High School Local History Smackdown Resources and List of Topics

The children's reading room in the Calumet
The children's reading room in the Calumet & Hecla Public Library provided a quiet place in the midst of all the mining activity outside.

Keweenaw NHP Archives, Jack Foster Collection.


Suggested Resources

Questions will be drawn from a variety of sources: books, videotapes, pamphlets, articles, brochures, publications and reputable websites of county historical societies and research institutions. Some good resources for local history include the following:


Annie Clemenc & the Great Keweenaw Copper Strike, (Lyndon Comstock, 2013).

Baragaland Bicentennial 1776-1976, (Lumberjack Citizens Society of Baraga, 1976).

Beyond the Boundaries, (Larry Lankton, 1997).

Community in Conflict: A Working-Class History of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike and the Italian Hall Tragedy, (Gary Kaunonen and Aaron Goings, 2013).

Cornish in Michigan, (Russell M. Magnaghi, 2007).

Cradle to Grave, (Larry Lankton, 1991).

Deep Woods Frontier: A History of Logging in Northern Michigan, (Theodore J. Karamanski, 1989).

Diary of Bishop Frederic Baraga, The, (Walling and Rupp, eds., 1990).

Finns in Michigan, (Gary Kaunonen, 2009).

Fort Wilkins: Yesterday and Today, (Tom Friggens, Michigan History Magazine, 2000).

French Canadians in Michigan, (John P. DuLong, 2001).

Hollowed Ground, (Larry Lankton, 2010).

Keweenaw Character, (David "Mac" Frimodig, 1990).

L'Anse Skanee Centennial Book, (Baraga County Historical Soc., 1971).

Michigan's Copper Country, (Ellis W. Courter, 2005). Available online.

Mine Towns, (Alison K. Hoagland, 2010).

Minong: The Good Place - Ojibwe and Isle Royale, (Timothy Cochrane, 2009).

National Parks: American's Best Idea, The, (Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns, 2009).

New Perspectives on Michigan's Copper Country, (Quincy Mine Hoist Association, edited by A. K. Hoagland, E. C. Nordberg, T. S. Reynolds, 2007).

Old Reliable, (Larry Lankton, 1991).

Porcupine Mountains Companion: Inside Michigan's Largest State Park, (Rafferty and Sprague, 2001).

Some Copper Country Names and Places, (Clarence Monette, 1975).

Strangers and Sojourners, (Arthur Thurner, 1994).

This Land, the Ontonagon, (Bruce Johanson, 1985).

This Ontonagon Country: The Story of an American Frontier, (James K. Jamison, 1965 Republished by Roy W. Drier).

Wonderful Power, (Susan Martin, 1999).


Electric Park: A Brief History of the Houghton County Traction, (Andrew Stephens, 2005).


America's National Park System (online book)

Bammert Farm

Baraga County Historical Museum

Baraga County, History of

Chassell, Michigan

City of Hancock

Copper Country Architects

Copper Country Explorer

Copper Country Hockey History

Copper Range Railroad

Coppertown Mining Museum

Eagle Harbor USCG Boathouse

Evolution of an Idea

French-Canadian Genealogical Research

Gull Rock Lighthouse

Historic Houghton Virtual Tour

Houghton County History

Houghton County Historical Museum

Houghton County Road Commission

Interior Ellis Island

Ken Burns: The National Parks; America's Best Idea

Keweenaw County, Michigan

Keweenaw County Historical Society

Keweenaw Kernewek

Keweenaw Michigan Geologic Field Trip

L'Anse Township History

Life Saving Service, Stanton Township

Michigan Lights

Mine Shafts of Michigan

MTU Archives & Copper Country Historical Collections

National Park Service History/About Us

National Park Service Overview

Ontonagon County Historical Society

Quincy Mine Hoist Association

Shipwrecks of the Keweenaw Peninsula

Spaceport Michigan

Terry Pepper

Teams are not expected to memorize all the information in the preceding publications or websites, but familiarity with their contents will make a team more successful. Teams will receive questions randomly, so focusing on only one aspect of a region's history (mining, for example) is not advised. Teams should try to gain a broad knowledge of the four-county area encompassing Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties. Coaches should assist teams in finding good sources for local history research. If time permits, a trip to local historical societies or archives might be helpful. Field trips of the local area would also provide examples of historical artifacts and architecture still visible today.

List of Topics

The following is a list of some of the topics that competition questions may cover:
• Art, Theater & Culture
• Brewing & Bottling
• Business Districts
• Child Labor
• Commercial & Industrial Architecture
• Commercial Agriculture
• Commercial Fishing
• Commercial Mining, Milling & Smelting
• Commercial Timbering
• Company Towns & Corporate Paternalism
• Construction
• Crime, Prisons & Jails
• Customs, Lifeways & Taboos
• Death & Cemeteries
• Economics & Business History
• Education: Public, Parochial & Higher Learning
• Environmental Issues: Waste Rock, Tailings, Slag, Water Quality, Development, Endangered Species, Biodiversity
• Ethnicity, Immigration & Naturalization
• Family Life
• Foods (Regional, Ethnic)
• Fires & Disasters
• Fish & Wildlife
• Fraternal & Benevolent Associations, Clubs & Organizations
• Geography
• Geology
• Hospitals & Medicine
• Infrastructure: Water Works, Dams, Sewage, Power, Roads, Natural Gas, Street Lights, Phone Systems
• Labor Unions & Strikes
• Language & Dialect
• Life-Saving Stations
• Museums & Monuments
• National & State Parks
• Native American Mining
• Natural Resources: plant and animal life, water, minerals
• Parks & Playgrounds
• Place Names
• Politics
• Post Offices
• Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) Camps
• Public Events
• Public Works: Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) & Works Projects Administration (WPA)
• Railroads (Commercial & Company)
• Recreation & Leisure Activities
• Religious Traditions, Holidays & Places of Worship
• Residential Architecture
• Retail Businesses
• Shipping
• Sports & Athletics
• State & Local Government
• Weather & Climate


Last updated: March 1, 2017

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