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    Keweenaw

    National Historical Park Michigan

2011 Local History Smackdown Winners

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Date: May 3, 2011
Contact: Brian Hoduski, 906-483-3026

DIAMOND MATCH DEVILS Are the 2011 High School Local History Smackdown Champions!

On Thursday, April 28, 2011 the Diamond Match Devils of Ontonagon High School withstood 12 other teams to claim the traveling Smackdown trophy in the ninth annual High School Local History Smackdown. The team –Thaine Fuller, Jake Meu, April Sorenson, and Ryan Kaiponen coached by Bruce Johanson lasted 11 rounds, proving their expertise in the history of the four-county Copper Country in front of an appreciative, cheering crowd.

The Diamond Match Devils faced some fierce competition, particularly from the The Bays team from Dollar Bay High School who came in second. First and second place teams were closely followed by a two way tie for third by the Porcupine Mountain Puppies, also of Ontonagon High School, and the Houghton Trammers of Houghton High School. Students were excited and tense as the questions got more difficult and the rounds continued.

Each of the 51 students took center stage at the Calumet Theatre to field questions about local history, on topics ranging from ethnic customs to mining processes. This year also included a new visual round in which students answered questions about area landmarks and historical sites. The top teams won pizza parties, while the champions will have their names engraved on the Smackdown trophy. Each of the winning students also received an 8 GB jump drive.

"These students really know their history and they should be proud of themselves." said Keweenaw National Historical Park historian Jo Urion. The students studied hard and their knowledge and teamwork were on display. It was great to witness so many students and teachers interested in local history.

The contest was part of the "Fourth Thursday in History" program, sponsored by Keweenaw National Historical Park. Additional support for this year's Smackdown was provided by the Calumet Theatre, as well as Range Bank, River Valley State Bank, Pat's Foods and Festival Foods, Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, Homestead Graphics, Jim's Foodmart, and the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission. Lastly, all schools involved in the Smackdown received donated books from the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association to help them prepare for this annual event.

 

Did You Know?

Washington School was built in 1875 by the Calumet & Hecla Copper Mining Company.

Many copper mining companies in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula followed a management practice known as corporate paternalism. The companies provided housing, schools, hospitals, libraries, bath houses and other amenities in order to attract and retain a loyal and productive workforce.