More New Collections at the Archives!

The end of the summer was a time of much processing, and so we have several more small new collections to share with you:

Muriel Bunker papers: Muriel was a Marquette native who joined the WACs (Women’s Army Corps) during World War II. Much of her collection is her correspondence with her family members, including her brother Earl. Earl was in the Pacific theatre while she was in Europe. There are also photographs and a 2007 oral history interview with Muriel.

George Tomasi papers: George was one of the “Barracks Boys,” a group of sixteen men given free tuition at Northern for playing three sports each. His papers consist of memorabilia from his high school years through his old age, though the bulk are from his years at Northern.

Nora Silk diary: Nora seems to have been a teenager living somewhere in the UP during the 1940s. We have no donor information and therefore know little about her. Her diary spans from 1940 to 1944, with the bulk of the entries being from 1940. It is a good record of the life of a young woman at the time and includes stories such as her father catching her “necking” with a boy and grounding her for a week.

Margaret Whitman papers: Margaret attended Northern in the late 1940s. Her collection of memorabilia includes photographs, event programs, and a scrapbook.

John Langaas papers: John was a Norwegian immigrant who lived in Ishpeming and kept a diary from 1909 to his death in 1924. The journals are in Norwegian, but the papers include translations of the first two of the five books as well as the articles and notes that the translator was using to understand his writing. John was extremely religious and much of his diaries (the first two, at least) deal with his faith. If you know anyone who reads Norwegian and would be willing to translate the rest for us, please let us know!

Bookbinders Cafe photographs: Bookbinders Cafe was a cafe located in the basement of the Harden Learning Resources Center (the same floor that the archives is on!). These photographs, taken between 1980 and 1993, show students and faculty and staff eating at the cafe as well as parties and events at the cafe.

Pi Omega Pi papers: Pi Omega Pi is an honors society for business education students. Northern’s chapter started in 1967. Our collection includes copies of their bylaws, a scrapbook documenting inductees and events from 1967 to 2000, photographs, meeting minutes and reports submitted to the national council, a history of the organization, and more!

Rudi Prusok papers: Rudi was a German professor at Northern who was heavily involved in the Upper Peninsula Area Foreign Language Teachers Association and who wrote about Thomas Mann. He was also personally and professionally interested in the “schuetzen movement,” or rifle shooting as a hobby. His papers consist largely of correspondence, newsletters, and syllabi related to his time at Northern.

Elisha Greifer papers: Elisha was a political science professor at Northern from 1967 to 1997. His papers consist of a number of his publications, including such titles as “The Bursley Act: Cases in the Politics of Education,” “Locating United States Propaganda in the Context of Foreign Policy,” “The Conservative Pose in America: Irving Babbitt and the Search for Standards,” and his translation of “Essay on Catholic-Liberal-Socialism” by Juan Donoso Cortes.

To check out any of these collections, just stop in anytime we’re open! Our fall hours are Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10 AM-5 PM and Tuesday/Thursday 10 AM-7 PM.

Written by Annika Peterson

The 1946 Marquette Iron Range Strike and Paul Robeson

At 12:01 a.m. on February 8, 1946, nearly 3,000 iron miners on the Marquette Iron Range in Michigan’s central Upper Peninsula walked off their jobs.  It was the first major labor action in the region since 1895.  Three thousand inexperienced union miners on the Marquette Iron Range joined 750,000 steelworkers nation-wide in a strike of the steel industry led by the recently formed United Steel Workers of America (USWA).   The nation-wide strike against the steel industry lasted just nine days, but the strike on the Marquette Iron Range against the iron mining companies lasted 104 long and frustrating days and finally ended on May 22 when the companies capitulated to the union’s demands for recognition, dues write-off, and 18.5 cents per hour more in wages. Towards the tail-end of this bitter strife stepped an extremely unlikely hero, but one that would reinvigorate community support and give the strike a lifesaving morale boost.

