Friday, December 13, 2013

Carnegie Museum to host Gingerbread Extravaganza Family Day Dec. 14; Open House Dec. 19 with "1913 Singers"

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum in Houghton will celebrate its 7th Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza Family Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. TOMORROW, Saturday, Dec. 14.

Part of a previous Carnegie Museum Gingerbread display. (File photo courtesy Elise Nelson, Carnegie Museum director)

The Candy-Covered Playhouse is ready for young visitors, and Santa’s elves will take photographs as children visit Santa Claus upstairs. Please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to a local food pantry in exchange for your child’s photograph. Hot Chocolate and festive snacks will be served.

As is the Carnegie's tradition, throughout the afternoon, Portage Lake District Librarian Chris Alquist will read to the children. New this year will be a Student String Quartet of local musicians, who will perform traditional music.

Awards and prizes will be announced for all new entries to the Gingerbread display, which has been set up at three locations -- the Carnegie Museum, the Portage Lake District Library, and the Houghton City Center.

1913 Singers to perform songs from 1913 Copper Miners' Strike at Carnegie Open House Dec. 19

The Carnegie Museum will hold an Open House from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. the 1913 Singers will perform songs from the 1913 Copper Miners' Strike.

The "1913 Singers" perform songs from the 1913-14 Copper Miners' Strike during the 2013 Writing Across the Peninsula Conference at Michigan Tech on Oct. 24, 2013. The group will perform again at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Carnegie Museum. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

During the 1913-14 Copper Country Strike, locally written songs and poems about the strike were published in local newspapers. The "1913 Singers" formed in January 2013 to revive these songs of the copper strike for the centenary celebrations.

During their Oct. 24 performance at Michigan Tech, the "1913 Singers" projected translations of some of the songs from different ethnic groups involved in the 1913-14 Copper Miners' strike, such as this translation (from Finnish) of a "Copper Territory Strikers' March." (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

The strike had had at least three specially written anthems: one in English ("The Federation Call"), one in Finnish ("Kuparialueen lakkolaisten marssi" -- "The Copper Country Striker's March") and one in Italian ("Inno dei Scioperanti" -- "The Hymn of the Strikers"). The "1913 Singers" perform these anthems as well as some 1913-14 parodies of popular songs, which had been adapted to talk about the events of the strike and were published in the strike newspaper, the Miners' Bulletin. These include "The Pay of the Scab," "Where Do you Stand," "Michigan, my Michigan" and "The Workingman."

Although the songs were published in the newspaper without music, the vocal arrangements they use for all of the strike songs are based on sheet music of the period.

The majority of "1913 Singers" are involved in other local musical groups including the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, Keweenaw Symphony, and Copper Country Chorale.

Carnegie Exhibits continue

The following exhibits are currently continuing at the Carnegie Museum:*

Last Days of Italian Hall: Photographs of Calumet's Italian Hall 1981-1988 -- Twenty-one photographs, many never before exhibited, of Calument's Italian Hall by local photographer Eric Munch.

Family Ties: Memorials to those Lost in the 1913 Italian Hall Tragedy -- An exhibit by the Houghton Keweenaw County Genealogical Society.

Rural Reflections: Finnish American Buildings and Landscapes in Michigan's Copper Country -- Photographs by Ryan Holt with Historical Narrative by Arnold Alanen.

From the Old School: Memories from the Old Houghton High School 1923 - 1989 -- Oral histories about life in "the Old School."

The Carnegie Museum is on the corner of Huron and Montezuma in historic downtown Houghton. Free admission. Parking across Montezuma in City lot. Open Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 482-7140 or email

*See our Sept. 20, 2013, article on current Carnegie exhibits.

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