Rear view of the Quincy Number 2 steam hoist in Hancock. (Photo Taken by Lindsay Hiltunen, February 2013)

2013 is a big year for Copper Country history.  Heritage sites, the local universities, local museums, and many different community groups are gearing up for the centennial of the 1913-1914 Michigan Copper Miners’ Strike as well as the centennial of the Italian Hall Tragedy.  The MTU Archives has started a blog and is hard at work planning commemorative events, including a traveling exhibit panel which is making its way to various sites.  Local historians, professors, and authors are planning talks, lectures, and even conferences.  Keweenaw National Historical Park has a broad range of activities in the works for this summer.  Finn Fest is also coming back to Hancock this year.  I can’t think of a better year to move home or a better historical experience to partake in.  Commemorative events for the strike centennial will bring many people together through stories, experiences, public history, and collective remembrance.

Although this site has been quiet over the past year I am happy to say 2013 will be an active year for Copper Country History.  In addition to helping to document upcoming events, I am happy to say there has also been a recent revival of scholarship relating to the strike.  Dr. Aaron Goings and MTU PhD Student Gary Kaunonen have a forthcoming book, Community in Conflict, which will discuss the working-class history of the strike.  The Department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University is dedicating their annual Writing Across the Peninsula conference (fall 2013) to the strike.

In addition, I have some forthcoming projects as well.  I am beginning the initial phases of my thesis project about the historic memory of the strike and I am currently finishing a paper that has been accepted for the LAWCHA National Conference called “Seems Like Yesterday: Community Memory and the Michigan Copper Country Strike, 1913-2013.”  I am also working on an abstract to submit for the Writing Across the Peninsula conference that will look at text and context at the Italian Hall memorial site.  In addition to research, writing, and conference speaking I will also be partaking in public history and commemoration in action.  I will be interning at the Keweenaw National Historical Park this summer, volunteering with Erik Nordberg at the Tech Archives, and helping out with Finn Fest.  2013 is a big year and I couldn’t be more excited to take part in all that is going on.  I plan to use this site to document and share my own research as well as post blurbs and links to other good things relating to local history and the copper strike.  Please check back for updates.

– In Solidarity, Lindsay


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