Negaunee strike parade

Strike parade through downtown Negaunee (Central UP and NMU Archives)

Today, very few people remember the famous Broadway star and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University, All-American football star, and accomplished lawyer, Robeson by 1946 was best known for his stellar Broadway performances of Othello and Showboat, where his rendition of Ol’ Man River became a sensation and is still considered a standard. However, Robeson was also an ardent and tireless supporter of organized labor, making numerous appearances at labor rallies throughout his career. Historians also suspect that he was a member of the Communist Party USA, although no direct evidence exists.

othello robeson

Robeson in The Theatre Guild performance of Othello, 1943 (Wikipedia)

Oddly enough, Robeson’s arrival in Ishpeming, Michigan, on April 25 had nothing initially to do with the iron miners’ strike. In the fall of 1945, Robeson had embarked on a national concert tour that took him to all the far-flung regions of the country. George Quaal, part of a wealthy Ishpeming mercantile family, had engaged Robeson for a performance as part of a concert series that he sponsored and held in the Ishpeming public auditorium. Soon after his arrival at the train station, leaders of the strike, including District Director Jack Powell, besieged the famous singer in his Mather Inn room. Although it is likely USWA officials had reached out to Robeson prior to his arrival, they had little difficulty encouraging him to publicly lend his support to the strike effort.

paul robeson in mather inn

Paul Robeson and the USWA’s press officer in the Mather Inn (Central UP and NMU Archives)

On the afternoon of April 26, Robeson and strike leaders drove out to the Mather Mine (at present day Negaunee High School) and joined the picket line.  Surprised and excited miners and their families crowded around the famous singer as he shook hands and offered words of support.  Robeson then stepped up to a sound car and gave a Broadway worthy performance.   Along with his standard repertoire, he serenaded his audience with a number of radical working class songs, such as “Joe Hill.”   Home on leave from the Army shortly after Robeson’s visit, retired labor activist Ernie Ronn was struck by the effect the singer had on the strikers.  “I don’t know of anyone,” he remembered, “who was on that picket line that day who ever forgot.  Robeson built-up their spirit and morale.”  In fact, one observer described Robeson as a “heroic physical type of man” possessed of “innate dignity and emotional sincerity.”    For many of the miners and their families, Robeson’s appearance was their only chance to see the famous performer, since few could afford the $5.00 ticket price for the concert.

robeson picket line

Robeson on the picket line with striking miners and their families. Standing to his left is Jack Powell, the local USWA district director and strike leader. Powell is a member of the Upper Peninsula Labor Hall of Fame located in the Superior Dome. (Central UP and NMU Archives)

On the following day, Jack Powell interviewed Robeson on WDMJ radio.   The activist recounted the poverty of his early childhood and expressed support for the struggle of the working class.  Because of the country’s great wealth and productive capacity, Robeson told his listeners, the sight of the miners and their families huddled on the picket line was a travesty of justice.  “It should be plain to all,” he declared, “that these people have a right to share more equally in the wealth they create.”  For their part, the iron mining companies denounced Robeson and decried the USWA’s use of a known communist agitator.


USWA strike radio program on WDMJ. Labor Hall of Fame member, the late Ernie Ronn is second from the right. He was home on leave from the Army. (Central UP and NMU Archives)

Ten years after his appearance on the Marquette Iron Range, Robeson’s radical support for labor, civil rights, and his alleged connection to the Communist Party caused him to be dragged before the House of Representatives’ “Un-American Activities Committee” (HUAC). Black-listed and his career ruined, Robeson fled into self-imposed exile eventually returning to the United States in 1963. He died in relative obscurity and poverty in New York in 1976.

But to the iron miners and their families on the picket line that cold April afternoon, Paul Robeson made their struggle something more than a demand for an additional 18.5 cents per hour.  He crossed race and class boundaries to remind them that economic and social justice is a universal and moral goal and that music and courage can create “a real meeting place of hearts and minds.”

To learn more about the 1946 Iron Miners Strike, please visit the Central UP and NMU Archives. Our new fall hours are Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10 AM-5 PM and Tuesday/Thursday 10 AM-7 PM.

Written by Marcus Robyns

New Collections at the Archives!

In the past couple of weeks, we have processed several small collections and we thought that we would introduce you to them.

Judith DeMark papers: Judith DeMark was a history professor at Northern in the late 1990s. Although there are some photographs from her time at Northern, the bulk of the collection is research materials. Her research topics include mining, tuberculosis, Finnish folklore, and immigration to the Upper Peninsula.

