Advisory Commission Meeting 5/9/17

Present: Commissioners

Amy Berglund, at-large

Karin Cooper, Houghton County

Dave Geisler, Village of Calumet

Larry Lankton, at-large

Bob Langseth, Calumet Township

Scott MacInnes, State of Michigan

John Sullivan, Franklin and Quincy Townships

Absent: None

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

Anita Campbell, Houghton County Historical Society

Paul Campbell, Houghton County Historical Society

Kurt Hauglie, Daily Mining Gazette

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

Paul Lehto, Calumet Township

Art Limback, Calumet Theatre

Larry Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society

Nancy Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society

Allison Neely, Michigan Technological University Archives

Ed Sheridan, Keweenaw County

Call to Order

A regular meeting of the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission was called to order at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at the Keweenaw NHP Headquarters in Calumet, Michigan.

Approval of Agenda

Moved by John Sullivan and seconded by Dave Geisler to approve the agenda with the addition of comments from Paul Lehto following the Approval of Minutes. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).

Approval of Minutes of January 17, 2017

Moved by John Sullivan and seconded by Amy Berglund to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).

Comments from Paul Lehto

Calumet Township Supervisor Paul Lehto presented a brief overview of historic properties owned by the Township, noting in particular that while several buildings that have been put to good use, many have no real purpose presently and were purchased with the primary aim of preservation. Lehto emphasized that the Township is overburdened by these properties, and distributed to the Commissioners a document entitled “Calumet Township: Preserving History” that provided more detail on Township-owned historic properties. Lehto closed with a request for continued consideration of assistance from the Commission and the Park.

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 the receipt of the “100% Draft” of the Quincy Mining Company National Historic Landmark (NHL) amendment that modifies the NHL boundaries and shortens the period of significance to those years that the Quincy Mining Company was most clearly making nationally significant contributions. See will work with National Park Service (NPS) staff to plan review activities designed to share the proposed changes with the public. It is anticipated that the amendment will be submitted to Washington in the spring.

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

See reported that he has compiled Heritage Site statistics for 2016, and that the numbers are again impressive. In aggregate, the 21 Heritages Sites received 327,000 visitors, contributed over 31,000 hours in volunteer efforts, employed 18 full-time and 89 part-time employees, and had a combined budget of almost $2.6M. See reiterated how this arrangement clearly demonstrates the advantages of using a public / private partnership to preserve and interpret the region’s heritage.

While the Spring Heritage Site Meeting has been canceled due to a full schedule of events for the NPS and the Heritage Site partners, the Sites will be conducting a brochure exchange in conjunction with the Copper TRACES event in a few weeks. Superintendent Davis and See are planning to visit all of the Sites this summer to talk about additional opportunities for collaborative work.

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

See reported that, regrettably, the Advisory Commission has been officially notified by the park service that they are no longer pursuing the eastern half of the Quincy Smelter property as a potential home for Isle Royale National Park’s mainland facilities. Regional director Cam Sholly has assured See that this does not mean an end to the park service’s interest in the historic property overall, only for this purpose. See and Superintendent Davis will continue to work with the regional office and various other organizations on alternative plans for the protection of the smelter.

Over the last quarter, MannikSmith, the environmental consultant for the Quincy Smelter project, made good progress on their three projects at the site. They reviewed treatment recommendations provided by the NPS in order to create a plan for dealing with lead-based paint at the site. In addition, they completed some archival research and aim to conduct remote-sensing work in order to locate the historic drainage network on the property. Finally, they are planning to remove the remaining potential PCB and mercury-containing devices on the site during a cleanup action in June.

Promote a historic preservation ethic and emphasize heritage awareness.

The Heritage Grant Program review panel met in April and awarded 24 grants for a total of $150,148 in project funding. This year 31 applications were received, requesting a total of $227,000 in funding. The panel offers their congratulations to the successful applicants, and thanks to all who applied. A press release to be released later today will include detailed information about the awards.

Last Thursday the park held its 15th Annual High School Local History Smackdown at the Calumet Theatre. See extended his gratitude the NPS staff members for their hard work in a successful event.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the park. Superintendent Davis, Commissioner Lankton, and See have been working with a small committee to plan commemorative events for the weekend of September 21st through the 23rd.

