Amy Berglund, at-large
Sue Dana, Village of Calumet (by phone)
Larry Lankton, at-large
Bob Langseth, Calumet Township
John Sullivan, Franklin and Quincy Townships
Absent: Karin Cooper, at-large
Scott MacInnes, State of Michigan
Present: Executive Director
Present: Keweenaw National Park Service
Kathleen Harter, Acting Superintendent and Chief of Interpretation & Education
Present: Recording Secretary
Dave Geisler, Village of Calumet
Laura Miller, Calumet Theatre
Sawyer Newman, Michigan Tech Archives
Jean Pemberton, Copper Range Historical Society
Ginny Schubert, Keweenaw County Historical Society
Chris St. Martin, National Park Service
Call to Order
A regular meeting of the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission was called to order at 1:04 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at the Keweenaw NHP Headquarters in Calumet, Michigan.
Approval of Agenda
Moved by John Sullivan and seconded by Amy Berglund to approve agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0).
Approval of Minutes of January 19, 2015
Moved by Sullivan and seconded by Larry Lankton to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0).
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 he travelled to Detroit in early February with park interpretive specialist Valerie Newman to represent Keweenaw National Historical Park at the Michigan premier of the National Park Service Centennial IMAX film, National Parks Adventure, narrated by Robert Redford. All of the Michigan NPS units, See noted, had representatives at a reception hosted by the Michigan Science Center and the Motor Cities National Heritage Area.
In addition, on February 18, the Advisory Commission met on-site meeting with Quinn Evans Architects to discuss the details of the Quincy National Historic Landmark amendment. This is a multi-year project to assess the current boundaries of the landmark district, and explore the potential inclusion in the landmark of other Quincy Mining Company-related resources on the landscape.
Develop the Keweenaw Heritage Sites Program into a consortium of fully sustainable sites.
See completed the collection of the annual statistics for the Heritage Sites, and reported that in 2015, the Heritage Sites received 242,000 visitors, contributed $2.6M in funding operating their sites, provided almost 33,000 hours in volunteer labor, and employed 17 full-time and 89 part-time employees. These valued partners received over 90 percent of the park’s visitation and invested an amount greater than the federal funding received locally from the National Park Service. Keweenaw National Historical Park continues to be an outstanding example of a real public/ private heritage partnership.
Develop partnerships that provide visitors with a cohesive, accessible, and engaging national park experience along the entire length of the Keweenaw.
The next round of environmental cleanup activities will begin at the Quincy Smelter in late May. The project will focus on removing several materials piles, cleaning up some remaining mercury contamination at the Assay Office, and removing or cleaning a number of abandoned containers located throughout the site. The Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the project, with the assistance of the National Park Service. This project is anticipated to take about a month to complete.
See has been working with the Quincy Smelter Association and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association towards developing a more regular schedule for summer tours of the smelter site. Furthermore, with the assistance of Steve DeLong and Kathleen Harter, the Commission’s Property Committee assembled some ideas for site improvements at the smelter, including physical improvements to amenities such as restrooms and signage to pursue over the next few years.
In addition, See assisted Ames Laboratory senior metallurgist Iver Anderson to complete and submit a nomination for the Quincy Smelter as an ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metals) historical landmark, in recognition of its role in the metals industry. If selected, the Quincy Smelting Works will join the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty, the Hendrichs Forge in Germany, the Iron Bridge in England, the Eiffel Tower, and many other sites important to the history of metal.
Finally, See had enlisted the help of John Arnold to produce a facade rendering of what the smelter property might look like with the proposed addition of Isle Royale National Park facilities to the site. Arnold suggested that the scope be modestly enlarged to produce a 3D digital model of the complex, and to then use that model to produce videos and stills as needed. See then demonstrated the product of this effort by showing a flythrough video of the model.
Promote a historic preservation ethic and emphasize heritage awareness.
See reported that there has been strong response this year to the heritage grant program, and that it had received 29 applications requesting a total of $216,000 by the recent deadline of Friday, April 8th. The grant evaluation panel will meet over the next two days to review, score, and select the awardees. $150,000 in grant funds are available this year, so the panel will have some tough decisions to make. We will announce the results on May 2nd. See extended his gratitude, on behalf of the Commission, to all those individuals and organizations that applied this year.
In addition, the park’s Local History Smackdown will be held Thursday, April 28th, at the Calumet Theatre. Former Commissioner Ed Jenich has done a great job raising funds to support the event, and all four prior sponsors have agreed to contribute again this year – Aspirus Keweenaw, River Valley Bank, Pat’s IGA, and Range Bank. See will serve at the event’s quizmaster this year.
Develop the Commission into a sustainable operating organization.
Commissioner Langseth, Acting Superintendent Harter, and See visited Marquette in early March to meet with Jeremy Hosking from Senator Stabenow’s office and Elsie Matz from Senator Peters’ office. This was solely an informational meeting for sharing updates about the park, and to inform them about planned NPS Centennial events.
Finally, See also submitted trademark renewal applications for the Miner Logo and listing of the term “Keweenaw Heritage Site” on the supplemental register. These designations must be renewed between the fifth and sixth year after registration, and then again between the ninth and tenth year.
Commission Committees and Projects
Announcements / Executive
Commissioner Langseth added that on the March visit to Marquette, the offices of Hosking and Stabenow expressed appreciation for the opportunity to receive feedback on the results of their appropriations, here, in terms of both numbers of visitors and in funding.
Budget / Finance
Commissioner Dana reported that the Commission has reviewed the financial statements and quarterly bills, from January 20 to April 19, 2016.
