Public Discussion on Keweenaw Geoheritage
Today, several geoscientists will host a public discussion about the Keweenaw Geoheritage Project. The event begins with a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. at the Quincy Mine Hoist.
Two special guests will speak to options available for increasing awareness and economic and educational opportunities for the Keweenaw.
They are: Thomas Casadevall, the United State Geological Services chair of the U.S. National Committee for Geoparks, and Cecile Olive, project manager for the Puys de Dome and the Limagne Fault World Heritage Project in France.
The Keweenaw's copper mining heyday in the mid-1800s marked the nation's first major mining boom—but few outside of the Copper Country actually know that.
Additionally, the Keweenaw is one of only a handful of places in the world where native copper occurs in large quantities; it's the only place in the world where native copper mining was economically successful. The region is also one of Earth’s oldest metal-mining districts.
Pieces of Keweenaw copper, mined by native tribes, were crafted into beads and artifacts thousands of years ago, now found all over North America.
The copper is one of the results of a great tectonic rift that also formed the basin of Lake Superior. This is a geoheritage of epic proportions.
Yet the shaft houses, copper rocks, ancient mining pits and sandstone-rich downtowns that we all take for granted remain isolated in our local landscape. The Keweenaw Geoheritage Project seeks to gain more regional, national and international recognition of the unique history and geology of the peninsula.
The project is led by Bill Rose (GMES) and Erika Vye.