Adeline Maria Trottier grew up in Gentilly, Quebec. She married David Toutant in 1861 and they raised their family of four girls in their French-speaking hometown. The Toutants immigrated to Lake Linden in 1887, 19 years after the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company had relocated its stamp mills there. A disastrous fire ravaged much of the community the same year they moved to Lake Linden.
Adeline saw many changes both within her family and around Torch Lake before her death in 1902. The marriages of daughters Emma and Marie Jeanne to former neighbors from Gentilly, followed by the first stage of construction of a new sandstone St. Joseph's Church were milestones for the Toutants. Today Adeline and David's graves are marked only as "Mother" and "Father" in the Mount Calvary cemetery near the town where they experienced #AnImmigrantStory.
Alexander Patrick was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which encompassed numerous ethnic and linguistic groups. He seems to have been born to Polish-speaking parents near the border of today's Ukraine. #AnImmigrantStory began for him before 1891, by which time he was living in Red Jacket (Calumet). That same year he married Mary Anna Beresna, who would bear him at least five children before dying in childbirth with daughter Mary in March of 1899. The "Discover a woman's place" exhibit at the Keweenaw Heritage Center in Calumet reflects upon conditions faced by women like Mary Anna.
Alexander seems to have sent for a new wife very quickly after his loss, for two months later Eva Trobilla arrived from Polish Austro-Hungary aboard the steamer Switzerland. She and Alex married on June 19, 1899 in Calumet, only three months after Mary's death. The family would move a few times from Opechee (Osceola) to Calumet Township, then Ahmeek, and then to a farm in the Trap Rock Valley, where Alex, trained as a carpenter, likely put that knowledge to use.
Eva survived her husband. By 1935 Eva resided in the State Hospital in Newberry, MI where she died in 1941.
August Preiss and Eliza Wegelin came to the United States from Prussia and the Kingdom of Bavaria, independent countries which are now part of Germany. They arrived in Rockland around 1860 and became a lasting part of the community. This is a part of their #AnImmigrantStory.
Eldest son Herman was born in 1862, while his father was working as a laborer for the Minesota Mine. By 1880, the family owned hundreds of acres of land in the area, and had opened a saloon on National Avenue (US-45). When August passed away in 1881 at the age of 59, five of his children were still considered minors (under the age of 21). His wife, their mother Eliza, petitioned and won legal guardianship over her family.
Grandsons Harold and Milton Preiss were among Rockland's many ardent patriots. Both fought and were wounded in France during World War I; Milton paid the ultimate price. The Rockland American Legion post is named in his honor. Local descendants of August Preiss include members of the Preiss, Davey, Floyd, and Bebeau families among others.
Charles Cullnan was born in 1859 to Daniel and Elizabeth (Keohan) Cullnan, an Irish-born couple living on the outskirts of London, England. They began the American chapter of #AnImmigrantStory around the time of Charles' tenth birthday, when they left for Detroit. The Cullnan family then established themselves in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. There, Charles later married Lucy McLaughlin and began a family of his own.
Charles moved the family to Dollar Bay around the time of his wife's death, perhaps to bring them closer to Lucy's family: her sister, Mrs. Frank Whipple, was also a Dollar Bay resident. Charles established himself as a liquor dealer, while daughter Maggie attended college then taught for the Dollar Bay School until her marriage. Son Leo, known as an all-around athlete, became a regular fixture of newspaper sports pages in the Copper Country. Maggie and Leo both married in 1916 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hancock.
Welsh-born newlyweds David and Mary (Fabian) Williams began #AnImmigrantStory of their own when they left Wales for Baltimore, Maryland in 1846. There, David's skills as a brick and stone mason were in demand. David worked at a Baltimore copper smelter in 1850, where he may have first learned about opportunities in the Copper Country.
The Williams family arrived in the Keweenaw in the 1860s from New York, where David had found work in a brickyard. While living at the Franklin Mine in 1870, David and Mary's son Griffith was also mentioned as a brick mason - the trade he learned from his father. After their deaths, Griffith and his siblings Gwyneth (Wilson), Gwennlan, Gwladys (Stephens), and David Morgan were laid to rest near their parents in Houghton's Forest Hill Cemetery.
The founder of a longstanding Calumet business, Dusala Bandettini was born in Italy in 1861. #AnImmigrantStory began for her with a trip from Italy to Le Havre, France in 1882. There, she likely boarded the steamer "France," to join family in the United States. Going first to Illinois, Dusala married Ercole Barsotti.
By 1900, Dusala's son Peter had moved to Calumet to live with Michael Bandettini. Following Ercole's death around 1903, the rest of the Barsotti family moved to Calumet where they established a confectionery and fruit store in partnership with Angelo Dell'Osso at 341 (now 339) 5th Street. The Barsottis lived in the apartment above the store. By 1907, the Barsottis had bought out Dell'Osso. Dusala was the sole proprietor of the business until she died.
