The White Deer Lake Lodge Journal

Sometimes, fascinating historical records are utterly forgotten about until someone stumbles upon them by chance. One such record here at the Archives is the White Deer Lake Lodge Journal. In 1970, Ned Tanner and his family visited Ned’s mother Florence Scanlan Tanner at her camp near Lake Michigamme. They happened to find a ledger book written by Florence’s father, James F. Scanlan, who was the caretaker of the White Deer Lake Lodge in 1908 and 1909. It contained letters from Scanlan to businesses ordering building materials and groceries, to the bank about balances and overdrawn accounts, and to the owners of the camp describing work which he had done. The Tanners were subsequently able to visit the White Deer Lake Lodge and see the buildings which their grandfather had taken care of. Much of the furniture and infrastructure had been constructed during his time there. They even found some of the spare clothes and toiletries for guests which he had bought!
The White Deer Lake Camp was built by Cyrus McCormick II, the founder of International Harvester Corp., and Cyrus Bentley, his attorney, in Marquette County. The “McCormick Tract” of more than 17,000 acres contained three log cabins—one, a gathering space known as the Chimney Cabin, the others, sleeping quarters called the Ladies’ and Men’s Cabins. The land was given to the US Forest Service in 1968 and is now a site for hiking and camping.

Of course, the journal is invaluable to the Tanner family as a record made by their grandfather which describes his daily work activities. However, it also holds great value to others as well. The letters touch many local and distant businesses and the people who were connected to them. They contain data about the cost of goods in the UP during the early 20th century. They show the responsibilities and daily activities of a camp caretaker during the time period and his relationship to his employers and vendors. Much information can be gleaned from the journal on any variety of topics.
It was once common for families to have camps such as this in this region of the UP. Besides caretaker business logs, many kept personal logs which each family member wrote in before leaving. They often recorded a wealth of data about weather, food, and local happenings. Their observations can be extremely helpful for researchers on any number of topics. If anyone has any camp logs, be they family logs or financial records, the Archives would like to know!

blog picTopic found by Glenda Ward, Prepared by Annika Peterson

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This Season in NMU History

Recently, we have been updating the board outside the Archives for spring. It displays pictures of two events which occurred at NMU during April and May. Here is more information about those two events:
Glenn T Seaborg Visits Northern: Glenn T. Seaborg was a Nobel Prize winning chemist who helped discover ten elements and advised ten US Presidents. He also served as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He was born in Ishpeming. To honor him, Northern named the Seaborg Mathematics and Science Center after him. The Center focuses on training prospective teachers and offering workshops for current teachers.
He visited Northern several times, but in April 1998 he came to tour the new Center. His visit included meetings with area teachers and students.

The Mud Festival: In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Mud Festival was put on by the Residence Halls in the spring. It included a variety of events such as an egg throw, sled races, obstacle courses, wheelbarrow races, tug of war, fieldball, and softball. The events occurred in the “mud area”, the space between Payne and Spalding Halls. A Queen of the Mud Festival was also crowned.
The Mud Festival was compared to an older Northern tradition, Rush Day. Originally taking place in December, Rush Day was later transferred to June in the 1920s. It was intended to replace the hazing of first-year students. NMU’s encyclopedia, A Sense of Time, has quite a long entry about Rush Day:

On the appointed day (usually in June) the faculty and students went to Presque Isle Park for a lunch and then a series of games and contests. One event, called the bag tussle, included pushing the large medicine ball filled with hay from one territory to another with opponents seized and tied. The Rush was physically violent and involved kidnapping class officers, but was encouraged by the editors of the Northern Normal News as an important campus tradition. The Rush Day ended with a parade and dance in the evening…

World War II put a halt to Rush Day. In 1946, Northern attempted to revive the tradition. However, A Sense of Time notes that “It was found that most of the juniors were battle-hardened veterans who would destroy the regular seniors.” It was discontinued and never revived.
Come visit the Archives to see the pictures and learn more about these and other events in Northern’s history!

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Student Protests at NMU

Like most of the country, NMU experienced some student protests during the 1960s. However, the largest of the protests was not about Vietnam or other typical protest topics of the time but about the firing of a professor.

Dr. Robert McClellan was hired as a history professor at Northern in 1966. Just prior to the 1967-1968 school year, he was informed that it was his last year at NMU. No specific reasons were given to the public. McClellan protested, and Harden eventually stated that McClellan was fired for four reasons:

1) He had openly criticized the Four Course Plan, a program where each student’s coursework would be entirely standardized.

