Amy Berglund, At-Large
Karin Cooper, At-Large
Sue Dana, Village of Calumet (by phone)
Larry Lankton, At-Large
Scott MacInnes, State of Michigan
Bob Langseth, Calumet Township
John Sullivan, Franklin and Quincy Townships
Present: Executive Director
Present: Keweenaw National Park Service
Kathleen Harter, Acting Superintendent and Chief of Interpretation & Education
Present: Recording Secretary
Stephen Albee, Former Commissioner
Glenda J.O. Bierman, Quincy Mine Hoist Association
Dave Geisler, Village of Calumet
Kurt Hauglie, Daily Mining Gazette
Pam Hawley, Houghton County Historical Society
Brian Hoduski, Chief of Museum Services, Keweenaw National Historical Park
Jo Holt, Historian, Keweenaw National Historical Park (by phone)
Ed Jenich, Former Commissioner
Allan Johnson, Former Commissioner
Larry Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society
Nancy Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society
Sawyer Newman, Michigan Tech Archives
Call to Order
A regular meeting of the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission was called to order at 12:57 p.m., Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at the Keweenaw NHP Headquarters in Calumet, Michigan.
Approval of Agenda
Moved by Sullivan and seconded by MacInnes to approve agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).
Approval of Minutes of November 3, 2015
Moved by Sullivan and seconded by Berglund to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).
National Significance Spotlight: Jo Holt
Jo Holt, Historian at Keweenaw National Historical Park, presented an engaging overview of the national significance of the rich and complex cultural heritages of the Keweenaw.
Holt began by citing the relevant portion of the Park’s enabling legislation, PL 102-543, Section 1 (a) (5), which reads: “Michigan's copper country became a principal magnet to European immigrants during the mid-1800's and the cultural heritage of these varied nationalities is still preserved in this remarkable ethnic conglomerate.” Holt then described the national context of immigration and ethnicity, and situated the particular importance of immigration and ethnicity of the copper country within it.
Holt related that in 1870 both Calumet and Hancock were new towns, and 95% of the residents of Houghton County had at least one foreign-born parent—the highest percentage in the United States at that time, and more than half of all Houghton County residents were themselves foreign-born. Emigrants were drawn to the Keweenaw to work in its copper mines, often pushed from their homelands by economic issues, political differences, or religious oppression. By 1910, more that 40 different nationalities were represented at Calumet schools—and, reported Holt, while this is quite diverse, it is not this diversity that distinguishes the Copper Country in particular. Rather, it is degree to which the various ethnicities were themselves folded into the fabric of work and of society, and, perhaps even more importantly, how strongly the national diversity continues to be preserved in today’s remarkable ethnic conglomerate.
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 on his participation in several park business efforts, including providing input into the annual NPS’s Service-wide Comprehensive Call and participating in the NPS’s biennial meeting with the State Historic Preservation Office where he shared the details about the Advisory Commission’s grant program, and how the Commission is dealing with potential compliance requirements. See also met with Steve DeLong and Kathleen Harter to discuss potential improvements with the park’s signage program, discussing in particular the addition of welcome signs on the larger landscape and “photo op” signs in the two units.
See further reported that Quinn Evans Architects has been selected to reassess the existing boundaries of the Quincy Mining Company Historic District National Historic Landmark, as well as to determine if there are other resources on the landscape worthy of inclusion. Quinn Evans will be compensated with $50,000 received from the regional office specifically for this study, and the first local meeting is slated for mid-February; the target for project completion is spring of 2018.
Develop the Keweenaw Heritage Sites Program into a consortium of fully sustainable sites.
See reported that he has begun the process of collecting annual statistics (including visitation numbers, the budgets, the volunteer hours, paid staff, and the like) from the Sites, with the aim of presenting a completed report at the April meeting. These figures not only allow for year-over-year comparisons for the Sites, but also demonstrate the importance of partnerships in telling the story of copper.
Develop partnerships that provide visitors with a cohesive, accessible, and engaging national park experience along the entire length of the Keweenaw.
