Thursday, July 29, 2010

Local historian Larry Lankton to speak at Portage Library July 29

HOUGHTON -- Larry Lankton, local author and Michigan Tech professor of history, will present "Water, Life, and Industry on the Keweenaw" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, July 29, at Portage Lake District Library in Houghton.

Starting from the mid-19th century, copper, forests, and water were the three key natural resources that shaped settlement patterns and a way of life and industry on the Keweenaw. Lankton’s talk will particularly emphasize the importance of water within the realms of transportation, industrial development and community location.

He will also explore changes in attitudes about water and how water resources and lakes came to be better protected in the region after more than a century of being seen as convenient dumping grounds for industrial waste byproducts, especially stamp sands.

Lankton’s primary area of study and research is 19th century American industrialization and the social history of industrial communities. He particularly focuses on the history of the copper mining industry in the Keweenaw. Lankton has authored three books and several journal articles on the history of the Lake Superior copper district. His research has been supported by fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution, the Hagley Museum and Library, and the Dibner Institute at MIT.

There will be a book signing after the presentation for his new book Hollowed Ground: Copper Mining and Community Building on Lake Superior, 1840s – 1990s.

The Portage Lake District Library continues to offer programs for the community as part of its Summer Reading Program series of events.

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