July 2, 2013
Vol. 19, No. 22
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Summer Digging

Industrial archeology students were digging around at the old Cliff Mine again this summer. Map by Sean Gohman and Tim Scarlett. (It's clickable.)

We toured the latest dig of the social sciences department's industrial archeology program at the Cliff Mine recently.

They continued to work on the town of Clifton, across the road from the main industrial site.

We started out at what they think was an old slaughterhouse, complete with animal bones, as MS student Rob Anthony filled in the details for us.

We could see the old foundation in the current dig, which was running perpendicular to the previous year's dig. Students were digging, loading into buckets, and hauling up to the sifter. His duties were hampered by the moist soil. Everything is slow to dry out this year, still, and he had tough duties, compared to more-sandy soil.

How were the bugs?

"Not bad today," Anthony said. It was cooler, with a breeze. "But yesterday, it was pretty bad. They were hungry."

Further up the trail, what they believe to be an old boarding house was being dug up. Here, they will attempt to locate specific individuals and families within specific houses like this one, using the nineteenth-century US Census records.

We ventured back through the old industrial site to some new areas, including an old engine house and shaft number three. The foundation was still there, and the area afforded a nice view back down the hill.

Professor Tim Scarlett was leading a tour through old shafts, engine houses, the stamp and past a school site. The social sciences faculty and students would be leading tours three weekends in a row.

We also visited the old Catholic cemetery. We looked for familiar local names. (Anthony had asked us if any of our relatives might have worked up this way. We said no, not these mines.) It was a very nice place: paths leading through the remaining headstones and surrounded by a blanket of purple flowers. Very tranquil and beautiful.

It was hard to imagine old roads leading to the cemetery and all of Clifton and the Cliff Mine works. They were either overgrown or deteriorated beyond recognition. But the paths we were following helped tell the story of the first copper mine in the region, which, of course, would also lead to the Michigan Mining School.

Dennis '92 '09

At Tech

Enjoying the Good Life: Alumnus Hunts for a Living

Greg Sesselmann had an epiphany but was afraid to tell anyone. “I was the black sheep of the family,” he explains. “If somebody had spilled the milk, they’d all close their eyes and say, odds are, it was me.” His family of six Tech graduates (all with better GPAs) never heard this particular hare-brained idea, but when a co-worker did, she refused to leave him alone until he worked on it. “She pressured me to push that rock uphill,” Sesselmann said. More

Business Insider Rates Tech High for Grads' Earning Potential

C. J. Moskowitz
More than ever, students choosing where to go to school review the future earning potential of a university’s graduates. But the well-known US News & World Report ranking of colleges and universities doesn’t give that factor much weight. They should, says Business Insider, a business website that analyzes financial, media, technology and other industries. More

Tech Students Help Patients in India Get a Leg Up

Taking another step toward making affordable and durable prosthetics available to India’s low-income population, a team of Michigan Tech senior design students have redesigned and cost-optimized a prosthetic knee. This year’s project advances the work of two previous senior design teams who have worked on the prosthetic knee. Each year, the teams have redesigned the prosthetic to make it cheaper and more functional. More

Fish Oil Lowers Stress Response

river research
Jason Carter, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, conducted a study with 67 healthy volunteers who were either given nine grams of fish oil pills or nine grams of olive oil as a placebo, over a two-month period. They were screened for heart rate, blood pressure and other related metrics before and after the study. More

Alumni Around the World

Class of 1953 Reunion Announcement and Challenge!


Hoping for a stellar turnout. I'm aware of a handful of fellow alums planning to be in Houghton for our 60th class reunion in August. For our 50th we had a very respectable turnout enjoying attempts to identify one another and recalling the days gone by. Joe Gemignani took charge then of raising a successful class gift and this year I'm sure we'll rise to the challenge once again.

Earlier this year, the plan was announced to convert the campus corridor to a mall, beginning to end West to East, the Alumni Way. It's a splendid idea with a West End Gateway celebrating the history of the college and mining industry of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The plan includes benches that will bear plaques identifying the donor's and other significant elements. It's my hope that we will be able to place a bench and am appealing to our class to support this goal. Those unable to make it back to campus for the Reunion weekend can still participate by directing a donation to the Class Gift for Class of '53.

Go Huskies.

Bob Carnahan

The link for the Class of 1953 gift: https://www.banweb.mtu.edu/mtu/mtf/gift/give.xsql

Save the Date for Alumni Reunion 2013, August 1–3!

2012 Pasty Picnic
Make plans to catch up with fellow alumni and rediscover campus during Alumni Reunion 2013. The featured groups for Reunion 2013 include the Class of 1963, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1993, 2003, the Golden M's (those who graduated fifty-plus years ago), and the Women of Michigan Tech.

A variety of activities for all ages will be offered including family activities, campus tours, seminars, pasty picnics, and much more!

For a preliminary schedule, lodging information, and to RSVP, please visit www.mtu.edu/reunion

Fill in the Blanks


2006 Women in Engineering in at the picnic/bonfire at McLain State Park.

Recognize anyone?

It's clickable.

Email me.