See has mothballed the office building at the Quincy Smelter for the winter (shutting off both heat and water), and the parking lot will remain unplowed. The sump pump was replaced before closing up the building. Mont Ripley ski hill will be plowing the parking lot on the eastern portion of the site for their use.
Weston Solutions is continuing to work on the plans for an environmental cleanup project at the smelter in May. The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers, is providing management oversight, and the funding is coming from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In parallel to this effort, See continues work on identifying plans for the remaining areas of contamination.
Promote a historic preservation ethic and emphasize heritage awareness.
See announced that this year the Advisory Commission will have up to $150,000 in funding available through its annual grant program, with the Commission providing 90% of this amount. To be eligible, projects or programs must take place within the legislated boundaries of the park, be affiliated with a Heritage Site, or be located at the Cliff Mine, along Torch Lake, or in the community of Painesdale—areas of importance, specifically mentioned in the general management plan, that should be considered for future inclusion in the park. Applications are due by April 8th, and the recipients will be announced by May 1st. Applications are available at the front desk at the headquarters building, and online at the park’s website. This will be the 9th
year of the program, and including the funds available this year, the Keweenaw Heritage Grant Program will have provided $984,000 in funding for preservation and interpretation activities on the Keweenaw.
Develop the Commission into a sustainable operating organization.
With the assistance of Commissioner Langseth, See assembled an annual report for the Commission, copies of which were made available at the meeting.
The Commission and Copper Country Preservation also received the results of a process study from Houghton accounting firm Rukkila-Negro. See reported that while there were not any major findings, there were a number of record-keeping tasks to institute or improve upon. See will be working with Commissioner Dana to make address the identified items.
The Commission’s bookkeeper, Linda Hale, is working on the required tax forms, and See has sent Copper Country Preservation’s information to accountant Amy Garrow to produce the 990 form.
Finally, See welcomed the four new Commissioners, Amy Berglund, Karin Cooper, Larry Lankton, and Scott MacInnes.
Commission Committees and Projects
Announcements / Executive
Commissioner Langseth announced that with the departure of the previous Secretary, Steve Albee, from the Commission, nominations for Secretary were open.
Commissioner Cooper nominated Commissioner Lankton as Secretary.
Moved by Cooper and seconded by Sullivan to appoint Larry Lankton to the position of Secretary. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).
Budget / Finance
Commissioner Dana reported that the Commission has reviewed the financial statements and quarterly bills, from October 1, 2015 to January 19, 2016.
Moved by Dana and seconded by Sullivan to approve bills in the amount of $53,092.11. carried unanimously. (7/0).
Acting Superintendent Kathleen Harter began by expressing her thanks to the retiring Commissioners, Allan Johnson, Ed Jenich, Stephen Albee, and Kim Hoagland, and welcoming the new Commissioners. 2016 is the centennial anniversary for the National Park Service, and Harter reported that KNHP’s entry to the “virtual” Rose Parade, a Claymation short by park employee Karl Larson, viewable on the park’s Facebook page, was awarded the Director’s Trophy for Most Creative Entry.
Harter then provided an overview of recent news and summaries of key accomplishments of the various park divisions, beginning with several key accomplishments of the landscape division. Landscape architect Steve DeLong will be working with the contractor selected to amend the Quincy NHL nomination, beginning with the meeting in February. The landscape division is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a $25,000 National Park Foundation Active Trails grant that will be used to encourage community use of trails and healthy activities in the park, jointly administered in partnership with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department. The first event in this series will be a nighttime snowshoe walk around Calumet Lake, to be held the third weekend of February. In addition, DeLong will be has been coordinating with the Houghton County Road Commission regarding the upcoming Red Jacket Road reconstruction, regarding the existing NPS fiber optic cable and Section106 compliance. Finally, DeLong continues to serve as Collateral Duty Safety Officer for the Park.
Harter next presented highlights of the architecture division, calling attention to the large number of projects being managed by Park Historical Architect John Rosemurgy, including upgrades to the electrical systems of both C&H Warehouse No. 1 and the Keweenaw History Center (KHC). Additionally, Rosemurgy continues to provide technical assistance to numerous partner sites and Keweenaw heritage sites and participates monthly in the Village of Calumet Historic District Commission as Architectural Advisor.
