In October 2018 the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections launched its traveling exhibit, Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula: The Formative Years of the Copper Range Railroad. The first installation took place in the Van Pelt and Opie Library from October 2018 - May 2019. The exhibit then traveled the Upper Great Lakes from June 2019 - June 2020. The exhibit contains six panels that document the early years of the Copper Range Railroad, from the founding of the road until its initial expansion beyond the main line. The exhibit also provides a glimpse beyond the formative years, including the impact of the decline of mining in the area, the school train runs, and the dissolution of the company.
This online exhibit is a companion to the traveling exhibit so that anyone with an interest in rail history can engage with the material. While this project aims to highlight the early years of the railroad and its impact on the Copper Country, there are further resources available for research in the Michigan Tech Archives that pertain to the railroad and the Copper Range Company.
The physical exhibit is available to be loaned to partner host sites on a monthly basis by contacting the university archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen, at email@example.com or calling (906) 487-3209.
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Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula was made possible in part by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission Heritage Grant Program. All research was conducted in the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections.
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily reflect those of the Keweenaw National Historical Park or the KNHP Advisory Commission.
The Engine 29 visual identity for this exhibit was inspired by and adapted from images held at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections and available in the Copper Country Historical Images database.
Project Manager and Lead Researcher: Lindsay Hiltunen
Project Researcher: Jeremy Whitman
Project Designer: Mike Stockwell of Cranking Graphics
Project Website Developer: David Holden
Persons and Collections Consulted
Brockway Photograph Collection
Clarence Monette Collection
Copper Range Company Records
Daily Mining Gazette Photograph Collection
Earl Gagnon Photograph Collection
Michigan Tech Archives Map Collection
Nara Photograph Collection
Reeder Photograph Collection
Roy Drier Collection