Student Girls’ League calendars: This collection contains calendars created and sold by the Student Girls’ League (SGL) from 1911 to 1916. The calendars contains images of people and places around Northern as well as inspirational quotes. Founded in 1911, the SGL was a social group for female students. It helped freshmen get used to the school and published calendars (as seen in this collection) and a senior pamphlet called the “Handbook of Northern.” By 1932, every female student was required to be a member and its goal was “to help every woman enjoy her life at Northern,” and in the 1940s it helped to establish the student council, which evenutally became ASNMU (Associated Students of Northern Michigan University). In 1957, it changed its name to the Associated Women Students. In 1969, with the creation of ASNMU, it was disbanded.

Ruth Craig papers: Ruth Craig was a music professor at Northern from 1926 to 1963. Her collection consists of letters from faculty and students at her retirement as well as photographs from her retirement dinner and the rest of her years at Northern.

Connie Binsfeld papers: Connie Binsfeld was the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Michigan under John Engler in the 1990s. She had previously served as a county commissioner, state representative, and state senator. Her most notable legislative work dealt with adoption and child abuse and neglect. She was from Munising and is the only woman in Michigan to have held office in the Michigan House of Representatives, the Michigan Senate, and the Michigan executive branch. The collection contains personal photographs and memorabilia, correspondence with constituents, staffers, and others, subject files on various political issues, and a gigantic press clippings file of articles about her that covers her entire political career.

To learn more about these collections, you can access the finding aids by clicking on the links above. The Archives is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM-5 PM. Beginning August 22, our hours will change to Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 10 AM-5 PM, Tuesday/Thursday: 10 AM-7 PM.

Written by Annika Peterson

City of Ishpeming Records: Citizen Petitions

Citizen petitions were a favorite tool of residents of the city of Ishpeming to bring the Common Council’s attention to issues and concerns. There are many such petitions within the City of Ishpeming records at the archives.

Most of the petitions started with “We, the undersigned citizens (or residents) and taxpayers of the city of Ishpeming.” Taxpayers was the key word as the petitioners sought to remind the Common Council just who paid the bills. Over 95% of the petitions were for improvements to the city’s infrastructure. New sidewalks, streetlights, paving streets, and, beginning in the late 1920s, plowing during the winter were all much requested items.

There are a few petitions that stand out. In November of 1941, about 250 high school students signed a petition asking for the opening of the Community building. The old YMCA had been purchased several years before by the Ishpeming Industrial Association but at that time was not in use. The common council studied the matter and in a report dated 4 March 1942 concluded that reopening the building wasn’t feasible at that time. A bond issue would have to be voted on to raise the funds necessary for repairing and maintaining the building and, due to wartime conditions, “this would be very difficult to do at this time.”

Another unusual petition is dated 15 December 1942. It asks for the reinstatement of John Ivey to his position on the city police force. The signatures include the Ishpeming Cooperative Society (a rubber stamp print with their name and then the signature of who was stamping it) as well as similar ‘signatures’ from the Finnish Mutual Fire Insurance Company, H. W. Elson’s Bottling Works and Ishpeming Feed and Fuel Company, and many actual signatures from individuals. The outcome of this petition is not known, at least in the committee reports, and what Mr. Ivey did to cause him to lose his position is also unknown.

In March of 1950, the residents of Barn Street wished to change their street name. Barn Street was named for a large barn built on the south end of the street. The barn was destroyed by fire many years prior to the petition and now the name of the street was “a matter of some dissatisfaction and possible embarrassment to the petitioners.”  Since this street was merely a continuation of Davis Street, the residents felt “should it not be a part of said street – namely N. Davis?” In this matter, the request was granted and Barn Street became N. Davis Street, although the request had to be routed through Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, as the street was still, at that time, owned by the company.

In 1952, a proposed ban on parking on Bank Street resulted in TWO petitions. The first petition carried only a few signatures, those of businesses on Bank Street affected by such a ban. The second petition, signed by the general public, featured 22 pages of signatures protesting the ban and recommended a 1 hour limit on parking. Interestingly enough, this petition contains non-resident signatures, including some from the outlying townships and even one from Champion. The number of signatures was tallied on each page and most pages had at least 10-20 signatures.

Every request was routed to the proper committee and investigated, which is why the outcomes of many of the petitions are known, as the finished report would end up in the committee reports ledgers. Many of the reports had the phrase “We have had the same under consideration.” This phrase was especially common during the time from 1910 to 1915, when many citizens were looking for street lights.

