Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fourth Thursday in History: Appreciating Mine Waste

CALUMET -- The Copper Country is home to majestic white pines and crystal clear waters, but more than a century of mining, milling, and smelting has left its mark. Waste rock piles, stamp sand tailings, and slag can be found from Copper Harbor to Carp Lake, next to the highway, along the lakeshore, and deep in the woods. Many consider these wastes unsightly, and blights in the wilderness. Others think of them as a commodity, waiting to be exploited. Is it possible to appreciate them as something more?

Join Sean Gohman as he discusses this question in an illustrated presentation at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at Keweenaw National Historical Park headquarters, located at 25970 Red Jacket Road in Calumet. The event is free and open to the public.

Gohman spent months exploring, cataloging, and photographing over 300 deposits of Copper Country mine waste. A PhD student in the Industrial Archaeology program at Michigan Technological University, he may be familiar to mining history buffs for his recent work at the Cliff Mine site in Keweenaw County. Funding from the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission enabled him to locate and document mine wastes across the Keweenaw and reflect on their relative significance in the Keweenaw’s mining heritage.

This program is the first Fourth Thursday in History program of the 2013 season.

The Fourth Thursday in History series arranges public presentations on important aspects of Copper Country and regional history, including techniques for historic preservation. Presentations are scheduled in venues throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula, particularly at historic sites associated with specific topics. They are free and open to the public.

For further information, including specific directions to this event, contact Keweenaw National Historical Park at (906) 337-3168 or check the web at www.nps.gov/kewe.

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