Riches

Michigan House Cafe

Michigan House Cafe and Red Jacket Brewing Co., Calumet, Michigan. (Photo by L. Hiltunen August 2010)

As a native of Michigan’s Copper Country, Tamarack City born and raised, I have long been blessed with ample opportunities to explore and discover the region and its past.  Literally being surround by ruins of the mining industry, as there was an old mill site in the property adjacent to my house growing up as well as the remains of the single steam-powered stamp from the Ahmeek Mill just down the street, I was able to satisfy my curiosity about the past.

As an undergraduate at Michigan Tech University (2000-2003) I worked for one year as a student assistant in the archives which only strengthened my desire to broaden my historical knowledge.  After obtaining my Master’s in Library Science from Catholic University, I knew my true passion was gaining a subject knowledge expertise in modern American history, with particular interests in industrial history, labor history, preservation, and culture.  It goes without saying that I’ve always had a great interest in Michigan history as well.  My current graduate degree path in history at George Mason University has thus far been the perfect opportunity to once again explore the region I grew up in and love so much.  In my historiography class I have been compiling a resource list of books and articles on the copper industry in the western Upper Peninsula.  This bibliography got me thinking about long-term research projects and continued investigation.  While I will hopefully be able to continue to explore the region as part of my future doctoral work (which I plan to pursue at a Michigan institution), as I am finishing my MA at GMU I figured this would be a perfect forum to continue discussing and observing the Keweenaw and surrounding area.  The area has a rich cultural, industrial, and natural history and I hope to share that with you through my research interests, book reviews, community profiles, business spotlights, pictorials, stories, etc.  Please check back soon for my first proper post!

On a personal note, I would like to thank my grandfather, David Halkola, for all of his guidance and inspiration.  He was a passionate historian, scholar, and educator.  He also had a deep love for the Copper Country and its unique history.  I am lucky to have had a grandfather who showed me the array of riches to be discovered in scholarly pursuits as well as the benefits of humor, kindness, and a curious mind.

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2 thoughts on “Riches

  1. The region of the Copper Country is so rich in History with the many cultures that came to this area. I look forward to your research and compilations of facts that will bring awareness to the life and times of my ancestors. Having lived in the area, I can only think of their fortitude and “sisu”. It’s hard enough living here with all the modern conveniences!

    • Thanks Pam. I am so glad you stopped by to check this out! As you can see, it is in the initial stages. I look forward to looking through your dad’s papers while I’m home so I can find some ideas for new posts! I would love to do a spotlight on the Hanka Homestead.

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