Friday, May 31, 2013

New exhibit honoring "Big Annie" Clemenc to open at Coppertown USA Mining Museum June 1

"Big Annie" Clemenc, by Joanne Thomas. Portrait now on display at Coppertown USA Mining Museum in Calumet. (Photo courtesy Joanne Thomas)

CALUMET -- "I won’t stay at home. My work is here ....Go ahead now ... shoot me. I am willing to die behind the flag."

These quotes of Annie Clemenc direct the visitor to a new exhibit on Annie's legacy, opening at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Coppertown USA Mining Museum in Calumet. A recently created portrait painting of Annie, by Joanne Thomas of Allouez Township, greets the visitor to this unique and authentic museum featuring the history of copper mining in the Keweenaw.

Born in Calumet in 1888 to Slovenian parents, Annie was the most visible leader of the 1913 copper miners’ strike. Known affectionately as "Big Annie," she carried a huge flag for miles, leading the strikers' parades.

The exhibit, designed by Joanne Thomas, features a life-size, 6-foot cut-out of Annie carrying a vintage replica of the 48-star flag.

All of the available pre-1914 photos of Annie have been collected and are displayed throughout the exhibit. A few of the newly discovered post-1914 photos of Annie  are included. The actual award from the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame given to her posthumously in 1996 is on loan for the summer.

This exhibit continues through September 2013 as part of the centennial commemoration of the 1913 copper miners' strike in Calumet. Museum hours throughout the summer are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the Coppertown USA Museum, visit their Web site.

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