Moving on to the Management division, Harter reported that park historian Jo Holt will be returning to the park later this spring. Over the past quarter, Holt has completed two trainings provided by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to meet training requirement for 106 coordinators, and continues to serve as liaison between the park and the national and regional multiple partner sites Centennial planning committees, work that includes the development of a variety of celebratory events. In addition, Holt will represent Keweenaw National Historical Park at the National Park Service IMAX film premiere in St. Paul, Minnesota on February 24th – an excellent opportunity to introduce the park to people who may be unfamiliar with it.
Within the Interpretation and Education division, Harter reported that the park has received a grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF) that will be used to pay for classroom
busing and lunches for 600 local 4th graders at the upcoming Every Kid in a Park event, titled Copper TRACES, to be held from May 23rd through the 26th. In addition, the park received a White Nose Syndrome grant from the NPS Biological Resources division to provide training to selected heritage sites with Dr. Allen Kurta of Eastern Michigan University, along with
resource protection at Adventure Mine. The Calumet Visitor Center was open five days a week until January 1st, and is now open Friday and Saturday
from 10-3 through April 30th.
Finally, Harter reported that the Lake Superior Collection Management Center (LSCMS) remains extremely busy, as Center staff continued to sort out Isle Royale (ISRO) and Pictured Rocks (PIRO) collections co-housed in the Houghton museum facility. Park Archivist Jeremiah Mason and Chief of Museum Services Brian Hoduski reviewed and updated existing Project Management Information System (PMIS) statements for the Servicewide Comprehensive Call. LSCMC staff, with ISRO assistance, are in the midst of relocating ISRO and PIRO archives to
the KHC gallery, to facilitate research access and processing. This work has included erecting shelving, moving flat files, moving collections, and updating records. In early November, Hoduski attended a Midwest Region museum meeting held at the Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinois, contributing a section to the plan describing the LSCMC center.
Other reports from Commissioners
The incoming Commissioners expressed their gratitude to the outgoing Commissioners for their service, and related the positive regard with which they anticipated upcoming work together.
Comments from Legislators or Legislative Staff
Nothing to report.
Comments from Keweenaw Heritage Site Representatives
Glenda Bierman of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association (QMHA) reported that work on the electric transport for the adit was underway, thanks to a Heritage Grant, and that the anticipated opening date for the upcoming season is April 23rd. Commissioner Lankton expressed his appreciation to QMHA for their recently reprinted and expanded book, The Cliff: America’s First Great Copper Mine Revisited.
Larry Molloy of the Keweenaw County Historical Society (KCHS) reported that Judy Davis of Copper Harbor has been elected to replace outgoing trustee Ned Huwatschek, and that the KCHS Facebook page has now made it to 1000 “likes”!
Sawyer Newman of the Michigan Tech Archives reported on their ongoing work with local High School students to prepare for the upcoming Michigan History Day on February 20th, and asked that anyone interested in volunteering to judge the entrants to contact the archives at firstname.lastname@example.org. Newman additionally announced a new oral history project made possible with a Heritage Grant for which the archives is seeking 15 former mine workers or their relatives to be interviewed; interested parties may contact the archives at the above email address.
Comments from the Public
Outgoing Commissioner Al Johnson noted with pleasure the strong showing at the afternoon Advisory Commission meeting, and expressed his gratitude to the incoming Commissioners. Outgoing Commissioner Steve Albee also welcomed the new Commissioners and congratulated them all on their appointment, and encouraged them to develop their own, fresh perspective to bring to face the upcoming challenges that the coming years will inevitably present.
Chief of Museum Services Brian Hoduski reported that the 14th annual Local History Smackdown will be returning to the Calumet Theatre this year on April 28th, and urged everyone to reach out to local high school students to encourage participation and attendance.
Motion to Adjourn
Moved to adjourn by Berglund, and seconded by Lankton at 2:05 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016.