2) He had advised students that they had a right to sue the university for lower dormitory fees when they arrived in the fall and there was no furniture, water, or electricity in their dorm rooms.

3) He had sent students to interview Marquette residents on their feelings towards the university.

4) He had informed home owners whose homes were going to be appropriated for the expansion of the university of their rights to resist the low prices that the university was giving them.

McClellan was a very popular teacher and many felt that his firing had been unfair. Students reacted to his firing by protesting. Faculty also protested in large numbers and many threatened to resign at the end of the school year if McClellan wasn’t rehired. A Committee for the Defense of Academic Freedom was established. It was essentially a coalition of faculty and students who sought to reinstate McClellan and ensure that faculty would be able to express their opinions on the university and would have a say in its policies. The ACLU also became involved with the case as legal advisors.

“McClellan Week” was an entire week of protesting which included a parade and demonstration through the streets of Marquette, a burning in effigy of Johnson, Harden, and the Board of Control, a fundraising dance, a “Trick-or-Treat for Academic Freedom” on Halloween as a fundraiser for the trial, a sky diver to attract attention, a sound truck to circulate around Marquette and spread messages about the cause, a boycott of classes (many professors had already cancelled classes for the week), a boycott of the Bookstore and the Wildcat Den, a library/read-in day to reestablish academic freedom, a motorcade with signs, information centers to distribute literature about the cause, sending transcripts to other schools suggesting that students would leave en masse if McClellan wasn’t allowed to return, an “eat-in, eat-out” where all students would go to the cafeteria at once and then none would go the next day, a “love-out” on Sugarloaf Mountain, a mock funeral for academic freedom, and a “teach-out” on topics related to academic freedom.

At a night of speeches, professors sarcastically created the Harden Award for Academic Freedom and gave it to the entire student body for its commitment to McClellan’s rights to academic freedom. The newspaper article about the event continues, “Following a speech by Vernon Pierce, speech department instructor, the capacity crowd of 2,200 students moved en masse to Kaye Auditorium where folk singers and popular bands were waiting. Somewhere in between they picked up about 300 more students, as security police estimated 2,500 students were packed into the auditorium, and at one time, according to Duane Staumbaugh, administrative assistant in security, there were as many as 3,000 students roaming the halls of Kaye. Songs of freedom opened the ‘concert’, followed by a variety of selections, speeches and general noise. Rolls of toilet paper and hand towels and stacks of IBM cards were tossed about the auditorium as students chanted, ‘Hey Hey! Ogden J. How many profs did we lose today?’” They then moved from Kaye Hall to the Fieldhouse, where the protest/party continued until 6 AM.

Some of the protests were aimed at trying to get Governor George Romney to respond to the situation. He eventually replied that the university had autonomy and that he would not intervene. The state of Michigan’s legislature also threatened to close Northern if students refused to return to classes. When Jamrich became President, he reinstated McClellan to calm the student body and the faculty. McClellan would later be involved with future protests and controversies on campus.

Currently, the Archives is creating a website about Student Protests at NMU. Look for it in the coming months!


Prepared by Annika Peterson

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The Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company’s Many Businesses

The Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, or CCI, is well-known for its domination of the local iron mining industry and its involvement in related industries such as lumber, furnaces, and railroads. However, it also diversified into a variety of other areas.

Grand Island Forest Preserve was one company operated by CCI. Its annual reports include exact details as to how many of each species were added to the preserve. It described weather conditions and deaths in the populations, sometimes going into detailed stories about how a particular bird or deer died. CCI also owned a fish hatchery which went into similar detail about its fish populations, albeit without describing the deaths of individual fish. One report from the greenhouses describes their desire to raise more carnations and roses as these were the most popular types of flowers and describes which flowers and shrubs were more and less popular. In another report, it is briefly mentioned that CCI also owned a tannery, paper mills, and a hotel. From the Annual Reports, it would seem a very close watch was kept over every aspect of the companies affiliated with CCI.

Notable events were also recorded in the reports. For instance, the Forest Preserve notes that “One of the gamekeepers shot a very fine specimen of albino deer. It is practically a pure albino, large and of a very fine color, with a good set of antlers. The carcass has been sent to Chicago for mounting, and will be added to the collection of curios.

