Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two Michigan Tech faculty to sign new books July 15, 22

HANCOCK -- Finlandia University’s North Wind Books will host book signings with two Michigan Tech faculty members -- Alison (Kim) Hoagland, professor of history and historic preservation, and Larry Lankton, professor of history. Both books are related to the copper mining history of the Upper Peninsula.

Authors Larry Lankton and Alison (Kim) Hoagland have participated in several community celebrations of Copper Country history. Here they welcome visitors at the 2007 Key Ingredients and Michigan Foodways exhibits in the Keweenaw Heritage Center, Calumet. Hoagland and Lankton also participated in the Quincy Anniversary Special Events in 2008. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Hoagland will sign her new book, Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan's Copper Country, recently published by University of Minnesota Press, at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, July 15. Lankton will sign his most recent book, Hollowed Ground: Copper Mining and Community Building on Lake Superior, 1840s-1990s, published by Wayne State University Press, at 5 p.m. next Thursday, July 22, at North Wind Books in Hancock.

Mine Towns: domestic life in company towns

Hoagland's Mine Towns is a working-class history of domestic life in Copper Country company towns during the boom years of 1890 to 1918.

During the nineteenth century, the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan was the site of America’s first mineral land rush as companies hastened to profit from the region’s vast copper deposits.

In order to lure workers to such a remote location -- and work long hours in dangerous conditions -- companies offered not just competitive wages but also helped provide the very infrastructure of town life in the form of affordable housing, schools, health-care facilities and churches.

Hoagland’s book investigates how the architecture of company towns reveals the paternal relationship that existed between company managers and workers -- a relationship that both parties turned to their own advantage.

Alison (Kim) Hoagland is also the author of Buildings of Alaska and Army Architecture in the West: Forts Laramie, Bridger, and D. A. Russell, 1849–1912.

Hollowed Ground: copper and sulfide mining companies, communities

In Hollowed Ground, Lankton tells the story of two copper industries on Lake Superior -- native copper mining, which produced about 11 billion pounds of the metal from the 1840s until the late 1960s, and copper sulfide mining, which began in the 1950s and produced another 4.4 billion pounds of copper through the 1990s.

In addition to documenting companies and their mines, mills and smelters, Hollowed Ground is also a community study. It examines the region’s population and ethnic mix, which was a direct result of the mining industry, and the companies’ paternalistic involvement in community building.

While this book covers the history of the entire Lake Superior mining industry, it particularly focuses on the three largest and longest-lived companies: Calumet and Hecla, Copper Range and Quincy .

Hollowed Ground presents a wealth of images from Upper Michigan’s mining towns, reflecting a century and a half of unique community and industrial history. Local historians, industrial historians and anyone interested in the history of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will appreciate this informative volume.

Lankton is also the author of Cradle to Grave: Life, Work and Death at the Lake Superior Copper Mines and Beyond the Boundaries: Life and Landscape at the Lake Superior Copper Mines, 1840-1875.

For additional information, please contact North Wind Books at 906-487-7217.

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