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19th Century Mining Life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula - The American West on the Wrong Side of the 100th Meridian

Author(s): Brendan Pelto

Year: 2015

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The western Upper Peninsula of Michigan was home to many mining boom towns, similar to those associated more commonly with the American West. Clifton, the town site of the first profitable Copper Mine in Michigan, attracted workers of diverse ethnic backgrounds: Cornish, German, Irish, Native American, and African American. Michigan Technological University has conducted five seasons of field work at Clifton and the Cliff Mine, and has uncovered material remains that aid in the remembrance of this community that served as a gateway to The American Frontier for many. Artifacts that have been extensively studied from the sites include ceramics, faunal remains, and also iron artifacts, many of which have undergone experimental treatments involving polymer impregnation. This discussion of these assemblages and their contextual relationship to boarding houses, taverns, mid-continental shipping, and frontier military forts will illustrate the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s deeper connection to the American West of the 19th Century.

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19th Century Mining Life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula - The American West on the Wrong Side of the 100th Meridian. Brendan Pelto. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396617)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America