1986 Campus Scene

The old "Union" (not "MUB"), big hair, and short pants. And a snazzy new kiosk!

Remember these days?

Email me.

View more sports >

Tech Sports

Tech Hockey Names Captains for 2013-14

rec site
The Michigan Tech hockey team today named its captains for the 2013-14 season. Junior forward Blake Pietila and senior defenseman Brad Stebner will serve as co-captains. Assistant captains will be junior forward Tanner Kero and senior forward Dennis Rix. The four players were selected by their teammates. Stebner served as assistant captain a year ago. The other three will wear letters for the first time as Huskies. More

Youth and Adult Hockey Programs Offered in July and August

track and field
Michigan Tech is offering both youth and adult hockey opportunities in July and August. Power skating classes will be offered for mite, squirt, peewee house and travel, bantam and high school players. The eight week program costs $160 and runs from July 1 to August 22. More

Around the Keweenaw

Daily Mining Gazette | WLUC TV-6 | Marquette Mining Journal

From the Email Bag

Old Hockey Rinks

Old UND rink, similar to the Dee and the Calumet Colosseum.

Fido Purpur (North Dakota) was the coach and a couple of the players were his brothers in the 1950 timeframe. I remember the old quonset hut type of arena very well. Flooded between the periods. It was cold. I remember the first time I was there in 1950, Amo's last year...on the free skate before the arena was opened it was -19 F in the old quonset hut arena.

Bob Brown

And a reply:

Bob, It wasn't much warmer in Dee (left) during those days. I'm sure it was colder inside than out much of the time. Remembering some of the home games one of the most memorable was a NoDak game when our goalie was pulled and Bob Monahan made an incredible one man stand at goal. We were convinced he had visited the Dog House prior to suiting up. I still laugh thinking about the Winter Carnival Skit put on by the H&Ts with the gladiator's pleading with NERO (Dick Agricola) to introduce artificial lions into the colosseum.

Bob Carnahan '53

P.S. See Class of '53 Reunion Challenge above.

Latest Addition to our License Plate Collection

Slate River

Here is my contribution to the Tech legend.

Gary Lillesve, BSEE 1965

More on the Agate Shop, the Coral Inn, and the Harbor Haus

Funky's Karma Cafe
Hi Dennis,
Here’s even more than you probably ever wanted to know about the Keweenaw Agate Shop.

The original building, which predated the Agate Shop, was constructed by my uncle, Eldred DeMarois. He bought the property, which included a total of 4 lots, at a Grant Township property tax foreclosure and auction sale with his mustering out pay, a federal loan guarantee, and $20.00 a week for 52 weeks that he got from the GI Bill after serving 3 plus years in the Army’s 6th Armored Division which was one of General George S Patton’s famous 3rd Army divisions in the WW II campaign through France, Belgium and Germany. The building was at least partially framed with salvaged lumber from the DeMarois family home on Fifth St in Calumet, and the adjacent ice house for the Calumet Ice Co. which was owned and operated by my grandfather, Alfred DeMarois, until early 1942 when his son, Eldred, was drafted. In its original configuration the building which later became the Agate Shop was somewhat smaller with living quarters in the back for my uncle, his wife Margret and their two daughters, Denise and Ruth. In front was a small general store with take out pasties, and an office for the tourist cabins in back of the building.

Eldred also built a restaurant in Copper Harbor for my parents, Willard and Ione Johnson, using all the building material, including the original fireplace, he could salvage from the ‘government house’ once located on Copper Harbor’s Porter Island, but later moved to the mainland site where the restaurant is today. The Coral Inn (see attached photo) was the name of the restaurant which opened for business in 1957 and operated each year from May to October until 1972 when, after my father’s death, my mother sold it. The new owners Fritz & Michen Ehlers (sp?) renamed the restaurant ‘The Harbor Haus’, which is the name it still operates under today. During the 15 years my parents owned the Coral Inn they provided part time, summer employment in their restaurant for a number of Michigan Tech. students.

Donald R Johnson, MET. Eng. ‘53

Donald: I love the car; '59 Chevy? or '60?

Women in Engineering Identified


The girl on the farthest right is Erin Bertocchi.

Heather Vingsness, '09

Thanks, Heather. It is still clickable.


The girl on the right, green tank top with a pink water bottle, is one of my sorority sisters, Erin Bertocchi.

Meghan Oaks

Thanks (or Kiitos, in honor of the recent FinnFest)

Just a note to say you do a good job in writing
the newsletter.

Gary Millsaps

Thanks, Gary.

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Michigan Tech Gear—Show Your Michigan Tech Pride!

HuskyBlend Coffee
Official Class Rings and Diploma Frames
Michigan Tech License Plates
Michigan Tech Collector Blanket
University Images—Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

More Alumni Benefits, Services and Discount program information 

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Dean of Engineering, College of Engineering
Apply online at https://www.jobs.mtu.edu/postings/1020

Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Apply online at https://www.jobs.mtu.edu/postings/1034

Apply using the new online system at http://jobs.mtu.edu.

Complete Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus

Check out the Linked in group exclusively for Michigan Tech Alumni.

Also, visit the Career Tools web page for more options.