A signed petition was no guarantee that the request would be granted. Sometimes the refusal was a matter of simple economics, especially in the early 1930s. During the Great Depression, the city had a limited budget and cautious aldermen. When the budgeted monies were gone, requests were often put on a waiting list or refused outright. In the early 1940s, the city often couldn’t grant citizen requests because the materials weren’t available due to wartime restrictions.

Another major reason why some citizen requests weren’t granted had to do with ownership of land. In Ishpeming, the mining companies, including Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, Inland Steel and the Oliver Mining Company owned land on which houses were built. The houses themselves were owned by individuals, but the land was leased. Since the land was owned privately and presumably taxed differently, no city monies could be spent on infrastructure in those locations and any improvements had to come from the mining companies.

There are many citizen petitions on file. They offer a glimpse of the workings of Ishpeming and of the city government. Stop in and view them for yourself. Our open hours are now 10 AM-4 PM Monday though Friday!

Written by Karen Kasper

The “Forgotten Plague” in the Upper Peninsula

You have probably heard of tuberculosis, also known as “consumption” or “TB.” But, did you know that, at its peak, TB was responsible for two percent of all deaths in the United States? Tuberculosis has a long history. Scientists have recently discovered that seals  transferred the disease to the Americas six thousand years ago. The first records of consumption deaths began in the US in 1786. At that time in Massachusetts, 300 out of every 100,000 people died from tuberculosis.

By the mid-nineteenth century, many consumptives moved to locales where the climate was supposed to cure TB, such as Colorado or upstate New York. TB was assumed to be hereditary, although it was noticed that the poor, African Americans, and immigrants were more likely to contract it (due to crowded–and therefore often more unsanitary–living conditions). In the 1880s, German scientist Robert Koch discovered that a contagious bacterium which he named Mycobacterium tuberculosis caused TB. This new understanding made consumptives into lepers who had to be isolated from society, and so the sanatorium (also sometimes spelled sanitarium) movement was born.

Sanatoriums were health camps that isolated TB patients from the rest of society, supposedly until they recovered enough to move back home. However, in reality, they were often “waiting rooms for death.” Patients underwent a strict regimen of fresh air and exercise (if they were capable). Many patients were put into sanatoriums against their will and resented their lack of control over even their daily schedule.

By the early twentieth century, one in every 170 people was in a sanatorium. But, by the 1940s, new and increasingly effective anti-biotics caused a decline in both the number and the severity of TB cases.

The Upper Peninsula, like the rest of the country, established sanatoriums. The first sanatorium in the Upper Peninsula, Morgan Heights, began in 1911 in Ishpeming and closed around 1970. Over that almost-sixty-year period, it housed approximately five thousand patients. Morgan Heights was torn down in 2002, although the nurses’ dormitory continues to be a rental house.

Here are some images from Morgan Heights:

Gert Leivo, Aino Maki, Edna Maki

Gert Leivo, Aino Maki, and Edna Maki. Presumably, they were nurses at Morgan Heights, although we have no evidence of that.

Dr. and Mrs. Lojocuno left MHS 1927

Dr. and Mrs. Lojocuno, who left Morgan Heights in 1927.

Christmas Program 1935

A Christmas/New Year’s party for the patients in 1935.


A group of patients at Morgan Heights, year unknown.


We have no information for this photograph, but presumably the woman was a patient at Morgan Heights.

The archives also possesses the patient records for Morgan Heights. The boxes and even the folders were somewhat water-damaged several years ago. However, the papers themselves miraculously remained intact. They were re-boxed into thirty-four boxes earlier this week, which should aid greatly in their preservation.

Previously, our policy was to restrict these records to all except children of patients, as formerly required under Michigan and federal law. However, in doing the research for this blog post, I discovered that recent changes in state and federal law have changed access policies to patient records. Under 2013 changes to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), patient records now become open for historical and genealogical research fifty years after the patient’s death. State laws still apply, but Michigan’s laws have changed to match HIPAA.

Consequently, we can now provide access to the Morgan Heights Sanatorium Patient Records as long as the patient has been dead for at least fifty years. We are thrilled to be able to open up these exciting records to researchers.

Stop by the archives Monday through Friday from 10 AM-4 PM to learn more about Morgan Heights and other topics!

