Wednesday, Oct 24, 2007
Keweenaw National Historical Park (NHP) will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary this Saturday, October 27, 2007. The national park was established with a stroke of the pen by President George H. W. Bush on October 27, 1992. That simple stroke was, of course, preceded by many years of tenacious work by residents and supporters of the Copper Country. With the charge being led by CLK Foresight, Inc. the intensity of the grassroots efforts persuaded the National Park Service and Federal legislators to take a serious look at the merits of establishing a national park on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
The national significance of the story of copper mining on the Keweenaw was documented through research, and ultimately validated by the establishment of Keweenaw National Historical Park. October 27, 1992 was a day to remember in the annals of the Copper Country as every church bell in Calumet was tolling to rejoice in the news of the day: the long, hard struggle for the establishment of a national park had finally been realized. The Copper Country continued that celebration the following Sunday at the historic Calumet Theatre where Congressman Bob Davis, who carried the banner in Congress alongside Senator Carl Levin, joined in the communityâs celebration, noting that the establishment of the park was the "major, major achievement" in his 26 years of politics.
The Keweenaw NHP staff and the Keweenaw NHP Advisory Commission are inviting the community to join with them once again at the Calumet Theatre on Saturday, October 27 at 4:00 p.m. to celebrate this 15th Anniversary of the establishment of the park. Senator Levin is scheduled to speak along with remarks from other visiting dignitaries. Also speaking will be Commissioner Sue Dana, who was an original member of the grassroots movement to establish the park, and park Superintendent Jim Corless. A special feature of the day will be the awarding of Junior Ranger badges to CLK Elementary School 3rd graders in recognition of their efforts to learn about their copper mining heritage and the National Park Serviceâs role in preserving Copper Country history.
Preceding the event, the community is also invited to tour the national parkâs Union Building at the entrance to Calumetâs historic downtown district and the former Calumet & Hecla (C&H) Public Library on Red Jacket Road. (Of the two buildings, only the Union Buildingâs first floor is accessible to visitors with mobility impairments.) Park staff will be available at both facilities from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Following the 4:00 program, there will be anniversary cake and refreshments served in the Calumet Theatre Ballroom. (The Calumet Theatre is accessible with assistance although the Ballroom does not offer full accessibility at this time.) For more information please contact the park at 906-337-3168 or by email at KEWE_Superintendent@nps.gov.