Develop the Commission into a sustainable operating organization.

See thanked outgoing Commissioner Sue Dana for her years of service, and welcomed her replacement Dave Geisler.

Geisler joined See and Superintendent Davis at a Sustainability Training Session in Chicago the first week of May, touring Pullman National Monument, networking with attendees from National Heritage Areas, and talking about making our park’s mission compelling for visitors and philanthropic donors.

Finally, See reported on a recent (March 4) visit from Senator Gary Peters and several of his staff members. Superintendent Davis and See delivered presentations about the park and its operation, and See impressed upon Peters the importance of increasing the federal funding limit for the Commission and solicited his assistance in doing so; See also welcomed Senator Peters’ ideas for protecting the Quincy Smelter.

Commission Committees and Projects

Announcements / Executive

Nothing to report.

Budget / Finance

Commissioner Sullivan reported that the Commission has reviewed the financial statements and quarterly bills, from January 18, 2017 to May 9, 2017.

Moved by Sullivan and seconded by Geisler to approve bills in the amount of $ 32,854.50, plus wages and tax payments of $ 21,592.06 for $54,446.56 total. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Wendy Davis provided an overview of recent news and summaries of key accomplishments of the various park divisions.

At the Lake Superior Collection Management Center (LSCMC), staff continue to process backlogged acquisitions. New acquisitons are temporarily suspended until the Scope of Collections Statement is amended and approved and the Collection Advisory Committee members are confirmed. That document is expected to be completed soon.

Keweenaw History Center archivist Jeremiah Mason responded to 145 total reference requests in the second quarter of fiscal year 2017, for a total of 300 for the fiscal year to date. Research projects of note include the upcoming fall Pure Michigan travel guide, Calumet Township's promotion of their acquisition of and fundraising for the Mineral Range Depot stabilization, and support for Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Time Traveler project.

On March 3, Museum Technician Deanna Brown transferred to a permanent position at George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Colonial Beach, VA. Deanna’s replacement Caitlin Woodie, a Pathways intern at Fort Pulaski NM will begin work May 28th.

Eléna Vivion, an international volunteer from l'Université Picardie Jules Verne in Amiens, France, began a four-month internship with the LSCMC on February 5th.

In Interpretation and Education news, this year the Copper TRACES program (held May 15-18th) will serve 550-4th grade students from throughout the western and central U.P. There will be 16 activity stations, many from the Heritage Sites, and a total of 46 volunteers helping with the event. A locally sourced lunch will be provided to all students, teachers, and volunteers.

Interpretation and Education Plans for the Keweenaw Heritage Sites are complete or nearing completion. A total of 11 sites have completed the process, with many of the sites implementing strategies and priorities before the plans were finished. Final plans will be printed and distributed to the sites by the end of June.

Current hours for the Calumet Visitor Center are Friday and Saturday, 10:00am - 3:00pm until Memorial Day Weekend, and from Memorial Day until Labor Day opening hours will be Monday - Saturday - 9:00am - 5:00pm

The Park’s social media figures continue to increase. There are currently 3,187 Instagram followers, 10,100 Twitter followers, and 11,741 Facebook followers.

Project request forms for the 2017 SEEDs youth program have been mailed to Heritage Sites; the program continues this year thanks to a $20,000 match from the Advisory Commission.

Notable projects in the Calumet Unit include electrical upgrades at the Keweenaw History Center and at Warehouse #1, for safety and suitability for use as a curatorial facility. Notable projects in the Quincy Unit include refurbishing the heating system and rehabilitating the windows at the Quincy Mine Office, as well as an archaeological survey to determine the location and orientation of outbuildings, fence line and other features that is set to begin at this iconic building this summer.

Landscape Architect Steve Delong has been providing assistance to the Quincy Building and Grounds committee for the replacement of their site identification sign, as well as working with the interpretation committee to develop a trail concept that will be ready to test this summer.

In other news, at the request of the Advisory Commission, the NPS will be testing some of the ideas to increase park unit visibility identified in a meeting of members of park staff and the Advisory Commission earlier in the year.

