Calumet Visitor Center Lesson Plans

These pre- and post-visit lesson plans are to be used in conjunction with a visit to the Calumet Visitor Center. Each lesson plan highlights an exhibit theme found in our visitor center/museum. The lesson plans were created with either 2nd or 4th grade curriculum standards in mind, but can be changed to accommodate other elementary grades. We hope you can visit soon. Please contact Education Technician, Katie Keller at 906-483-3175 or to schedule your visit.

Women work at the C&H Hospital

Commercial and Non-Industrial Occupations:
Calumet and other area communities thrived during the peak copper mining period in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Many residents were not miners, but were successful with their own pursuits in business. This lesson explores non-mining occupations as well as businessmen and women that pursued them.

History reenactors at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

Influence of War:
The copper industry was closely connected to world economics and events. These events included wars within and outside of the United States' border.Since the opening of one of the first profitable industrial mine (Cliff mine) in 1845, the demand for copper has fluctuated, often times because of war. This lesson investigates how war was influential to the product and manufacturing of copper products.

Hand drilling in a copper mine.

Mining Jobs:
Mining required a team of men to make it successful. Jobs at a mining company were demanding and diverse. Although copper production in the Keweenaw Peninsula required deep-shaft underground mining, there were jobs both underground as well as on the surface. This lesson examines what copper mining entails.

Additional Resources:
Mining Jobs Worksheet

A schoolhouse in Kearsarge

Schools, Education, and Training:
To attract immigrants and new employees as well as to retain them, copper mining companies created not only housing neighborhoods, but also provided for essential community functions and services such as libraries, hospitals, churches, and schools. Schools in particular reflected ethnic diversity within the community. This lesson considers diversity and company paternalism aspects of mining communities through the examination of schools and community development.
Additional Resources:
1881 Red Jacket Map

A World of Copper

A World of Copper:
Copper products are found throughout the world. Their invention has vastly improved means of communication and construction, and has allowed living in more remote areas to be less demanding. This lesson addresses historic and modern products that require the use of copper.

Hockey players on backyard ice rink.

Entertainment and Transportation in the Keweenaw:
Immigrating to the Keweenaw Peninsula was difficult. Many immigrants needed to adjust to the new climate, a new way of living, and to living in a multicultural community. Furthermore, different seasons of the year required modifications to transportation or the use of different types of transportation. These seasons also affected the entertainment aspect of life in the Keweenaw. This lesson considers modes of transportation, children's games, as well as public entertainment.

A map showing immigration to the United States.

Immigration to the Keweenaw:
The Copper mining industry was a large part of Upper Michigan's economy and growth in the 19th and early 20th century. It brought immigrants to the area for employment. Families had to adjust to the new environment. Immigrants adopted new cultural identities while maintaining some old traditions. This lesson addresses necessities of immigration to an area and the resulting cultural diversity.

A residential garden in the Keweenaw.

Life in a Mining Community:
Mining company employees needed homes to accommodate wives, children, and other family members that arrived after the men were employed. These homes varied in size and style, but were often rented from mining companies. Families also needed to make a living in the area through the use of innovative tools. This lesson examines the design of housing as well as the necessities of self-sufficiency such as growing family gardens or raising livestock.
Additional Resources:
Mining Community Housing Examples

Last updated: January 12, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

25970 Red Jacket Road
Calumet, MI 49913


(906) 337-3168

Contact Us