Advisory Commission Meeting 1/17/17

Present: Commissioners

Amy Berglund, at-large

Karin Cooper, Houghton County

Sue Dana, Village of Calumet

Larry Lankton, at-large

Bob Langseth, Calumet Township

Scott MacInnes, State of Michigan

Absent: John Sullivan, Franklin and Quincy Townships

Present: Executive Director

Scott See

Present: National Park Service

Wyndeth Davis, Superintendent

Present: Recording Secretary

John Arnold

Present: Guests

Judy Albee

Steve Albee

Glenda Bierman, Quincy Mine Hoist Association

Dave Geisler, Village of Calumet

Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist, Michigan Technological University

Karen Hintz , Keweenaw County Historical Society

Brian Hoduski, Chief of Museum Services, Keweenaw National Historical Park

Bob Holmstrom

Lynn Kisul

Virginia Schubert, Keweenaw County Historical Society

Gary Tudor, TV6

Call to Order

A regular meeting of the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission was called to order at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at the Keweenaw NHP Headquarters in Calumet, Michigan.

Approval of Agenda

Moved by Sue Dana and seconded by Amy Berglund to approve agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (6/0).

Approval of Minutes of October 18, 2016

Moved by Larry Lankton and seconded by Karin Cooper to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (6/0).

Executive Director’s Report

Executive Director Scott See reported on how the goals of the Advisory Commission were supported during the quarter.

Advise the National Park Service at Keweenaw National Historical Park on park planning, preservation, interpretation, and operational matters.

See reported that during the last quarter, the National Park Service (NPS) conducted its annual Service-wide Comprehensive Call (SCC) for 2019. This process solicits project ideas and priorities from the individual. Representing the Commission, See participated in several prioritization and project development meetings with the NPS staff.

In addition, the Quincy Mining Company National Historic Landmark (NHL) amendment project proceeds apace. Commissioner Lankton and See participated in a meeting with the contractor to review the most recent version of the documentation. The present plan is to modify the NHL boundaries, and reduce the period of significance to those years that the Quincy Mining Company was most making nationally significant contributions.

Finally, See arranged for several professors in the Michigan Tech Social Science department to meet with Superintendent Davis and discuss ways that to collectively work together on heritage management education and projects.

Develop the Keweenaw Heritage Sites Program into a consortium of fully sustainable sites.

The Fall Heritage Site Meeting took place October 19 at the park headquarters, and was attended by representatives from sixteen Heritage Sites, the Quincy Smelter Association, and the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association. Each Site provided a brief report, and participants discussed training opportunities they would like the Advisory Commission to provide to the Sites in the future.

The Quincy Mine Hoist Association instituted a new Interpretive Planning Committee this quarter to focus on improvements to their exhibits, displays, and tours. Several NPS staff members are assisting with this effort, as is See.

Develop partnerships that provide visitors with a cohesive, accessible, and engaging national park experience along the entire length of the Keweenaw.

See reported that a contract has been finalized with MannikSmith to complete several projects at the Quincy Smelter next summer. Projects include the removal and proper disposal of a number of devices that are potentially contaminated with PCBs or mercury. MannikSmith will also conduct two studies for the Advisory Commission: one will document the sumps and drainage systems to determine liquid flows on the property, and the second will assess the lead-based paint contamination that remains on the site.

See has continued to work with Isle Royale National Park and the City of Houghton on plans for the potential relocation of Isle Royale’s administrative offices and docking facilities to the smelter property.

Promote a historic preservation ethic and emphasize heritage awareness.

See announced that the 2017 Heritage Grant Program applications are now available on the park’s website ( and also at the front desk at KNHP headquarters. As in prior years, $150,000 in grant funds are available for preservation and interpretation projects relating the story of copper. New to this year, applicants must be a designated Keweenaw Heritage Site, a non-profit organization, a local or regional government, an academic institution, or a federally recognized Indian tribe; individuals will no longer be eligible to apply for grant funds.

See reported that he has been working with two Michigan Tech PhD students to analyze and assess the Heritage Grant Program. This report is now complete and will be shared with the Commission once in-hand. The information gathered by the researchers illustrates the importance of the program to our partnership role, and should help the AC to solicit additional funding for future grant cycles.

Develop the Commission into a sustainable operating organization.

Three nominations from the Village of Calumet to replace Commissioner Dana were received early November of last year. One nominee (Nathan Anderson) later withdrew his name, but See forwarded the information for the other two nominees, Dave Geisler and Ken Bracco, to the park service in Washington, DC. The final decision is pending and is anticipated this week.

Finally, See worked with Jo Holt and Superintendent Davis on a legislative request to increase the Commission’s annual federal funding authorization. This request authorizes the AC to ask for more than our existing $250,000 limit, but does not guarantee additional funding. The request had been approved by the regional office and forwarded to Washington for consideration.

Commission Committees and Projects

Announcements / Executive

Nothing to report.

Budget / Finance

Commissioner Dana reported that the Commission has reviewed the financial statements and quarterly bills, from October 19, 2016 to January 17, 2017.

Moved by Dana and seconded by Cooper to approve bills in the amount of $ 24,354.64, plus wages and tax payments of $ 17,903.28for $42,257.92 total. Motion carried unanimously. (6/0).

