the front section. The other church is white with four windows on the side. The steeple has a cross endowment on the top that goes down to the front door.
CAPTION: Early churches in Calumet. Mining companies sometimes donated land for church buildings.
IMAGE 3 of 10: Locomotive in the snow
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white photo that is stylistically faded. The picture is of a snowplow with a peak in the front then goes back at an angle. A man is standing in front of it, and the plow's blades are taller than him. Beside the plow are snow piles that are taller than it. To the left, a man is standing on it, and to the right two men are sitting on top.
CAPTION: Railroad locomotive and workers in snow. Railroads transported supplies and materials to mining operations.
IMAGE 4 of 10: Mineworkers
DESCRIPTION: A collage of historical images, paperwork, and artifacts, that are rich in details and take up most of the top third of the backside of the brochure. The background is a historic black-and-white group photo of mine workers that vary in age range but are primarily young men. A few dogs are included. The men are generally clean-shaven though some have mustaches.CAPTION: This background image shows Tamarack mine workers. From 1882 until C&H bought it in 1917, Tamarack was the second-largest producer of copper from the Calumet conglomerate lode.
IMAGE 5 of 10: Mineworkers by nationality
DESCRIPTION: As the photo from Image 5 goes upward, the image gets lighter and the Nationality record for December of 1928 is imposed. The columns are delineated in red. All words are black. Column headers are the byproduct of the printing press and the data is all from a typewriter. Sixteen different nationalities are documented.
CAPTION: Above background: my workers, recorded by nationality, December 1928.
IMAGE 6 of 10: Winter
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white photo that is stylistically faded. This image of a black horse with a carriage walking toward the camera towards the photographer's left. A man stands to the right of the horse in a big coat, with his body facing the horse, his head and stark gaze facing the camera. Behind are another horse and carriage. The image is surrounded by trees covered in snow.
Below is a staged photograph with a defined but extremely thin black border. The background is a textured backdrop. The photo features a man with a handlebar mustache. He is not smiling and is facing the camera. He is wearing a suit with a vest that has two chains on his left side. His vest and sports coat are not buttoned. His left hand is in his pocket. His right hand is holding a cigar between his middle and pointer finger. His hand is resting on a book that is on a podium with a pennant flag on the front, printed with the words: "Calumet Mich." on the front. It is separated with a dot on either side of the word "Mich." The words get smaller as the flag gets smaller.
The next photo is underneath the bottom right of the previous photo. It has the same thin black outline. The photo is of a classroom with two big windows in the back. The desks are arranged in four rows. The desks and chairs are wooden with decorative metal connectors and bases. The desk extends from the chair in front of it. The desk has men and women in every seat but the two seats closest to the camera. There are 22 men and 5 women. In the back of the classroom, 8 men and 2 women are standing. All are facing the camera. None of them are smiling. All appear to be young adults. The chalkboard to the left of the image has "Class of 1915" written in cursive.
A copy of a historical document the size of a flashcard. The back page peaks out of the front of the card for Poirier Gaspard. A hole is punched in the center top. The statements are typed with written responses. It includes basic personal information like date of birth, place of birth, marital status, number of children, amount of sons, parent nationality, and date of immigration. Then other information about work: Names of relatives working for Calumet and Hecla, Last Employed, ability to read or write, and the following statement: "I desire to accept the benefits of, and be charged month" then the rest of the words are covered by a badge. The next line reads "mining Company Employees' Aid Fund, under its Rules." The final line has Signature and Line, then another word that begins with "Witn," but once again the badge covers it.
The badge covering parts of the employee record is a circular badge with a green border, around which is printed "Calumet & Hecla". In the center is a man with a smirk and a thin chain around his neck, which holds a sign near his neck with one blank space, then the following numbers: 2230, the same as the worker's number on the card.
CAPTION: Winter in the Copper Country; Italian immigrant in Calumet; English class for immigrants; mining company employee records; and C&H identification badge.
IMAGE 7 of 10: Copper pennies
DESCRIPTION: A collection of copper American Pennies are randomly arranged around the large collage. The pennies are both sides of a 1900 Indian Head Penny and a 1914 Lincoln Wheat Penny.
CAPTION: Copper pennies were one end product of Keweenaw copper. Copper was also used in sheathing for ship hulls, plumbing, roofing, and electrical components and was alloyed with other metals.
IMAGE 8 of 10: ID badge
DESCRIPTION: A circular badge with a green border around which is printed: "Calumet & Hecla." In the center is a woman with a stark face and all of her hair is pulled up or short cut. She is wearing a collared shirt and a thin chain around her neck, which holds a sign with one blank space, then the following numbers: 5172.
CAPTION: Employee identification badge. Women worked in offices and other support operations but not in the mines.