Moved by Sue Dana and seconded by John Sullivan to approve bills in the amount of $37,778.88, plus wages and tax payments of $17,991.27 for $55,770.15 total. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0)
Acting Superintendent Kathleen Harter began by reporting that while the posting for Superintendent has closed, it is likely that she will continue to serve as Acting Superintendent into the month of July.
Harter related a number of interesting activities have been planned for this week in celebration of the annual National Parks Week, including fee-free entry to all national parks, and announced that local celebrations in honor of the National Parks Centennial will take place August 25th.
Harter then provided an overview of recent news and summaries of key accomplishments of the various park divisions, beginning with the management division. Park historian Jo Holt will be returning to the park at the end of May. Over this quarter, Holt participated in the Quincy National Historical Landmark nomination update with Quinn Evans Architects and the Midwest Regional Office, and continued with GIS training that she intends to implement locally beginning this summer. Holt further has been nominated to a four-year term on the Organization of American Historians/ National Park Service (OAH/NPS) panel, and has continued to monitor the Foundation Document process. Finally, Holt has continued to work with the Arc to Equality working group and the office of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion of the Washington Support Office, highlighting national stories that involve the Keweenaw, emphasizing in particular the labor movement and immigration.
Moving on to the landscape division, Harter reported that landscape architect Steve DeLong has continued to coordinate with NPS and Houghton County Road Commission regarding the 2016 Red Jacket Road Reconstruction, including Section 106 compliance. In addition, DeLong continues to serve as Collateral Duty Safety Officer for the Park, chairing monthly safety committee meetings, and addressing environmental and safety audit findings from the 2014 NPS facility inspection. Finally, DeLong initiated the National Park Foundation Active Trails Grant
project planning and activities, in concert with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, to encourage community use of trails and healthy activities in the Calumet Unit.
Harter next presented highlights of the architecture division, calling attention to a 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). Harter reported that the SEEDS Centennial Crew has been rehired! Rosemurgy prepared documents for a grant agreement with SEEDS Youth Conservation Corps to develop a YCC crew specifically to assist Heritage Sites. This was a true partnership undertaking, with $15,000 contributed by the Advisory Commission, $2,000 from Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association, and $3,000 from the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation: this $20,000 was matched by the NPS in the 1:1 matching grant. 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. Finally, Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist, Chris St. Martin, has been recruited to assist with the large number of preservation and maintenance projects underway.
Harter reported that the Lake Superior Collection Management Center (LSCMS) remains busy, and Park Archivist Jeremiah Mason and Chief of Museum Services Brian Hoduski are presently en route from Pictured Rocks (PIRO), transferring collections to Isle Royale (ISRO) to consolidate their care and maintenance. Hoduski has also been very involved in the planning and organization of upcoming 14th annual Local History Smackdown. Harter additionally noted that, corresponding with the ongoing NPS centennial celebrations taking place this year, there has been a strong emphasis to increase digital access to museum collections. To this end, both photographic and descriptive documentation for roughly 750 different items have been uploaded to a master collections NPS website, http://museum.nps.gov/ParkPList.aspx.
Within the Interpretation and Education division, Harter presented a couple of additional outreach programs underway. First, in another demonstration that the park is on the leading edge of public outreach, KNHP is the only park in the Midwest with an official geocache—this is a real a credit to engaged staff and partners at KNHP. The Find Your Park GeoTour site features a map of the NPS parks with geocaches, https://www.geocaching.com/play/geotours/findyourpark.
A second effort underway at helping people to engage with the national parks, Park Rx Day, will be held April 24th. Roughly 30 parks across the country will be hosting these events, designed to encourage public use of public land as a part of healthy living. KNHP is one of only four parks in the Midwest offering this special day, https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/healthy-events.htm.
Finally, from May 23rd through the 26th, around 450 local 4th graders will be in the Calumet area to attend an “Every Kid in a Park” event called Copper TRACES. At this event, held at locations along Red Jacket Road in Calumet, students will rotate through activity stations hosted by the park and heritage sites to learn about mining history.
Other reports from Commissioners
Nothing to report.
Comments from Legislators or Legislative Staff
Nothing to report.
Comments from Keweenaw Heritage Site Representatives
Ginny Schubert of the Keweenaw County Historical Society (KCHS) distributed a calendar of upcoming events, and a brochure on the summer’s “Adventures in History” program.
Laura Miller of the Calumet Theatre reported that on Saturday, April 30th, local band Keweenaw Brewgrass will be performing an acoustic set at the Calumet Theatre as a fundraiser for the “Lift Us Up” elevator project.
Jean Pemberton of Copper Range Historical Society (CRHS), reported that two minor maintenance projects have been undertaken this spring: the fluorescent bulbs in the visitor center have been replaced with more energy-efficient LED lamps, and some exterior window work has been completed. The annual member dinner will be hosted July 5th at Brownstone Hall in Atlantic Mine, and will feature a first-person re-enactment of Mary Ann Wheatley, the first female keeper of the range light in Eagle Harbor. This year’s 4th of July tour, led by Harold Heikkinen, will explore Atlantic Mine.
Sawyer Newman of the Michigan Tech Archives reported on the progress of the “Mining Memory” project, noting that 5 interviews have been completed to date, and that she has hired two students for transcription. Additional interviewees (former mine workers or their relatives) are being sought; interested parties may contact the archives at (906) 487-2505 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments from the Public
Dave Geisler of the Village of Calumet reported that the Celebration of the Sesquicentennial of the creation of Calumet Township will be held Friday and Saturday, August 19th and 20th, and there will be a variety of events taking place of these two days. Anyone interested in more information or volunteering are welcome to contact Debbie Aubin at the Calumet Township office at (906) 337-2410, or send an email to email@example.com.
Motion to Adjourn
Moved to adjourn by John Sullivan, and seconded by Larry Lankton at 2:00 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0).
Tuesday, July 19th, 2016.