The Calumet Children’s March and the Keweenaw Miners Strike

Children’s Parade, Calumet Copper Miners Strike — RPPC by Calumet New Studio, Calumet, Michigan, photo by Wystan

Here’s a throw back Monday for you – a photo from July 23, 1913 of children marching in Calumet during the tumultuous miners’ strikes of 1913. It’s an interesting case study for our modern world given that the driver was the same driver that’s beginning to impact our labor market – automation. The excellent article Labor unions, strikes and violence in the Keweenaw: The Copper Miner Strike of 1913 – this is seriously great work by Frank Zawada’s descendent(s) – the says that there  had been strikes in the Keweenaw in 1872, 1874, 1890 and 1893, but they hadn’t turned deadly. And then:

Around 1910, the mining companies sought to cut back the expenses of mining, and they started to consider lighter machinery such as the J. George Leyner rock drills. Leyners drills were 154-pounds heavy, compared to the 293-pound drills then in use at the mines. Not only that, but the smaller drills could drill just as much as the larger drills but with only one person to man it, instead of two.

The mining companies tried these drills out with the miners, and it was pretty unanimous; the miners didn’t like the new drills. First of all, the men complained that the drills were still too heavy for one man to carry, set up and operate. Secondly, losing a drilling partner opened up safety concerns – who would watch out for the guy alone on the drill if something should happen to him in the loud, darkened mine? Third, but related to number two, was worker concern of being displaced to a lower-paying job or of losing one’s job altogether when the one-man drills became the standard.

Discontent brewed amongst the workers in the mines, and some miners refused to use the drills. Some got into fights with the management about the drills. And some miners walked off the job or were told to leave for disobeying the new rules. Before things could get too crazy, winter set in and so the miners calmed the labor unrest. By early 1913, tensions were running at maximum capacity between workers and the mining companies on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Read on for more about this strike that turned into one of Michigan’s most deadly labor struggles, including the Italian Hall Massacre of Christmas 1913 in which dozens and dozens of of these children lost their lives.

View the photo background big and see more in Wystan’s slideshow.

Michpics Monday Message

Cliff Jumpers, photo by Julie

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
~William G. T. Shedd

Hi folks, this is Andy McFarlane, curator of Michigan in Pictures with a message so we’re all clear on what this blog is, and what it isn’t.

A little background: On Saturday I was not going to be a computer so I pre-scheduled a photo on Thursday, something I do fairly often. The photo was of some people jumping off the South Haven Pier, and coincidentally, someone fell (or jumped) off the pier late Friday night. They weren’t found, and the search has been called off as there’s no report of a missing person and it appears they may have gotten out of the water undetected.

While I did Saturday things not involving a computer, quite a large discussion unfolded on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page, centering on the illegality of jumping off that pier (something I didn’t know about) and the irresponsibility of sharing photos of people doing dangerous things. After a quick scan of the comments and messages I’d received, I decided to delete the entire post from Facebook and Michigan in Pictures because I was told that people were still processing grief and that I was being insensitive. That appears to not be the case, and I’m sorry that I didn’t have more time to figure out the whole story.

I guess we can have some of the discussion here (and on the Facebook post). You may recall a couple of years ago when there was a minor uproar over a photo my girlfriend took on the ice. I think that what I wrote then is still applicable, and I hope that all my readers can accept my policy for this blog because at the end of the day, it’s how it’s going to be:

I post pictures all the time where the photographers have taken calculated risks to see, photograph and experience things that you cannot see and photograph without an element of risk. I allow my son to surf in conditions that can be very dangerous, let my daughter climb trees high enough to probably kill her if she fell, and have hiked on trails where one slip meant death.

I suppose I should post disclaimers of “don’t be an idiot” with all photos of risky environments, but I think I will continue to assume that my readers will assess risks on their own, and I will continue to experience and share Michigan as I choose.

…Please understand that Michigan in Pictures is a place where I share amazing pictures that are shared with me. I’m not doing this as a public service to educate people on how to stay alive and safe. I do it for love of Michigan and to share the cool experiences it offers. I trust that my readers will exercise appropriate caution as they enjoy Michigan, and I’m 1000% sure that if folks get out and wisely play a little closer to the edge, they’ll have a happier and longer life.

Caveat emptor!

Caveat emptor will remain the policy of Michigan in Pictures, which I will again remind readers is my personal blog, not paid for by anyone and offered with the sole hope that you can find pictures and places that help you enjoy and appreciate Michigan more.

View Julie’s photo of a maniac kid jumping off the 15-foot high Black Rocks in Marquette bigger and see more in her UP of Michigan slideshow.

Note: Lake Superior is SUPER COLD. You might die from cold water drowning. Also note that 15′ is pretty high. That could hurt or even kill you if you dive off the wrong rock somewhere else. Also note that if it’s wavy you could be hurt by the waves.

The Pink Sands of Sand Point

Pink Sand at Sand Point, photo courtesy Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shared this photo yesterday saying:

Is this sand pink? Yes it Is! The pink sand on the beach can be found on the northeast corner of Sand Point at the very end of Sand Point Rd. The pink sand is actually garnet that has eroded from one of the sandstone layers of the Pictured Rock cliffs. The garnet then washed up at Sand Point and makes a unique pink sand beach.

View it bigger on Facebook, and visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for much more information on Sand Point and other amazing places in one of Michigan’s most amazing parks.

PS: Better follow PicturedRocksNL on Facebook too if you want to know about things like being able to watch a sunset from a lighthouse.

Rainbow Reflected

Rainbow Reflected, photo by Eric Hackney Photography

My position is that should take your rainbows as they come – here’s a beauty featuring the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton taken this Sunday!

View the photo bigger and see more in Eric’s Chasing the Rainbow album on Facebook.

Many more Michigan rainbows & more rainbow science on Michigan in Pictures!

Root Beer Thunder

Upper Tahquamenon Falls, photo by Erin Bartels

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park page says that the Upper Tahquamenon Falls are one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. At more than 200 feet across with a drop of nearly 50 feet, the falls have a flow rate that can exceed 50,000 gallons per second!

View the photo background bigtacular, see more in Erin’s slideshow and check out Tahquamenon Falls: Take 4 on her blog for some details about her latest visit.

Splash-in Sunrise: Annual Grand Marais Fly-in

Splash-in 2016, photo by Gary McCormick

June 16-18, 2017 the Grand Marais Pilots Association will host the 17th Annual Splash-in on Grand Marais Bay on behalf of the National Seaplane Pilots Association. Seaplanes from all over the US and Canada are invited to attend this three day festival with arrivals on Friday, activities and competitions throughout the day on Saturday and departures on Sunday morning. Click the link for details on events including the Water Balloon Bomb, Spot Landing, & Short Takeoff Contests!

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Gary’s Sea Planes slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

At the end of the rainbow

A lighthouse at the end of the rainbow, photo by Ann Fisher

Memorial Day Weekend is a unique holiday. It’s both a celebration of the beginning of the summer, the weekend to throw off the shackles of cold & gray and embrace sun and sand, and also a somber remembrance of those who have given their lives defending our nation. I hope that light and love touch you in both of these pursuits.

View the photo of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse background bigtacular and see more in Ann’s 2017 UP slideshow.

More about the Marquette Lighthouse and LOTS more about rainbows on Michigan in Pictures.