IMAGE 9 of 10: A collection of photos
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white photo with a defined thin black margin. The photo is of a grocery storefront. The store has large display windows with boxes of fruits and vegetables with exotic things like pineapple in front of the store. The window to the viewers' right of the doorway has a sign in all caps that reads "Eat Quaker Oats." The same display window has a reflection of the awnings. In the doorway, a woman in a white blouse and black skirt stands holding her hands together, and her left arm is in front of a man standing in a collared shirt and unbuttoned vest. On the step below them, a man in a collared shirt, tie, and buttoned vest stands with his legs crossed while leaning against the fruit stand. His left arm is resting on his hip and his right is on the fruit stand. He is far enough away that he does not obstruct the view of the aforementioned woman, but is close enough that if desired they could touch. On the other end of the step, a woman with dark hair, a light shirt, and a dark skirt stands with poor posture. She covers up parts of the man in the doorway with the unbuttoned vest. On the sidewalk. A young boy stands in front of the man with his hand on his hip. He is also resting on the fruit stand that is in front of the left display window, but he is leaning back on it and is slouched because all of his weight is on his left foot. Both of his hands are at his sides. He wears overalls, a collared shirt, and a black hat. The last person in the photo is standing away from everyone in front of the fruit boxes, by the display window with the Quaker Oats advertisement. He has good posture and a thick dark mustache. He wears a dark hat, which allows no hair to show around it. Additionally, He is wearing a collared shirt and dark pants that are held up by suspenders. He is standing with all of his weight on his feet and arms relaxed beside him.
A circle badge with a green border. "Calumet & Hecla" is printed along the border. In the center is a man with a crooked smirk and a tight hair cut. He is wearing a collared shirt, striped suspenders and a thin chain around her neck, that rests exactly where his neck and chest meet. The sign shows the following numbers: 4582, followed by black space.
A red cover of a distressed book is angled to the right. The cover has two thin gold lines that serve as borders that are parallel to one another. The interior line is intersected with two lines that make the large rectangle into three smaller rectangles, which vary in dimension. The top rectangle reads in all caps and justified alignment: "No money received without this book." Members must see that the financial secretary places a stamp on each month for which dues are paid. The middle rectangle is the largest and has on the top with a box that reads in all caps: "membership card." Outside the box, but within the rectangle, is the Western Federation of Miners and a circle with three stars that if connected would make an equilateral triangle. In between the stars are small lines, that upon close analysis may be different mining bits, but the distressed quality of the books makes it uncertain. In the last rectangle, the words are formatted like the one on the top, and reads: "The member is entitled to work within the jurisdiction of this union when stamps are affixed showing the members to be in good standing".
In another black-and-white photo with a defined thin black margin, it shows a small room with light-colored walls and darker crown molding, which is serving as a factory. The two visible walls have large windows. The room has two large shelves that are directly above head-level and are simplistically built with wood and cross beams. The center of the room is cluttered with straw and that extends until it meets a machine where the straw is sparse or nonexistent. The machines vary in construction from wooden to metal. The one on the left of the image is a big box that is chest height and has a wheel that reaches out and meets another wheel, which is the footrest of a man in high wasted pants, a jacket, and a dark hat, that matches his dark beard and sunglasses. At the top of the machine is a pole that reaches out to the center of the room and has a cluster of straw and something wrapped around the straw at around the one-quarter mark. The aforementioned man has his right hand behind it and his other hand on his hip. His gaze and body are angled to the camera. He is directly in front of the window on the back wall. On the only other visible wall is another machine that resembles the previous one but is mirrored. In front of it is a wooden table with four poles sticking up and another four on the other side of the wooden table holds the straw. Closer to the camera but still on the wall is a bearded man with his face lit by the window, bending his right arm at the elbow, while the other one is not visible. He is facing the camera with an emotionless facial expression and wears a collared shirt with all the buttons buttoned, overalls, and a hat.
Another black-and-white photo, with a defined thin black margin, shows a corner of the pool. The room has four visible windows all of which are on the second story of the room, because all are above the beardless man's head. The longest wall in the photo, which has three of the four windows, is on the right side and has a radiator on the left, and two vents. On the same side of the pool, there is a metal ladder which arches up from the white tile floor before quickly diving into the water at the corner. Inside the pool, 9 shirtless young men swim and play in the water, while other groups have their arms around each other's shoulders. Generally, most of them are looking at the camera, while others appear to be looking down or at someone in laughter. The man in the suit is on the deck on the short side. His body is angled to the pool, but he is side-eyeing the camera.
A copy of a historical document the size of a flashcard are mixed in here, too. The back page peaks out of the front of the card for Michetti, Thomas. A hole is punched in the center bottom. The only typed words are on the top left, which read: "house No." The rest of the card is occupied with cleanly defined handwriting. At least four different people wrote on the card, because of the different handwriting, but most of them follow the European handwriting style of having flagged letters and rounded numbers, the base of the twos being curved and the nines and sixes having defined arches of the linear sections. The card has years and dates but the most important line is the largest in size, besides the name, reading: "Killed by being struck by timber truck and knocked into sub-shaft at 61 levels and fell 300 feet."