For more about the history of TB, and to see our sources for this blog post, please check out the articles linked below.

History of Tuberculosis

The Great White Plague: The Culture of Death and the Tuberculosis Sanatorium by Richard                      Sucre

The Sanatorium Movement in America by Caroline Luce: part of an extraordinary website,                         The White Plague in the City of Angelsabout TB in Los Angeles

The Forgotten Plague: Information on the PBS documentary

TB Timeline

Did You Know?: Facts about TB’s effect on the United States

Is An Old Tuberculosis Sanatorium Haunted? by Miriam Moeller: a Marquette Mining                                 Journal article about Morgan Heights

Access to Patient Records

Breakthrough for Medical Genealogy by Judy Russell of the Legal Genealogist blog: article                        on the 2013 changes in HIPAA

Treasure in TB Patient Records by Jess of the Genie Roadtrip blog

Written by Annika Peterson

Collection Spotlight: Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd papers

Yesterday, for the first time in months, I got a chance to actually process a collection!

The collection I processed, MSS-356, is the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd papers. Good Shepherd was a parish in Saint Ignace, MI. It opened in 1882 and closed in 2011 due to low attendance.  The contents of the collection span almost the entire history of the parish: 1890-2011!

It mainly consists of ledgers documenting events at the parish: baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals. There are also registers of parishioners and guests beginning in 1890 and ending in 1967. There are financial records from the altar guild, records of donations, and a survey of the land held by the parish in 2008. Finally, there is a prayer book from 1929. A few of the ledgers are from Saint Andrew’s Church in Moran, MI and an Episcopal Mission in Chippewa County, MI.

The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on Prospect Street in St. Ignace. The building is 127 years old, and was moved to its current location in 1889.

Image Source: Saint Ignace News

We have several other collections related to the Episcopal church for those interested in the history of the Episcopal church in the UP or in religious history more broadly (or in ancestors who attended Episcopal churches!). There is a small collection of parish registers from Saint Stephen’s in DeTour Village, MI. Our collection from Saint Paul’s in Marquette is much more vast. It includes the typical parish registers but also contains histories of the parish, records and photographs from various bishops, financial records, records from clubs within the parish, and annual reports and minutes.

The collection that would perhaps be of most interest, however, is our collection from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan. It includes newsletters and newspapers from the 1970s to the present, audio and video of synods and camps, records from the annual diocesan convention starting in 1893, bishops’ correspondence, a history of the diocese, several boxes of photographs, financial and property records, a few scattered registers from around the UP, and records from clubs, committees, and commissions within the diocese.

About a year ago, we received the personal papers of Thomas K. Ray, the last bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan. His papers are due to be processed in the fall, so you can look forward to another addition to our vast number of Episcopal church sources!

Interested in seeing any of these collections? Stop by the archives anytime during our new summer hours, 10 AM-4 PM Monday through Friday.

Written by Annika Peterson

City of Ishpeming Records: Local Ordinances

While the 1888 charter for the city of Ishpeming gave shape to the city government, the ordinances were the rules of everyday life in Ishpeming. Some of them were shaped by factors present in that time and place. For example: “No person or persons shall transport upon or within any vehicle, sleigh, sled or in any other manner whatsoever, any nitro-glycerine in any quantity whatsoever through those parts of the city of Ishpeming contained within the following described limits, to wit: The original plat of said city, the plat of Robert Nelson’s addition to said city, the plat of the excelsior Iron company’s addition to said city and the plat of the Cleveland Iron Mining company’s addition to said city at any time whatsoever either during the day or night.” For most cities of that time, nitro-glycerine wasn’t even an issue, but Ishpeming was a mining town and the mines used nitro-glycerine for blasting.

There were ordinances relating to behavior, particularly bad behavior. “Any person who shall be drunk or in a state of intoxication, in any street or public house within the city, or in any private house, to the annoyance of any person shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars.” This ordinance was well used throughout the years, as drunk & disorderly arrests were always the most numerous in the monthly police reports. Another ordinance on behavior stated “Any person who shall be guilty of racing with immoderately riding or driving any horse, mare, gelding or mule within the limits of the city of Ishpeming shall, on conviction thereof, pay a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars.” Even in 1888, there was reckless driving!