Dusala's children Peter, Arthur, and Gemma all worked at the store, where they also manufactured ice cream, and had a soda fountain. In 1915, Gemma married fellow Italian American Vincenzo Dianda. They lived in the Bollman Flats at the southwest corner of 8th and Oak until 1918, when Vincenzo was stricken with a fatal case of pneumonia. After his death, Gemma and her two children returned to the family business, which remained in the family until about 1960. The business had many owners since then, including one of Gemma's descendants, who renamed it Dianda's Party Store. Today, Dusala's legacy lives on, as the business she established continues as Bucko's Party Store.
#AnImmigrantStory began for Edward Wenberg in early 1880. According to family lore, Edward's father was a professor of music at Uppsala University in Sweden, but Edward's future lay elsewhere.
He arrived in the Copper Country and by November of the same year he had married Minnie Esko, who had been working as a domestic servant in the Laurium home of the entrepreneur Hiram Cole, a business partner of merchant Charles Briggs.
Edward worked as a blacksmith and machinist for the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company until his retirement. The family built a home on a lot leased from the company at 1664 Laurium Street, where they lived for about 40 years. The two-story house featured bay windows and enough space to house a family: the couple had seven children.
Edward lived in the home until his death in 1938, stubbornly refusing to join his family downstate. Descendants of the Wenbergs include former Houghton Mayor Carlos Wenberg and many other family members, now spread from coast to coast.
French-Canadian George Duquette began #AnImmigrantStory in 1856, when at the age of 22 he arrived in Superior, Wisconsin. He moved to Copper Harbor in 1857, where he learned the contractor's trade before moving on to the Quincy Mine. There, he lived in a boarding house with 38 other Canadian residents before he met and married the very young Alexdrina LeCount.
The couple moved on from Quincy, first to the Huron Mine and then to Bootjack, where they farmed and logged. Another move--this time to Hancock--was followed by a return to the profitable Bootjack farm. One final move brought George and Alexa, now the parents of six children, to the largely French Canadian community of Lake Linden, where they built and operated the Detroit House Hotel in 1881.
The hotel, along with much of the town, was destroyed by fire in 1887. Undeterred, the Duquettes rebuilt the hotel and resumed operations until 1897, when a new proprietor took over. Today, the Detroit House is known as the Prince Building.
In the early twentieth century, the Copper Country boasted some of the largest communities of Italian immigrants in the state. Among those immigrants were members of the Cottini family, recently arrived from Tuscany. Joseph Cottini, like many other Italian immigrants, started his life in the United States as a trammer working for a copper mine. For Joseph, it was the Quincy Mining Company near Hancock. Opportunities for advancement in the mines came with experience and mastery of the English language.
Many Italians, mining companies, and the State of Michigan promoted assimilation into the larger society in which these immigrants lived. Their children were often the first to assimilate. Taught in English at public schools, they learned about the rights and responsibilities of Americans. When a man was naturalized, his family also gained citizenship.
The Cottinis experienced this assimilation, and were quick to show their American pride. One of their sons posed as "Uncle Sam" for this studio portrait, demonstrating their new American identity. Generations later, family members continue to show their pride, in part through their donation of family photos and memorabilia to Keweenaw National Historical Park. These materials strengthen our ability to share the Keweenaw's immigrant stories with visitors from around the world!
Hailing from rural Tuscany, Italy, Giuseppe (Joseph) Cottini came to the Copper Country in 1903. Saving up his wages as a trammer for the Quincy Mining Company, by 1907 his family was able to join him.
Wife Georgina Battaglini Cottini, son Hugo and Georgina's sister Giulia arrived in May of 1907. Tragedy struck the family in late September when Hugo, aged 7, died from the accidental discharge of a shotgun he was carrying inside his aunt Giulia and new uncle Frank Raffaelli's home on Quincy Hill.
The following year Giuseppe's mother Francesca arrived in the United States. Francesca left her husband Pietro in Italy when she immigrated. She traveled with Giuseppe and Georgina's children Pietro and Leo as well as her unmarried daughter Giuseppina. This group was held at Ellis Island for a week before they were cleared to continue to their destination on Quincy Hill. By 1910, the Cottinis were operating a boarding house at Quincy's Sing-Sing location.
Several members of the Cottini family were buried in the Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock before they moved to the Chicago area in the 1920s, following the pattern of many other Italian immigrant families.
Nearly one hundred years later, descendants of the Cottini family have donated heirlooms and photos to Keweenaw National Historical Park. Their donation and subsequent visit help us to tell the story of Italians in the Copper Country; what #AnImmigrantStory they are able to tell!
