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Growing up at Coalwood: An Analysis of Children's Material Culture at Coalwood Lumber Camp

Author(s): Maria Smith

Year: 2017

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Summary

Coalwood was a cordwood lumber camp operated by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the turn of the twentieth century. Workers were encouraged to live there with their families to blunt labor tension and save the costs of boarding houses and dining facilities. Many children lived in the camp; in 1910 there were at least 43 children at Coalwood. Most workers were Finnish immigrants and all but five children were either Finnish immigrants or the children of Finnish immigrants.  Excavations in 2014 sampled the camp manager’s house, the store, and three different workers houses. While the sample size of children’s material culture is not large, there is a significant diversity among the material. By analyzing their material culture we are able to learn more about the Finnish Immigrant experience, economic disparities between workers and their foreman and everyday life at Coalwood.


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Growing up at Coalwood: An Analysis of Children's Material Culture at Coalwood Lumber Camp. Maria Smith. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435367)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 125

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