The park will being having unit meetings again, to informally listen to and share plans and possibilities with villages, townships and other preservation partners in each unit. The first meetings will coincide with the fall celebration of the park’s 25th Anniversary.

Finally, Davis reiterated that the emphasis of the upcoming 25th Anniversary is to celebrate the people who made this park possible; to engage the community in reflecting on the last 25 years; and to envision what the park should be in the next 25 years. Michigan Tech is engaged in co-planning an event that will run from September 21-23, and be held both on campus and here in Calumet.

Other reports from Commissioners

Commissioner Cooper welcomed new Commissioner Dave Geisler, and thanked Superintendent Davis for the invaluable technical support provided by her staff on several recent projects.

Commissioner Berglund similarly welcomed Geisler, and reported that Ontonagon County was very pleased with the work done by the SEEDs youth crew last year.

Commissioner Sullivan reported that work will begin shortly to repair mortar joints on the Copper Country Firefighters History Museum’s historic sandstone building, using its $5,000 Advisory Commission grant in conjunction with a $20,000 Americana Foundation grant.

Commissioner Lankton noted that historically most of the company houses in the area had fences separating adjacent lots, and expressed interest in a reconstructed fence line at the Quincy Mine Office. Lankton also suggested that nominations for successful historic preservation projects in the area be made to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (and other groups), noting that much of the excellent work of this nature that has been undertaken in the Upper Peninsula is not widely recognized—but very much deserves to be.

Commissioner MacInnes also welcomed Commissioner Geisler, and noted that work towards a new master plan for the Village of Calumet, funded by the Advisory Commission, is underway, and expressed his interest in all working together to the mutual benefit of the Village and Calumet Township.

Commissioner Geisler reported on his recent visit to the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site in Truro (UK) and his tour of historic Cornwall with heritage professionals from Calumet’s “twin” city of Camborne. Noting in particular the parallels between Cornwall and the Keweenaw, Geisler reported that there is significant interest there about the work done here, and is looking forward to growing this relationship. Geisler also congratulated the Township on its recent acquisition of the Calumet Railroad Depot.

Finally, Commissioner Langseth reported that he has sent a letter of gratitude to the anonymous donor that for the most recent $100,000 contribution to the work of the Advisory Commission.

Comments from Legislators or Legislative Staff

Nothing to report.

Comments from Keweenaw Heritage Site Representatives

Larry Molloy of Keweenaw County Historical Society thanked the Advisory Commission for two 2017 Heritage Grant awards, noting that one will fund the completion of the restoration of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, and the second will be used to rehabilitating walkways between the bays of the Lifesaving Station. Molloy noted that the Adventures in History program is currently being printed, and numerous events will be hosted over the summer.

Glenda Bierman of Quincy Mine Hoist Association also thanked the Advisory Commission for two 2017 Heritage Grant awards, and reported that funds will be used for repointing work on the 1894 Hoist House, and to upgrade the existing tram track. Bierman also reported that their interpretive plan is now complete, which will be a very useful guiding document moving forward. Quincy Mine will be open for visitors daily beginning June 2nd through October 21st. This summer, the popular History on the Hill speaker program will continue monthly or more frequently. Finally, the Association will be conducting tours at Quincy Smelter daily Monday through Saturday at 12, 1, and 2 pm starting on June 9th.

Art Limback of Calumet Theatre thanked the Park Service and the Advisory Commission for their support, and especially their assistance on the new elevator project, anticipated to be in operation by the end of the year.

Comments from the Public

Calumet Township Supervisor Paul Lehto suggested the use of a portion of the #1 Warehouse as an annex to the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum of Michigan Tech. Lehto also called attention to the upcoming open house that will be taking place at the Calumet Railroad Depot on June 3rd from 1-4 pm; the Township will be selling tickets for the “Next Train Out of Calumet!” as a fundraiser for rehabilitation work to the property.

Motion to Adjourn

Moved to adjourn by Sullivan, and seconded by Lankton at 1:59 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. (7/0).

Next Meeting

Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Last updated: December 15, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

25970 Red Jacket Road
Calumet, MI 49913


(906) 337-3168

Contact Us