John Emil Kohtala came with his mother and sister from Vaasa, Finland to join father Victor in 1906. Victor had found employment at a Portage Township copper mine, and the family saved up for a farm near Chassell.
In 1917, John was a young farmer of 21 who described himself as slight, of medium height, and fair-haired on his World War I Draft Registration card. He was drafted in 1918 and served as a Private in the Auxiliary Remount Department (320 Mobile Veterinary Section) of the Quartermasters Corps of the U.S. Army. His experience as a farmer would have been valuable to his section.
Discharged from service after the Great War's end, John soon himself facing another battle--this time against tuberculosis. His death in late 1923 at the age of 28 would likely be preventable today.
John and Wilhelmina (Leskela) Kopsi of Pyhajarvi, Finland, brought their growing family across the Atlantic to New York and then Calumet in 1902. Many Finnish people were leaving their country at the time, a trend which can be credited to political turmoil and enforced military conscription.
John worked as a laborer for C&H for more than decade before the family was able to leave Calumet for their newly purchased land near Bruce's Crossing. There, he was able to farm his own recently logged land. John and Wilhelmina's family grew to include nine children, including Sakris Leskela, Wilhelmina's first-born. The family attended social functions at the Co-Op Hall in Bruce's Crossing and services at the Apostolic Lutheran Church. Theirs is #AnImmigrantStory that would be familiar to many Copper Country families.
The Evergreen Bluff Mining Company near Mass City was incorporated in 1853. For John Petermann, late of Württemberg, Germany, the mine would play a role in #AnImmigrantStory.
John arrived in the Copper Country with his wife Elizabeth Marie and infant daughter Christina after residing for several years in New York. Other family members accompanied them to Michigan: in 1860 John, Elizabeth, and Christina were living with John's mother, Eve Barbara Petermann, his sister Fredricka (Petermann) Rehfus, Fredricka's husband John Rehfus, and John's father Caspar Rehfus in Ontonagon. It was not uncommon for extended families to make a home together. During the week, John and his brother Ferdinand boarded at the Charles Witt family home near Mass City, where they worked for the Evergreen Bluff mine.
By 1880, John had left his work at the mines behind. He found work in town and the family had a small farm in Ontonagon, which consisted of seven acres tilled, five of orchard, and two of woodland. There he lived until his death in 1914 at the age of 83. His surviving children also lived and worked in the Copper Country. John Petermann Jr. followed his father's trade, becoming a mason and plasterer. Fred Petermann became a storekeeper for his entrepreneurial cousin Ferdinand, Jr. at the Petermann Store in Allouez, Keweenaw County. Henry Petermann managed another Petermann store in nearby Phoenix. Daughter Louisa Petermann waited tables at Richard Burge's hotel in Red Jacket in Houghton County and never married. Her sister Mary wed a McLain, who left her a 35 year old widow with six children in 1899.
Mary Campbell was born in Scotland in June of 1843. Her family moved to Canada, where she met Scots-Canadian Charles McLean. The two married in Ontario in 1864, and brought their young family to Marquette, MI ca. 1875. Charles worked as a steam engineer for Marquette Range iron mines.
By 1890, the couple was living in Calumet with their family. They attended the First Presbyterian Church, now the Calumet Art Center, where stained glass memorial windows led us to discover #AnImmigrantStory. Following Charles' death in the late 1890s, Mary lived with son George and family in Sixth Street's Coppo Block until she too passed in 1926. Following their paper trail, their family plot was found at Calumet Township's Schoolcraft Cemetery.
Michael Finnegan was born in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland in 1819 to Jeremiah and Kate (Sullivan) Finnegan. A well-known potato famine gave Michael a reason to embark on #AnImmigrantStory in the late 1840s. Coming straight to the Copper Country, he married County Cork, Ireland native Margaret Tracey at the Cliff Mine in 1847.
The family lived in Eagle Harbor and Houghton as Michael followed profitable work in the mines. By 1860 they had established a farm near Hurontown, where Michael and Margaret lived for over thirty-five years. The couple had at least ten children. Eldest son Jeremiah became a lawyer and president of the Houghton County Bar Association after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1873. In the early 1900s he practiced out of offices in the Wright Block on Quincy Street in Hancock and was president of the Copper City Land Association.
In 1890, at the age of 17, Oscar Dalback left his native Alajarvi, Finland aboard the ship Loverno, destined for Hancock, Michigan. In Oscar's case, #AnImmigrantStory soon took him to South Dakota, where he and his bride Johanna Paavola welcomed the first of their six children, John A. and Aiva Z. By 1900 the family was back in Michigan, near Greenland in Ontonagon County, where the rest of the children were born.
