Mine Towns: Building for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country
Alison K. Hoagland
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
I recently finished reading Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country by Alison K. Hoagland, a professor of history and historic preservation at my alma mater, Michigan Tech. While I never took any of her courses while I was a student there, I had a feeling her known interests in historic buildings generally and her interest in the Copper Country specifically could lead to a work such as this. I’m happy to see this work as it makes a great contribution to the body of literature related to the region’s history.
As I recently reviewed this book for a journal due out later this summer I will not post a formal book review for this title here. What I will do is simply highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Copper Country, industrial history, and mining history. Hoagland explores the meaning of corporate paternalism in the Copper Country through a study of the material landscape and architecture, a family micro-history, and the relationships between the mining company managers and the working-class labor force. In doing so she provides a thoughtful account into the realities of life in the Keweenaw Peninsula during the land rush of the mining boom days (late 1800s and early 1900s), not only in terms of working relationships and ongoing negotiations between a largely immigrant workforce and company management, but also in terms of family relationships, domestic duties, work responsibilities, and community life. Please check out this book and stay tuned for more book features!