Fire was an ever present danger and there are plenty of ordinances related to it. Fire wardens were tasked with inspecting houses and other structures to look for fire hazards and to remediate the same. Chimneys had their own section and the fire warden had the power to cause them to have to be rebuilt, if they were deemed unsafe. Section 4 stated: “No person shall convey any fire in or through any street, alley, lane or lot, within ten feet of any combustible material, except in some secure pan or vessel, under a penalty of five dollars for each offense.” In addition: “No owner or occupant of any livery or other stable within the city of Ishpeming nor any person in the employment of such owner or occupant, shall use therein any lighted candle or lamp except the same be in some safe and secure lantern under a penalty of ten dollars for each offense.”

Another ordinance set ‘fire limits’ and then proceeded to regulate buildings within the fire limits.  “No person shall erect or place any building or part of any building, within said fire limits, except as hereinafter provided, unless the same be constructed in accordance with the following provisions; The outside and party walls of all buildings erected shall be either made of brick, stone or other fire-proof material, or if not made of such fire-proof material, they shall be protected by an outside wall or covering of fire-proof material.”  Another section stated: “No wooden building within said fire limits which may hereafter be partially destroyed by fire or otherwise, shall be repaired unless the damages thereto are less than fifty percent of its value, and if less than fifty percent, no such building shall be repaired in any manner so as to make it larger or to occupy more space than before the injury thereto.” It should be noted that this particular ordinance was adopted in 1877, a mere three years after a disastrous fire in the downtown area of Ishpeming destroyed two city blocks.

“No horses, asses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, swine or geese, shall be permitted to lie, run or be at large in any of the streets of the city of Ishpeming under penalty of not less than fifty cents nor more than ten dollars for each and every offense, to be recovered of the owner or owners.” Milk cows were permitted to run at large in the unplatted part of the city, although monthly pound master reports show that cows were still the most frequently impounded animal. For cows, horses, and sheep, the fine was fifty cents per animal, but for swine it was two dollars and geese cost ten cents per animal. In all cases, the cost of feed was extra and if the animal was left in impoundment for six days, then it could be sold at auction. Modern shelter practices were non-existent and dogs only had five days to languish in impoundment before they were killed.

There was an ordinance pertaining to licenses, describing who needed them and how much they cost. One section stated, “For a license to sell goods or property at auction or public venue there shall be taxes and collected the sum of fifty dollars for one week.” In 2015, that sum would be $1,330.30. Another section; “For a license to carry on the business of crying down the price of goods or property in sale, there shall be taxed and collected the sum of fifty dollars for one week.” Crying down the price is generally considered to be depreciating or under-valuing the price of a good or service.

Many of the sections on licenses dealt with itinerants and were a means to protect the tax-paying businesses of the city from being undercut. One section set forth that if people came to Ishpeming “with the intention of becoming bona fide residents thereof, for the purpose of trading in or selling any goods, wares or merchandise, shall, before commencing the business of trading or selling aforesaid, pay into the city treasury the sum of one hundred dollars as a pledge of their intentions.”

One ordinance prohibited bathing or swimming in Lakes Angeline and Bancroft and a second one kept the purity of the waters of Lake Angeline, as that may have been the city water source at that time.

Railroads had their own ordinance: “Every railway company operating a railway through the city of Ishpeming shall keep one watchman at the crossing of its road over Main Street and one watchman at its crossing over First Street in said city, constantly from eight o’clock in the forenoon until 7 o’clock in the evening of each day in the year.” The Pine Street crossing however, only needed watchmen “from the first day of May to the 15th day of November, or from the opening to the close of navigation in each year.” Trains and rail cars could not exceed a speed of six miles an hour going over the First, Main, Pine, Lake or Third Street crossings and could not block traffic at those crossings for more than five minutes. It is interesting to note that the train depot was between First and Second Streets, and that while neither First nor Third Streets could be blocked, there was no such provision for Second Street.

Finally, “No person or persons shall drive any horse or other animal on any street in the city of Ishpeming attached to a sleigh or sled without have to the harness of such horse or other animal a string of at least three good sleigh bells.” There was no such ordinance for the summer time, as presumably wagons made enough noise to alert pedestrians to their presence while sleighs did not.

For a better look at the 1888 City Charter and Ordinances, come to the archives. We also have a small book with amendments to the city charter dated from 1897.


Written by Karen Kasper