The Dalback children chose different pathways in life. John Arvid served in Company A of Michigan's 39th Infantry during WWI, returning to Ontonagon County after the war. Aiva continued her education and worked for the IRS in Washington, D.C. before moving to New York City. She wintered for several years in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Anna married Henry Koski and they made their home in Portage Entry, while Urho worked at the paper mill in Ontonagon and served in World War II. Impi Johanna became a schoolteacher before marrying Albert Rousseau of Rousseau, Michigan. Helen married Jerry Beeler of Detroit, a "Tool Crib Man," and they settled in Hazel Park.
Paolo (Paul) Tinetti began #AnImmigrantStory around 1889 when he left his native Italy to find work in the Copper Country. By 1898 he had been naturalized in Houghton County and was married to fellow Italian immigrant Magdalena Massoglia. They lived in Laurium.
Paul and Magdalena's family grew with the arrival of children, but also additional family members: Magdalena's father moved in, as did Paul's brother Luigi (Louis) in 1902. Louis soon married Magdalena's sister Rosa.
Louis worked at the First National Bank of Laurium. Paul and Magdalena staffed the confectionery and general merchandise store they owned at 103 Hecla Street. The brothers and their wives were regular travelers, returning often to the Genoa area to reconnect with family.
Hailing from the grand duchy of Luxembourg, Peter and Anna Maria (Plum) Dimmer moved their family to the United States around 1845. After settling in Fredonia, Wisconsin, where more children were born, the Dimmers moved their household to Keweenaw County.
In Eagle Harbor Township Peter Dimmer and son William worked as carpenters. Anna Maria assisted daughter-in-law Mary (Mehrens) with household duties and spent time with her grandchildren. The family was living at the Copper Falls Mine when Anna passed away at the age of 66 in 1881. After Peter's death in 1883, their children erected distinctive markers at their plot in Eagle Harbor's Pine Grove Cemetery.
Peter LaChapelle was born in Montreal in 1847. He began #AnImmigrantStory at the age of 17, when he came to the Phoenix Mine in Keweenaw County, where he worked as a tailor. In 1869 he returned to Quebec, where he married Philomene Roche. Peter must have had fond memories of the Keweenaw for in 1875, the couple was living in Calumet above Peter's tailor shop on Fifth Street. Four children were born there: Anna, Joseph, Amelia and Arthur. Joseph died at three months of age, likely of sudden infant death syndrome.
By 1889 Peter had hung a new shingle in Butte, Montana. Proclaiming himself first an optician and then a doctor, Peter was destined for lawsuits. Still, the family became a prominent one in Butte. When daughter Anna was noticed by powerful "Copper King" and politician William Clark, he offered to send her father to medical school.The offer was accepted, and Anna became Clark's ward. In 1901, William, aged 62, and Anna, 23, wed in Paris to the delight of the media and gossipmongers.
The Clarks had two daughters, Andrée and Huguette. Andrée died as a teenager, leaving Huguette Anna's only living child. A famous heiress, Huguette was also an artist, musician, and philanthropist. She became increasingly reclusive following Anna's death in 1963. Huguette passed away in 2011 just two weeks shy of her 105th birthday, donating the majority of her wealth to charity. The family's home in Butte, where Calumet native Anna once hosted the rich and powerful, is now the Copper King Mansion B&B.
Experienced Cornish miners--and father and son--Richard and John Chellew came to the United States in the 1860s aboard the City of Antwerp, a steamer that later disappeared at sea with all hands. Richard and John came to the Copper Country, joining Richard's brother (and John's uncle) William at the Cliff Mine. They lived with William and his family while they saved up to pay the passage for mother Margaret and siblings Christiana, William, Richard, Grace, and Maggie.
John would never see his mother again. A mine accident took his life at 27 years of age in 1875, before the arrival of the rest of the family. He is buried at Eagle River's Evergreen Cemetery. Family members later dispersed throughout the Copper Country, including sister Grace (Allen) who resided in Greenland in Ontonagon County, and brother William who moved to Osceola, Houghton County. Margaret Chellew, a widow, lived until the age of 90 at North Tamarack near Calumet.
The Vidosh family began #AnImmigrantStory when Slovenian-born Sebastian and Margareta (Bukovec) Vidosh moved to the Copper Country in the 1890s. After encountering some trouble with the law over a small gambling ring, Sebastian found employment as a laborer with the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.
Their eldest son John later secured employment as a trammer for the company. He worked in this position until an accident took his life at age 42 in 1914, leaving his wife Theresa (Fink) a widow and mother of seven. By 1917, her sons John Stanley and Albert were helping to support the family. John worked as a carpenter's helper in the C&H Carpenter Shop - the third generation to work for C&H. Theresa lived with family members until 1963, when she was laid to rest beside her husband at Calumet's Lakeview Cemetery.