Keweenaw County Historical Society

Caretakers of the past, stewards of the future


Publications from the KCHS

The Superior Signal and Other Publications
The Keweenaw County Historical Society publishes the The Superior Signal, a triannual publication featuring society news and Keweenaw historical articles. This is a benefit of membership and is not generally on sale otherwise. Several years ago this newsletter won an award of excellence from the Historical Society of Michigan. In addition, the Society has published several books and two educational DVDs. You may purchase these items at the KCHS Gift Shop at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse complex by completing the form below and mailing it to us.

Pilot House BookThe Little Pilot House
During the summer of 2018, the KCHS dedicated one of its largest displays, the restored pilot house of the S.S. Tioga. The Tioga wrecked off Eagle River on November 26, 1919, but the small pilot house survived and was saved when it floated ashore.  For many years it served as a playground, hideout, and eventually a local art gallery. Edited by Marcia Mason and written by Vivian and Todd Taskila with drawings  and paintings provided by Vivian Taskila, this book talks about the role the small pilot house played in the life of Eagle River and the work the KCHS has done in restoring it and placing it on display for all to see. The price of the book is $10.


A Brief Legal History Of Keweenaw County And Its Townships
This new book written by KCHS President Larry Molloy is 
based on research for his recent Adventures in History presentation about the history of Keweenaw County townships. Using maps and citations, it follows the many changes in ownership of the Keweenaw from before statehood through the creation of Keweenaw County and afterward. It details how townships were formed, removed, and sometimes reformed as the county grew and changed. The price is $10.

Sesquicentennial bookA Sesquicentennial History of Keweenaw County
Authored by KCHS Board Member Paul Freshwater and published by the KCHS as part of the 150th celebration of Keweenaw County, it's the first publication to present the 150-year history of Keweenaw County, Michigan, from its founding in 1861 through its sesquicentennial year of 2011. This 24-page book is based on a series of articles published in The Superior Signal during 2011 and is full of many current and historic photographs. 
The price is $10. 

We Are almost to Camp bookWe Are Almost To The Camp
This children’s book is a story about the former mining camp of Central around 1950 where author Barbara Buckett Leary vacationed for many summers as a child half a century after the mine closed. It includes photos, artwork, stories about houses at Central, poor rock piles, berries, living without electricity, playing a Victrola, refrigerating foods in a stream, and other things Leary wanted her grandsons, Alvin and Francis Leary, to experience through her writing. 
The price is $13.

postcard bookCopper Country Postcards
Another book that we have published is Copper Country Post Cards – A View of the Past From The Keweenaw Peninsula. The author is Nancy Sanderson, a Life member of the Society since the early 1980s. The scenes captured in the nearly 300 postcards, many in color, from Nancy’s personal collection, give a glimpse of what life was like in the Copper Country in the first half of the twentieth century. The book is hardbound and has a beautiful dust jacket. This is a must have for anyone interested in the history of the Copper Country and a great gift for people with ties to this area. 
The price is $30. 

Miskawbik bookRed Metal: The Roles Played by Michigan’s Copper in Prehistoric North America
This booklet is a reprint of an article by John R. Halsey, the State Archaeologist of Michigan, originally published in Michigan History Magazine in 1983, and reprinted by kind permission of the author. It describes the extraction and working of native copper in this region, going back perhaps 5,000 years, and the transport and trading of this copper over a wide area of what is now the eastern U.S. This is carefully researched, highly readable, lavishly illustrated, and includes extensive footnotes. 
The price is $6. 

10 Lights book10 Lights: The Lighthouses of the Keweenaw Peninsula
For those interested in lighthouses, we published 10 Lights: The Lighthouses of the Keweenaw Peninsula. A small informative booklet with a brief history of each of the ten lighthouses of the peninsula, plus a brief historical essay on the development of lighthouses and their lenses over the centuries. It includes charming sketches of four of the local lighthouses, and a map showing the location of all ten. 
The price is $4. 


Central Mine: Years of Hard Work, Lives of Pain and Hope
This book focuses on the people who lived at Central Mine and how they made Central a successful copper mine. Central operated in the second half of the nineteenth century and was one of the most important copper mining sites in Keweenaw County. Although many of its buildings are now gone, some remain, and the KCHS acquired 38 acres there with the aim of preserving the social history of the copper mining era. This book has essays on the geology and mining of Central and the Central M.E. Church, stories of several families that bring that era to life, pictures of remaining buildings, 1870 census details, and more. Very few former mine sites have been kept alive as Central has been, and this fascinating book is eloquent testimony to that. 
The price is $13. 

Central DVDA Tour Of Central (DVD)
Take a virtual walk from the Central Mine Visitor’s Center to the restored workers' homes, to the town’s iconic poor rock pile and the Memorial Garden. A Tour of Central is a seven-minute tender look at a long-ago time, with an engaging historical commentary written by Central summer resident and KCHS Trustee Eloise “Duffy” Liddicoat. 
The price is $19. 


Eagle Rived DVD

Eagle River Museum Story (DVD)
Watch as the Cliff Mine and the towns of Clifton and Eagle River, each founded in the 1840s, become the forerunners of the hugely successful copper mining industry in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Follow the pioneer residents of Eagle River as they excitedly welcome the first ship that comes into the Lake Superior port after a long winter. Learn how Eagle River later reinvented itself as a summer haven after the mines and lake port closed. The ten-minute DVD includes commentary written by Philip and Marcia Mason, accompanied by historic photographs. 
The price is $19.

To Order
Print and fill out ORDER FORM
Mail with check to:
Keweenaw County Historical Society
670 Lighthouse Rd.
Mohawk, MI 49950.
Sorry, no credit cards by mail.

ALL KCHS buildings will NOT open in 2020 AND all public events are CANCELED for 2020

Based upon the recommendations of various well-documented public health, government and organizational sources, at the May 21, 2020 Keweenaw County Historical Society Board Meeting it was decided that the Keweenaw County Historical Society not staff any facilities or open any buildings in the summer of 2020 in light of the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It is further the stance of KCHS that the organization does not want to be in a position where we, as an organization, inadvertently spread this virus to visitors or to our volunteers at KCHS facilities/activities in the U.P.

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