CAPTION: Holman and Williams grocery, Calumet, about 1900; identification badge; union card; broom factory set up for blinded employees; community pool in bathhouse built by C&H; the record of employment for a deceased mineworker.
IMAGE 10 of 10: A steamer
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white photo that is stylistically faded. The picture is of a boat that is darker in color near the water with a multi-tiered deck. Directly behind the doghouse are a steam shaft and two beams.
CAPTION: A steamer being loaded with minerals.
CREDITS: Michigan Technological University Archives, except: Pennies, courtesy of American Numismatic Society, Tamarack Mine Workers, Grocery Store, Locomotive, WFM Card, Pool, and Steamer, NPS / Keweenaw NHP Museum Collection.
“Here is a large community peopled by foreigners,” wrote a visitor to Calumet in 1907. Jobs in the mines—and hardships overseas—brought thousands of immigrants to the Keweenaw between 1843 and 1914. Experienced miners first came from Cornwall, England, and from Ireland and Germany. Later immigrants arrived from northern and eastern Europe as well as China and Lebanon. In 1908, Calumet public schools taught children from over 30 countries.
People brought the old ways with them: Finnish saunas, polka music, and povitica, an Eastern European sweet bread. They came with faith, too. The number and denomination of churches reflected a community’s ethnic diversity. Many groups formed mutual aid organizations like Calumet’s Slovenian Catholic St. Joseph Benevolent Society, established in 1883. Many people were first drawn here to work in the mines, but they found ways to return to more traditional occupations. Some generalizations rang true: Italian grocers imported linguini and olive oil, and French Canadians ran sawmills and lumber camps. With the mines’ decline, economic depression and hardship compelled many to move to cities like Detroit and Chicago. Yet the thousands of immigrants who came here left a legacy reflected in street signs, restaurant names, and community reunions and festivals. For many Americans, the Keweenaw was their ancestors’ first home in a new world.
IMAGE 1 of 2:
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white photograph of three miners sitting next to each other in an underground mine. All three miners have slight smiles, with the first miner looking to the side of the camera and the other two miners looking toward the ground. Each miner is holding half of a Cornish "pasty" in their right hand and all of them have the pasty raised toward their mouths, like they are ready to take a bite. Each of the miners is wearing a worn-looking jacket over a button-down shirt and worn-looking pants. Each miner is wearing a mining helmet with a carbide light attached to the front of the helmet, just above the helmet bill. The lights are turned off. The first two miners are holding round metal lunch pails between their knees with their left hands on the side of the pail, helping to hold the pail steady. The photo looks staged but is realistic in its underground setting.
CAPTION: Miners heated pasties in their lunch pails over a flame.
CREDIT: Pasty Central
IMAGE 2 of 2:
DESCRIPTION: A staged photograph of two types of ethnic food. The first food item is a perfectly browned Cornish "pasty" on a round white plate. The golden pasty is cut in half and reveals some dark browned meat, a cooked orange carrot piece, and cooked white potatoes. The cut pieces are slightly angled to one another, with the pasty filling spilling out onto the plate. To the right of the plate is a dark brown cutting board with a large serrated bread knife laying across the lower part of the cutting board. Behind the knife is a cluster of sweet pastries that look like cinnamon rolls. The bread was sliced into and reveals swirls of cinnamon and finely ground nuts.
CAPTION: A Cornish pasty, meat and vegetables baked in a crust, was popular in the Copper Country. Eastern Europeans made their traditional sweet nut bread, povitica.
CREDIT: NPS / Jane Hanna.
DESCRIPTION: A neutral-toned navigation map of Keweenaw Bay. This document is in a large-scale format to include the entirety of the peninsula, with highways, roads, cities, waterways, Indian Reservations, and state parks marked. Most prominent are the two park units: Calumet and Quincy, along with the heritage sites. The two units are labeled in a bold green typeface that is larger than the rest of the labels to denote that it is the most important part, while the heritage sites are all copper in color and range throughout the peninsula.
The peninsula has a curved shape that juts out into Lake Superior. As a result, the soft off-white landmass textured by the topographic elements is hugged by Lake Superior, which is denoted by an un-textured light blue.
Local residents feared the loss of their heritage as they witnessed the demolition of mining, milling, and smelting structures in the 1970s and '80s. Many looked toward preservation as the answer. Establishment of national historic landmark districts at Quincy and Calumet in 1989 recognized the region’s significance. Believing more was needed, residents persuaded Congress to create Keweenaw National Historical Park in 1992. The park preserves and interprets sites, structures, and stories related to copper mining on the peninsula. The National Park Service works closely with local governments, educational institutions, and public and private entities. A permanent advisory commission helps with operations and coordination of partner activities.
