May 19-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: May: May 19-09
At the dig    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Art Brabbs
Finding artifacts    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Art Brabbs
Treasures found    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Art Brabbs

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 08:00 am:

On Sunday, Charlie mentioned the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee and the role they play in documenting iron mining in the area. Art Brabbs has a report for us about something else the museum does for the history of iron mining, namely the Future Historians. Here's what Art told me about this group of young people in the photos today.

The Future Historians are approximately 55 school age children from around the UP, some are from as far away as Iron Mountain, Munising, Carney and around the Marquette area. The program is run by the Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee which is part of the Michigan History, Arts and Libraries Department. The group meets once per month during the school year in the evening after school at the museum, and studies topics of Michigan History.

The pictures of the Historians are from an Archaeology Workshop at the museum. The workshop was a salvage archaeology dig behind the museum were the new road from US 41 is coming through. The artifacts are thought to be from a farm site that was located at the site of the museum near the Carp River Forge Area. The children had some great hands on experience and salvaged some items from the past.

Also students who wish can take part in a three day workshop, playing a historical role of a child at Fort Wilkins, Copper Harbor, or Clark mine. As you can imagine this is a very desirable activity. The Museum conducts trainng sessions and provides the costumes. There are four workshops scheduled this year at the Fort July 8-10, July 21-23, August 6-8, and August 12-14. Please invite everyone to visit Fort Wilkins on these dates and share in the children's love for history. They love to share with visitors to the fort their life in 1863. Some of the children have also taken part in other local programs and at Fayette Historical Town site which will be August 8 this year. and at the Iron Industry Museum Autumn Harvest Festival Sept 19/20 this year.

I am a proud parent of one of the Future Historians, (Crystal Brabbs) Who has been featured several times on Pasty Cam. Crystal is the girl in brown standing next to the civil war officer in the photo here below:
At Fort Wilkins

If any viewers are interested in the program they can contact Mr. Barry James at The Michigan Iron Industry Museum (906)475-7857 or email
Thanks for the photos and the information, Art!
Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 08:38 am:

Sounds like a fun project, but it does beg the question; why isn't there a "Michigan Copper Industry Museum"?? It sure can't be for lack of information or interest. I mean there is Coppertown which is ok, but I always feel like there's something missing when I walk out; as though they've left out some very important information and facts about copper mining in the Keweenaw.

Maybe it's just me.......

By Musicteacher (Musicteacher) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 10:13 am:

Capt: The role of the Keweenaw National Historical Park is to be that very thing. The Copper Industry is the focus of the KNHP and they are doing a fantastic job. If anyone hasn't been in Calumet recently, please come check out the Union Building, St. Anne Heritage Center, St. Paul Catholic Church, Calumet Theatre, etc. You will see that we working in the right direction. These things take time and money.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 11:51 am:

Excellent! Good to see the effort to get today's generation involved with some hands-on history. They look like they are enjoying life beyond Nintendo.

By Tom Learmont (Toml) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 01:46 pm:

In addition to the Keweenaw Historical Park, there is the Keweenaw County Historical Society which is doing an excelent job in preserving some local history. They opperate the Light House and Museum in Eagle Harbor, they are restoring the old village of Centeral Mine, they maintain the Church and Blacksmith Shop in Phoenix in addition to other buildings and facilities. They also have a number of summer programs for the youth to become involved in. Naturally they, like many organization can use your help--- so check them out at

By Dr. Nat (Drnat) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 05:10 pm:

The Keweenaw National Historic Park is nice and they are doing a fine job trying to preserve the mining history of the region. (Too bad I’ve heard there’s a few less shafthouses than when I was last there. Those prominent icons of the history gone…). Anyway, what I do wish is that there was a single conspicuous place where people could go to learn all about the Keweenaw and its glory days. Right now, it seems like a treasure hunt: go here for that info, go there for that, hope you can find some other place, especially if you’re not a local…

At the Gettysburg National Military Park, there is a centre where you can find out all about the significance of the site and learn all about the history. Then, if you want to learn more, you can visit sites throughout the town and the surrounding area. Wanlockhead, Scotland, has a similar setup. (Wanlockhead was an important mining district that was periodically exploited from Roman times to the mid-1800s). There is a main museum that gives you a full background on the geology, mining technology, history, and importance of the area. There are also surrounding sites like a mine tour, smithy, restored cottages, etc. that you can also visit. But the nice thing is, all those surrounding sites are put into context by the main museum. Calumet has all the ancillary sites, but no one place to go to get a full overview and context of the region’s importance. I think that as nice as the Keweenaw National Historic Park is, it is lacking a central location that can tie everything together, especially for visitors who are not familiar with the region.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 05:42 pm:

Is there funds to make all this happen?

By Ray & Chris (Ray) on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 07:24 pm:

Dr. Nat/Capt. Paul, I agree. Our family fell in love with the area almost 20 years ago. We've visited just about everything there is to see - many repeatedly. One central location as an orientation center would make perfect sense. Some day. . .


By Jay Balliet (Jfactor1) on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 08:14 am:

Dr. Nat,

You're right about there not being many shafthouses left in the Keweenaw. There's only 5 left.

1. Quincy #2 above Hancock
2. Osceola #13 South of Calumet
3. Centennial #6 North of Calumet
4. Champion in Painesdale
5. Centennial #3 north of Calumet

The Cent. #3 is barely standing these days. When I was there in '07 on of the main supports was broken and the whole thing was leaning to one side. They also recently tore down the hoist house for it so it's days are definitely numbered.

I've got some pics of it in my gallery here.

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