Summer fun: Iron Industry Museum announces 'Afternoons at the Museum' speakers program

The popular ''Afternoons at the Museum'' summer speaker series will return to the Michigan Iron Industry Museum on Tuesdays beginning July 12 and running through Aug. 23, the Department of Natural Resources announced.

''Afternoons at the Museum'' will feature speakers on topics ranging from Finnish immigrant mining history and the use of ''iron money,'' to bat populations in mines. All programs begin at 2 p.m. at the museum in Negaunee Township.

July 12 - ''Iron Will: Cleveland-Cliffs and the Mining of Iron Ore, 1847-1996,'' Terry Reynolds, Michigan Technological University (book signing). Terry Reynolds will speak about his new book, exploring the importance of Michigan's iron ore mining industry both in the Upper Peninsula and across the nation, and the historical factors behind the survival of Cleveland-Cliffs, while other mining companies failed. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and Reynolds will hold a signing.

July 19 ''Challenge Accepted: A Finnish Immigrant Response to Industrial America in Michigan's Copper Country,'' Gary Kaunonen, Michigan Technological University (book signing). Gary Kaunonen will tell the story of the Finnish immigrants who challenged the working class system by clashing with Copper Country mine owners during the bitter and bloody 1913-1914 copper miners' strike ? a nine-month struggle that gambled on the early success of organized labor, and ended in tragic events at Italian Hall. Copies of Kaunonen's book will be available for purchase and he will hold a signing following the program.

July 26 ''They Called It Iron Money,'' Bill VanKosky, Marquette. Marquette author and historian Bill VanKosky will discuss the creation and use of IOUs or ''iron money'' issued by the mining companies to their workers in the mid-19th century in place of actual cash, which was extremely expensive to transport to the Upper Peninsula until the Sault Canal was completed in 1855. The program will detail the 20-year history of iron money, including attempts at counterfeiting, which eventually threatened the solvency of every bank and mining company on the Marquette Iron Range.

Aug. 2 ''Bats and Mines of Michigan,'' Bill Scullon, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Aug. 9 ''Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan's Copper Country,'' Kim Hoaglund, Michigan Technological University (book signing)

Aug. 16 ''Supplying the Explorers, Miners and Soldiers: The 1840s Frontier Sutler's Store,'' John Griebel, Fort Wilkins State Park

Aug. 23 ''The Upper Peninsula in 3D: Then and Now,'' Don Balmer, Photographer, Marquette

The museum entrance is located on U.S. 41E, a mile west of Junction M-35, in Negaunee Township. Admission is free; donations are encouraged.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. For more information about events or programs call 906-475-7857 or visit www.michigan.gov /ironindustrymuseum.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan. gov/dnr.

Copyright © 2011 State of Michigan

Published: Thu, Jul 7, 2011

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