The Calumet Museum

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d04/30982054/files/2015/01/img_3037.jpgA close up on a reproduction of an early 1900’s wool bathing suit

Yesterday my Dad and I made the 500 mile trek to the Upper Peninsula. We joined my Mom at my Uncle John and Aunt Monica’s house, the same place Audrey and I stayed this summer. Although it looks quite different under a very thick blanket of snow.

At the top of my to-do list for this trip was to spend some time at the Calumet Visitor Center, which is run by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Service. In general the museum is beautiful, full of interesting things to look at, and learn about.

“Within the windows and walls of Calumet’s Union Building is a rich and vibrant history. Behind the glass and bricks was a place where business flourished and secret societies met. Whether they were whispered in beauty salon chairs or told by members of fraternal organizations, the stories of this place have one common thread – this building.” -Calumet Union Building Website

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d04/30982054/files/2015/01/img_3038.jpgA Tiffany briefcase belonging to James MacNaughton, manager of the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company.
A pin promoting the saving of the infamous Italian Hall.

I have always loved history, particularly history I feel some kind of connection too. My Mom’s family came to Calumet from Italy in the late 1800’s. They worked for the mines, and ran local businesses. Not so many people live in this area today, but at one point Calumet was a major city in Michigan. Calumet’s success came during a copper boom, but like many mining towns, when the copper ran out, so did the success.

A Finnish sign supporting prohibition. Women in particular were major supporters of prohibition because it was men who would go out, drink, gamble their money away, and abuse their families. This particular flyer says “From the dance hall to Hell”.
Membership ribbons of various local organizations. My family is in possession of one just like the one on the top right. The ribbon on the bottom left is actually flipped over. When a member of these organizations would die, the other members would wear their ribbons backwards, showing the black side, in mourning.
A grocery store my family used to shop at. My Mom says she remembers going there as a child. It was unfortunately destroyed in a fire. The family lived above the shop, and in the fire Mrs. Mohar was tragically killed./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d04/30982054/files/2015/01/img_3050.jpg
A diploma from the high school my Grandma would graduate from almost 20 years later./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/d04/30982054/files/2015/01/img_3055.jpg
An organization celebrating 50 years.
The same room almost 100 years later.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be pretty nice, and in the 30’s, so I think we are going to try and go snow shoeing. Also on the agenda for this trip is a family history tour, breakfast at a Finnish restaurant, a traditional Italian meal cooked at home, and of course, spending time with my cute Grandma.

Sweet Hannah Pea


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