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Wendy Davis opened by thanking park staff, Commissioners, and Executive Director See for their continued support and their ready sharing of their wealth of accumulated knowledge of the park and the region.

This year marks the park’s 25th anniversary since being brought into existence through community action, and Davis emphasized the shared values of the park and community, noting in particular the importance of hiring local contractors with funding awarded competitively after each annual nationwide combined budget call. Two current examples are the electrical upgrades to the Keweenaw History Center and work on readying Warehouse No.1 for its use as the curatorial storage facility, the Lake Superior Collection Management Center (LSCMC).

The 15th Annual High School Local History Smackdown is tentatively scheduled for April 27th this year.

Katie Keller has been hired as a three-year education term position. She will focus on education outreach once the Keweenaw Heritage Sites interpretive plans are completed this summer. She, Emma Woodruff, and Lynette Webber have been visiting schools throughout the Western U.P. to introduce 4th graders to the Every Kid in a Park program, including Crystal Falls, Marquette, Ironwood, Chassell, Copper Harbor, Ontonagon, and all local schools. Teachers are very excited to have the ranger/s visit their classrooms and introduce students to the Copper TRACES event to take place again this May. Planning sessions for this event will take place in February and March. The park will host 800 students this year (double that of 2016), and will be working with additional activity stations by local partner organizations.

A weekly children's Story Hour will take place every Saturday at the Visitor Center. This program is to encourage reading with a park ranger and will start on Saturday, February 4. Details and a press release will be sent out soon.

The park is planning to again have four students in the GRACE project, working with professors and students from the Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab at Michigan Tech, looking to tie history to the landscape using GIS. This project, part of a NSF grant, was extremely successful last year. This year, the anticipated plan is to set up the workspace up in the visitor center to allow for public engagement with the students.

Finally, to honor the 25th anniversary of the park, Superintendent Davis extended an open invitation to interested parties to help celebrate the meaning of the park, both locally and personally. Davis has also challenged staff to go review and examine the less-visible, behind-the-scenes work of the past 25 years, and to uncover it to help celebrate the success of the creation of this wonderful park.

Other reports from Commissioners

Commissioner MacInnes reported that a contract for work on the Village of Calumet master plan is nearing completion, and thanked everyone who has contributed in gathering and assembling input for the project.

Commissioner Cooper noted that discussions are underway on securing funding for the preservation trades curriculum under development for Calumet public schools.

Commissioner Lankton suggested that too often “the park” conjures a the notion of a specific place in the public’s eye, and that the 25th anniversary of the park would be an appropriate time to emphasize the expanse of the park that extends beyond its immediate geography, including storytelling and oral histories. Lankton also reported that the work underway to redefine the Quincy Mining Company National Historic Landmark (NHL) boundary is going well, and is slated to incorporate a mill site, in addition to the mining and smelting sites.

Commissioner Langseth encouraged everyone who values public lands to be in contact with their legislators and make known their views on the importance of ongoing pubic ownership of federal land. Langseth also reported on an upcoming summer exhibit at St. Anne’s in Calumet visualizing the historical industrial core of 1910 as a 20-minute educational video.

Comments from Legislators or Legislative Staff

Nothing to report.

Comments from Keweenaw Heritage Site Representatives

University Archivist Lindsay Hiltunen announced that Michigan Tech Archives will be continuing their successful “Second Saturday” hours (noon to 5pm) through the spring semester, and called attention to the availability of the archives during these hours for high school students studying Michigan history in particular; staff archivists are always happy to assist with primary source-driven projects. In addition, Hiltunen announced that Michigan History Day, to be held this year on Saturday, March 4th, is looking for judges. She can be reached at, or at the archives at

Ginny Schubert of Keweenaw County Historical Society reported that work continues on the Society’s buildings. The school at Gay is nearly complete, and the Maritime Museum has been undergoing interior upgrades and will be ready for its new gift shop, slated to open in June.

Village President Dave Geisler thanked Commissioner Dana on behalf of the Village for her years of service to the Commission and the Village. Geisler reported that contract negotiations are underway for a new Village Administrator, and that a formal announcement will be made soon.

Glenda Bierman of Quincy Mine Hoist Association (QMHA) reported on numerous recent accomplishments. Corporate partnership opportunities have been added this year, which has seen good response so far. The ore bin is now repaired, and additional repointing has taken place with the assistance of AC Heritage Grants. The new electric tram, “QERMiT”, (Quincy Electric Reversible Mine Transport) has been put into service, again thanks to a Heritage Grant. Snowshoe tours of the site will be offered during MTU’s Winter Carnival, and a new website for QMHA has been launched. The Association is looking forward to participating in TRACES as well as the upcoming History Smackdown. Finally, Bierman announced that the tram road is in need of maintenance and improvements, as will be launching a fundraiser in the near future, tentatively titled “Tie One On.”

Comments from the Public

Nothing to report.

Motion to Adjourn

Moved to adjourn by Dana, and seconded by Lankton at 1:59 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. (6/0).

Next Meeting

Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Last updated: December 16, 2017

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Calumet, MI 49913


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