Amy Berglund, at-large
Karin Cooper, Houghton County
Dave Geisler, Village of Calumet
Bob Langseth, Calumet Township
Scott MacInnes, State of Michigan
Absent: Larry Lankton, at-large
John Sullivan, Franklin and Quincy Townships
Present: Executive Director
Present: National Park Service
Brian Hoduski, Acting Superintendent
Present: Recording Secretary
Glenda Bierman, Quincy Mine Hoist Association
Kurt Hauglie, Daily Mining Gazette
Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist, Michigan Tech
Paul Lehto, Calumet Township
Larry Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society
Nancy Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society
Mariah Powell, 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, July 18, 2017, at the Keweenaw NHP Headquarters in Calumet, Michigan.
Approval of Agenda
Moved by Dave Geisler and seconded by Amy Berglund to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0).
Approval of Minutes of May 9, 2017
Moved by Karin Cooper and seconded by Dave Geisler 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 and several NPS staff members reviewed the “100% Draft” of the amendment to the Quincy Mining Company National Historic Landmark (NHL) document, and resubmitted it to the contractor for final corrections. The expectation is to submit the final document to the NPS for consideration in spring of 2018. See also reported confirmation that the Commission will receive funding this year to support a similar project for the Calumet National Historic Landmark district, with work anticipated to begin in the fall.
Develop the Keweenaw Heritage Sites Program into a consortium of fully sustainable sites.
See reported that many of the Sites participated in the Copper TRACES program in late May, and that he and Superintendent Davis are planning to visit as many Sites as possible over the remainder of the summer.
Develop partnerships that provide visitors with a cohesive, accessible, and engaging national park experience along the entire length of the Keweenaw.
See reported on a number of developments at the Quincy Smelter. The office building has received a few repairs, overall cleaning, and exterior painting by JB Lawn and Snow. In addition, Steve DeLong has been overseeing the installation of a new sign which will be erected shortly.
On May 19th the Smelter hosted its first event, as around 50 people attended the presentation of the ASM International Historic Landmark plaque. The NPS facilities crew had prepared the casting shed floor, and visitors were seated in rented, folding chairs facing the casting wheel and the furnace for visitors. See has asked for ideas on additional events to be hosted at the property. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While early June tours were less well-attended than anticipated, later in the season visitation increased. After setting up advertising sandwich boards, QMHA reported 76 visitors during the first week of July. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday, at 11:00 a.m., 12 noon, 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The sole environmental remediation project this summer took place June 20th and 21st when Mannik Smith and its subcontractors removed the items identified as potentially containing Mercury or PCBs. Mannik Smith is currently working on completing several studies for the Smelter, including a study of what specific steps we need to take to deal with lead-based paint in the buildings.
Finally, See reported that he has contracted with REJ Contracting to work on two safety issues at the Smelter: the stabilization of two masonry facades near the tour routes (completed), and the replacement of a few of the existing window coverings with transparent material in order to increase the amount of natural light in the buildings.
Promote a historic preservation ethic and emphasize heritage awareness.
Superintendent Davis, Commissioner Lankton and See have been participating in planning meetings for the upcoming celebration of the shared 25th anniversary of the establishment of the park and the creation of Michigan Tech’s Industrial Archeology program. Festivities will commence the weekend of September 21st, with a number of events taking place in October as the park’s anniversary is October 27th.
On July 24th, researchers from the Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor visited to undertake several drone studies of the smelter. These remote-sensing projects involve photogrammetry and thermal imaging as a way of testing the equipment on industrial resources.
Superintendent Davis and See met with representatives of the Copper County Trail National Byway Committee to discuss how to move existing plans forward. Since funding for the federal byway program was cancelled, the local byway committee has struggled to move forward. There may be some small winter projects that will help advance the vision of the byway.
Develop the Commission into a sustainable operating organization.
On June 19th and 20th, See and the Advisory Commission hosted Marty Fluharty from the Americana Foundation for a tour of the Keweenaw. The Commission, as well as many other organizations in the area, have received support from Americana for historic preservation work. See and the Commissioners expressed their gratitude to Marty and to the foundation, and highlighted several projects that she and her board might consider in the future.
Finally, See reported on his attendance at an NPS training session at Salem National Historical Park in Massachusetts. The class, Cultural Resources for Leaders, involved working in teams to review multiple case studies where the NPS has faced difficult decisions involving important cultural resources.
Commission Committees and Projects
Announcements / Executive
Commissioner MacInnes reported that the Personnel Committee had met the week prior, and made annual adjustments to Executive Director See’s contract.
Budget / Finance
Commissioner Geisler reported that the Commission has reviewed the financial statements and quarterly bills, from May 10, 2017 to July 18, 2017.
Moved by Berglund and seconded by Geisler to approve bills in the amount of $173,611.61, plus wages and tax payments of 15,717.06 for $189,328.67 total. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0).
Acting superintendent Brian Hoduski provided an overview of recent news and summaries of key accomplishments of the various park divisions.
Hoduski began by recognizing park staff for their excellent work in securing additional resources, and pointed out their success over time is a clear reflection of the quality of the staff and the quality of the work. Further, these preservation and interpretive projects extends to the greater community in numerous ways, including hiring local tradespeople and purchasing materials locally.
Hoduski reported that Historian Jo Holt and Superintendent Wyndeth Davis have initiated an effort to increase awareness of the history of native American copper mining, noting that the park’s current interpretation is largely focused on only the past 170 years.