CCI played a large role in shaping the development of towns such as Munising and Gwinn. They tried to control every aspect of the towns, including what businesses were allowed there. For instance, in 1911 the author of the report wrote of Munising “The general welfare of the town appears to be slowly improving. It will take some time and constant effort to eradicate many of the evils of the past. The saloon element still has its influence and many of the business men are afraid to do their part in compelling law enforcement and a general bettering of conditions. The Village Council took matter into their own hands in 1911 and eliminated seven of the less desirable saloons and this work is still to be further pushed in 1912.”

They were also involved in less intrusive charity work. In 1908, they gave money to local fire departments, rented a YMCA building for Munising, and paid to create a playground in Munising. They were also involved in projects such as improving Munising’s streets.

CCI owned a great deal of land, and they were clearly skilled at getting profits from the land in any way that they could think of. Some land was rented as homes, lots, or farms. Other land produced everything from hay, berries, limestone, and timber to game animals and fish.

Perhaps CCI’s most intriguing company was Bellevue Farms. The farm raised sheep, pigs, goats, and sugar beets. However, the cows received the most attention in the Annual Reports, where each was listed by name. Most of the cows had fairly typical bovine names, such as Bessie and Buttercup, but some had names such as Tormentor, Smut, and Tutsie. The reports listed how much milk each cow produced, how much it was fed, its age, and its breed.

These are only a handful of the stories that can be found in the reports. The Archives has digitized many of the CCI records, including the Annual Reports. They can be found online here. More records from the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company can be perused at the Archives.

cows - Copy

Prepared by Annika Peterson

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The Second Most Famous Marquette County Murder?

You have probably heard of the murder of a tavern owner in Big Bay which inspired John Voelker’s famous book Anatomy of a Murder and a later movie of the same name starring James Stewart. But, you may not have heard of another murder case worked by Voelker which was perhaps more widely known at the time of its occurrence.

On October 20, 1936, game warden Andrew Kivela CaseSchmeltz was on patrol duty with a friend. He decided to investigate rumors that he had heard of illegal traps in the area. When he had not returned by dusk, his friend became concerned and reported Schmeltz missing. Police soon arrived to look for Schmeltz, but gave up at midnight as it was too dark to investigate much. As they were leaving, they heard a dynamite blast. Schmeltz’s friend remained in the area and heard two more dynamite blasts that night.

The next morning, two men discovered pieces of flesh, a spine, 2 legs, uniform pieces, underwear, dynamite powder, and bits of scalp and intestine near Pickett’s Lake in Negaunee. They determined that it was, indeed, the missing game warden Andrew Schmeltz who had apparently been murdered and then dynamited in order to destroy evidence of the crime.

Police soon arrested Raymond Kivela for the crime as dynamite found in his house matched the dynamite at the crime scene. Kivela confessed to the crime but claimed that he only shot Schmeltz because he thought that Schmeltz was a partridge. After realizing that he had killed a human being, he dragged the body into the swamp and returned later that to dispose of it using seventy sticks of dynamite.

Investigators suspected that the murder was in fact planned. Schmeltz, the strictest local conservation officer, was known to have enemies among illegal trappers, and Kivela was known to be an illegal trapper with a temper. Eventually, Kivela admitted that he had met Schmeltz in the woods. Schmeltz had inquired as to whether or not Kivela had a permit to carry a gun, and, after learning that he did not, told Kivela that he would have to arrest him. Kivela then struck Schmeltz and shot him twice.

Kivela claimed that he was insane at the time of the murder, but the court was not convinced. He was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. There, his mental health deteriorated and he was found to be a schizophrenic. Years later, he claimed that he only tearfully confessed because he was too drunk to realize the implications of what he was saying and that he did not really commit the murder. As an old man in a mental hospital, he seemed unaware of why he had ever been imprisoned at all.

The sensationalistic nature of the case meant that articles about it appeared across the country in places as far away as Louisiana, Missouri, and New York City. Many compared it to a Marquette County murder ten years previous of two game wardens who had been killed by a man angry at his arrest for illegally shooting a deer. Their bodies had been attached to bricks and thrown into Lake Superior, where they were later found.

Prepared by Annika Peterson

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UFOs and Computerized Dating: Newspaper Topics at NMU in the Mid-1960s

Throughout the northwind logoyears, the student newspaper creates a picture of what the times were like for both NMU students and the country in general. While looking for the article in the microfilm records from the mid-1960s, we ran across some other fascinating incidents from the time period and thought that we would share them with you.

