Upper Peninsula History Conference Headed to Houghton County in June

HOUGHTON—The Historical Society of Michigan’s 64th Annual Upper Peninsula History Conference will be held June 28-30, 2013 in Houghton. The conference is hosted and sponsored by the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections.

In recognition of the centennial anniversary of the Italian Hall Disaster, Gary Kuanonen of Michigan Technological University and Aaron Goings of Saint Martin’s University will present the opening keynote presentation, New Perspectives and Research on the Italian Hall Disaster. Other keynote speakers include underwater photographer and maritime historian Mark Rowe, who will present Shipwrecks of Lake Superior, Keweenaw Collection and Beyond, and Michigan Technological University Professor Emeritus Larry Lankton, who will explore the duality of the Keweenaw—a threatening land of natural splendor—in A Special Sense of Place: Water, Woods and Winter.

The three-day event will begin Friday morning with an optional pre-conference workshop reviewing the basics of promotion and marketing for small heritage organizations. Later in the afternoon, attendees can elect to attend one of three tours: 1) the National Park Service (NPS) Calumet Visitor Center and Italian Hall Memorial, 2) the Quincy Smelter and Houghton County Historical Museum, and 3) the Quincy Mine. The evening will come to a close with an outdoor BBQ at West Houghton/Kestner Waterfront Park, followed by a performance by the Trio Trumpelot (featuring folk music and dance tunes with Pasi Lautala, Ana Gawboy, and Meghan Pachmayer).

On Saturday, speakers will present lectures and sessions that consider various aspects of Houghton and Upper Peninsula history. In addition to the aforementioned presentations, there were also be several sessions covering a variety of topics. This includes:

  • Violence and the Struggle for Control in the Strike Era (Steve Lehto, Author)
  • Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey (William Sproule, Michigan Technological University)
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s Tribal Fish Harvest: Change and Continuity (Valoree Gagnon, Michigan Technological University)
  • Life Underground: Working in Michigan’s Copper Mines (Erik Nordberg, Michigan Humanities Council)
  • Fires and Calamities in the Copper Country (Avis West, Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society)
  • Chinese in the Copper Country and the U.P. (Sawyer Newman, Michigan Technological University)
  • Keweenaw County Home Movies from the 1920s to 40s (Jeremiah Mason, NPS)
  • The Cliff Mines and Archeology (Sean M. Gohman, Michigan Technological University)
  • Calumet Air Force Station (Tom Scanlan, Retired U.S. Air Force Officer)
  • The Challenges of Interpreting Complex and Controversial History: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Risk and Resilience: Life in a Copper Mining Community Exhibit (Jo Urion and Kathleen Harter, NPS)

In the late afternoon, visitors can visit nearby historical sites, which include the downtown Carnegie Museum and Houghton County Historical Museum. Afterward, the evening will end with the Upper Peninsula History Awards Banquet. There, HSM will present the Charles Follo and Superior awards. On Sunday morning, the conference will close with a guided tour of historic downtown Houghton.

Registration for the full event (including three meals, Sunday morning walking tour, and all regular sessions) is $119 for members of the Historical Society of Michigan and $149* for non-members. Admission for Saturday-only (which does not include the Saturday evening awards banquet) is $79 for HSM members and $109* for non-members. A discount on conference registration is available to Houghton County residents in honor of our host institution. For overnight accommodations, contact the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn at (888) 487-1700 and ask for the “Upper Peninsula History Conference Bock” to get the HSM rate of $60/night.

In addition to our lead sponsors, the conference is also sponsored by the Houghton County Historical Society, Keweenaw National Historical Park, and Quincy Mine Hoist Association.

For more information or to register online, visit www.hsmichigan.org/conferences/upper-peninsula-history-conference or call (800) 692-1828.

Established in 1828, the Historical Society of Michigan is considered to be the oldest cultural organization in the state. The Society, founded by Territorial Governor Lewis Cass and explorer Henry Schoolcraft, focuses on five major mission areas: publications, conferences, education, awards and recognition programs, and support for local historical organizations. For more information, visit www.hsmichigan.org.

*All non-member rates include a one-year membership to the Historical Society of Michigan.


Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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