There have been some recent archeological violations at the park. Hoduski pointed out that while metal detecting is a popular activity, it is illegal on NPS property.
A community volunteer ambassador will shortly be working with the park. This is a 50-week, paid internship position for someone knowledgeable in the area’s history to help develop volunteer programs at the Keweenaw Heritage Sites.
In late May, numerous Heritage Sites and others hosted activity stations along Calumet’s industrial corridor at the Copper TRACES event, attended by over 500 area fourth-graders. This very successful three-day event has been recognized for its value at a high level, as demonstrated by support from the National Park Foundation. Hoduski emphasized the importance of all Americans valuing their heritage and being active participants in its preservation.
Landscape Architect Steve Delong has been assisting with new site identification signage at the Quincy Smelter, and has secured project funding for next year for landscape restoration at the Quincy Mine Office. Work at the Office this summer includes archaeological work, undertaken with the assistance of Michigan Technological University, in addition to exterior repainting and window rehabilitation. Thanks to funding from the Advisory Commission, the park and its allied Heritage Sites again are benefitting from the hard work of the SEEDS Youth Conservation Corps.
Historical Architect John Rosemurgy has been managing numerous buildings projects recently, including the installation of a new boiler in Warehouse #1 and a complete electrical rehabilitation project at the park’s Keweenaw History Center.
Hoduski reported that KNHP will be hosting a “meet and eat” public outreach event at noon on August 16th on behalf of the Michigan Museum Association, of which KNHP is a member. This is an opportunity for networking and learning about the organization. A tour of the Keweenaw History Center will follow the event.
Archivist Jeremiah Mason has hosted 351 total reference visits this year to date. Many visitors interested in researching family histories are also encouraged to visit the MTU archives. In addition, the archival holdings of Keweenaw County Historical Society (KCHS) are now held at the park as a repository loan. While still the property of KCHS, they are now housed in a conditioned space that is accessible to the public year-round.
Finally, Hoduski related Commissioner Bob Langseth’s recent receipt of the Historical Society of Michigan’s Charles Follow Award for his outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of Upper Peninsula history. This announcement was followed by a hearty congratulations and round of applause for this well-deserved recognition.
Other reports from Commissioners
Commissioner Geisler reported that the Village of Calumet Planning Commission is meeting monthly and is making progress towards revising and updating the Village’s Master Plan, as well as its Downtown Development Authority Plan.
Commissioner Langseth cited three key factors in the notable gains the Advisory Commission has made in recent years: an excellent Executive Director (See), the additional internal funding as solicited and secured by park staff, and the impactful annual anonymous donations of $100,000.
Comments from Legislators or Legislative Staff
Nothing to report.
Comments from Keweenaw Heritage Site Representatives
Larry Molloy of Keweenaw County Historical Society opened by thanking the Advisory Commission for the recently received Heritage Grant awards, noting that the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse restoration is now complete, and that timber for rehabilitating walkways between the bays of the Lifesaving Station have been ordered. Molloy additionally noted that the Adventures in History program is underway, and three well-attended events have taken place. The lighthouse and other museums have been experiencing near-record attendance. A recent art event held at House No. 10 in Central filled the parking lot with visitors and a new rental (House No. 8) was opened for viewing at that time. Molloy closed by thanking the park for Commissioners for their technical assistance in accepting the loan of the KCHS archival records for storage and caretaking, and expressing his gratitude to the SEEDS YCC crew for their work.
Glenda Bierman of Quincy Mine Hoist Association (QMHA) also thanked the Advisory Commission for recent Heritage Grants, noting that repointing work on the 1894 Hoist House is underway as are preparations to upgrade the existing tram track. Bierman reported that the Quincy Electric Reversible Mine Transport (QERMiT) has proven popular with visitors and staff alike. In addition, Bierman thanked the park and the Advisory Commission for their ongoing technical assistance, which this year helped with the design and replacement of new signage to replace that destroyed by a windstorm earlier in the year. QMHA is assisting the Advisory Commission by conducting tours at Quincy Smelter daily, Monday through Saturday at 12, 1, and 2 pm. Bierman closed by noting that the popular History on the Hill speaker program will continue this summer, with the next presentation August 24th at 7pm,
Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University reported that she had the pleasure of presenting Mines, Skylines, and Sandstone: Architectural Records in Michigan at the Michigan Archival Association last month, as a panel participant along with KNHP Archivist Jeremiah Mason and Michigan state archivist Mark Harvey. Hiltunen also reported that a conservator from the Midwest Art and Conservation Center had recently visited the archives to consult on the flat file collections, to help optimize storage solutions and develop a summary report that will serve as the basis for seeking additional funding. Finally, the reading room has been active over the summer to date, largely with visitors researching family histories.
Comments from the Public
Calumet Township Supervisor Paul Lehto thanked the Commission for a recent Heritage Grant that has been put to work stabilizing and rehabilitating the Calumet Railroad Depot. The Depot’s open house earlier this summer was well-attended, and was successfully initiated additional fundraising efforts. Lehto also noted that QMHA is in possession of a number of large C&H artifacts that would be better displayed at Osceola No. 13 in Calumet, a historical C&H mining property. Lehto is soliciting ideas for moving these large and heavy artifacts affordably.
Motion to Adjourn
Moved to adjourn by MacInnes, and seconded by Geisler at 2:01 p.m. Motion carried unanimously. (5/0).
Tuesday, October 17, 2017.