Many of the concerns of Northern’s students at the time were about issues at a national scale. The newspapers featured many satirical articles about current events, especially political campaigns and Vietnam. Whether or not eighteen year olds should be given the right to vote was a topic that the newspapers covered heavily, often using the famous argument that if an eighteen year old could fight for their country in Vietnam then they should have the right to elect their representatives. As one might predict, the tone of the newspaper suggests that most students supported the enfranchisement of eighteen year olds.

The ads and articles run in the newspaper also reflect the topics which NMU students were interested in during the 1960s. For instance, there were advertisements about a recorded lecture which Northern students could purchase that discussed the topic of whether or not putting LSD in sugar cubes would spoil the taste of coffee. The ad urged students to “Know the Truth” and “Hear the Facts” and also promised to discuss the “Five Levels of Consciousness Expansion”. There were also advertisements for a book entitled “1001 Ways to Beat the Draft”. One article at the time questioned whether or not the “Beatles cult” had become a religion.

Another topic of interest in Northern’s newspaper in 1966 and 1967 involved something created at MIT and Harvard—the Contact computerized dating program.  Phi Alpha Gamma, an honorary journalism fraternity at the time, offered to give students a questionnaire which would then be run through a computer named Eros that would give them their best dating match across campus. It could even be expanded to tell them their best date in the entire country. The article advertised that this process cost only $3 and encouraged students to apply now and “avoid the Christmas rush”. In January of 1967, another article was run on the same topic stating that because such interest had been shown in the program, there would now be a “computer dance” later that month for students to attend with their dates.

The Northern News also featured dramatic incidents such as UFO sightings. In October of 1966, one front page article stated that “three NMU students on their way for a midnight pizza Wednesday spotted a flashing triangular shaped object high in the sky above the Olson Library”. They reportedly watched the objects for over an hour with “awe and disbelief”. A security officer passing by them also saw the lights. The students contacted another NMU student who was a member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena and he informed them that no star, constellation, or any other space object was supposed to be in that location. The newspaper even featured a depiction of what the lights supposedly looked like.

This is only a limited snippet of what the NMU newspapers of the mid-1960s discussed. By simply browsing through any era of the newspaper, curious, fascinating, and informative stories can be stumbled upon.

Prepared by Annika Peterson

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Collection Spotlight: The Henry Schoolcraft Papers

HenryRSchoolcraft1855Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born in New York in 1793. In 1820, he went on an expedition with Lewis Cass in the Lake Superior area. Schoolcraft County in the Upper Peninsula is named for him for this reason. Besides his voyages around the Great Lakes, he also went on expeditions in the Ozark Mountains and the Northwest Territory, where he served as a mineralogist and geologist. He also led an expedition which uncovered the source of the Mississippi River.

Schoolcraft was also a glass manufacturer, an ethnologist, and a member of Michigan’s legislative council. He was the Michigan superintendent of Indian Affairs and wrote many works about different Native American groups, especially the Iroquois. He often wrote about Native American history, language, mythology, maxims, religion, and hieroglyphics and writing. He was also concerned with the federal government’s role in Native American issues. Despite his interest in Native American cultures, however, he also sought to westernize them. He was a founder of the Algic Society, a missionary group that sought to convert Native Americans in what was then called the ‘north-west’ (now Minnesota) to Christianity. He is perhaps best known for his six volume work Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. His writings often used various pseudonyms, including Henry R. Colcraft and An Englishman In Search of Amusement. Schoolcraft died in Washington, D.C. in 1864.

We have copies of the Henry Schoolcraft Papers on microfilm at the Archives. The papers include his correspondence, journals, articles, magazines, poetry, books, speeches, government reports, financial records, vocabularies of Native American languages, memoranda, genealogies, lectures, lists, statistics, drawings, calling cards, newspaper clippings, and maps, along with some of his wives’ correspondence and journals. There is also a miscellaneous set of papers created by his father, his father-in-law, his friend Lewis Cass, and Joseph Nicollet’s 1836 journal about a Mississippi River expedition. Other famous people who he corresponded with include Washington Irving and John C. Calhoun.

For a full index of the microfilm, see the Library of Congress finding aid.

Prepared by Annika Peterson

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