You may have been drawn to the Keweenaw for relaxation and recreation. Once here, you discover that the Copper Country’s history is intertwined with its wealth of natural beauty. Past and present meet in unexpected ways and in unexpected places.
DESCRIPTION: A color photograph of some interior exhibits from the Calumet Visitor Center. Going from left to right, the photo shows a white building facade entrance with bricks and wood trim drawn in black on the front of the facade. The facade is about 9 feet tall and has a peak above the entrance, emulating a rooftop. Through the facade's doorway, exhibit panels are seen on the far wall. To the right of this facade is another white building facade but of a different style. This building facade has a rectangular entrance that has detailed wood trim drawn around the doorway which gives the illusion of entering a vacancy. The room is a classroom setting as there is a chalkboard with text and a brown and cream-colored map on it. In front of the chalkboard are two small desk exhibits and an American flag on a floor stand. The right of this facade entrance is an interpretive exhibit that is framed in black metal and has a green background panel with text and photos on it. The top of the panel is brownish copper-colored.
CAPTION: Calumet Visitor Center’s two floors of interactive exhibits orient you to Calumet’s social history and the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company. The visitor center also offers an information desk and Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association sales area.
DESCRIPTION: Bright afternoon sunshine is shining on the front facade of the historic Calumet Theatre in this present-day color photograph. The clock tower from the top of the theatre is at the top center of this photo. Below the tower is the neat and beautifully maintained historic facade of cream-colored bricks, contrasting with brown bricks and brown sandstone features. At the first-floor level is a brown sandstone archway that extends from the building and out over the sidewalk. This archway has a roof with a marquee on it and is quite wide and long. It is large enough to fit a small group of people under it, if they were waiting to get into the building. Along the sidewalk leading to the theatre, an entrance is near a variety of cars and trucks parked at an angle with vehicle fronts facing the sidewalk. On the right side of the picture is a tall green leafy tree that is growing in the greenspace next to the theatre and is as tall as the theatre.
CAPTION: Calumet Theatre, opened in 1900, could seat 1,200 for plays, operas, and entertainers like John Philip Sousa and his orchestra.
Keweenaw National Historical Park is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about 100 miles northwest of Marquette, MI, via US 41. It is about 200 miles north of Green Bay, WI, via US 141 and 41. Daily scheduled flights serve the Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX). Charter bus service is also available. Service animals are welcome.
DESCRIPTION: A neutral-toned map of the downtown and industrial parts of Calumet. It has a thin black perimeter, with a thick black top line, that has in white "Calumet Unit." This map provides a detailed illustration of Calumet's roads and gives specific denotation to Keweenaw National Historical Park property, Heritage Sites, Calumet Village parks, and Parking areas. Most of the map is Downton Calumet.
DESCRIPTION: A neutral-toned map of the downtown and industrial parts of Quincy. It has a thin black perimeter, with a thick black top label that has in white "Quincy Unit." This map is a detailed illustration of Quincy's roads and gives specific denotation to Keweenaw National Historical Park property, Heritage Sites, Quincy Mine and Hoist property, and parking areas. The map has Highway 41 cutting the map at an approximately 50-degree angle. On the west side of Highway 41, most of the park property is found, and on the east side, the majority of the land is a heritage site.
The national historical park preserves two large-scale mining complexes. Quincy Unit near Hancock focuses on the above- and below-ground technologies of copper mining; 12 miles north, Calumet Unit features social, ethnic, commercial, and company-planned aspects of the Calumet & Hecla mining community. Calumet Visitor Center offers information year-round. The Quincy Unit has a seasonal information desk.
Most property in the two park units is privately owned. Please respect private property. Contact the park for current information. For a full list of regulations, including our firearms policy, check our website.
In and around the two park units, over a dozen independently operated Keweenaw Heritage Sites work in partnership with the National Park Service. Activities vary by site and may include special programs, tours, museum exhibits, theatrical performances, and recreation. Hours and days of operation vary by seasons and most sites close for winter. Each Keweenaw Heritage Site has its own admission fee or donation request.
The Calumet Visitor Center is accessible to most people. It has an accessible entrance on Red Jacket Road, on the south side of the building, and once inside the building, the southeast corner has an elevator.
The ranger desk has a wheelchair, which may be used within the facility. Audio guides are available. Other resources are available, such as audio transcripts, braille signage/guides, tactile maps, and Park Rangers with training in audio description.
Keweenaw National Historical Park is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities visit www.nps.gov.
Keweenaw National Historical Park
25970 Red Jacket Rd.
Calumet, MI 49913
Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau provides information about area services, facilities, and attractions. Contact 888-646-6784 or visit www.keweenaw.info.
National Park Foundation. Join the park community, www.nationalparks.org