Monthly Archives: April 2014

Congratulations, Kacey!

Kacey Lewis, our Digitization Specialist at the Archives, is graduating this semester!
Kacey is going to be attending Museology grad school at the University of Washington in Seattle. She plans to focus in New Technologies and someday hopes to incorporate new technology within exhibition design in order to enhance a visitor’s experience. She also plans to apply to the Fulbright program in the near future in the hopes of going to teach English in another country, preferably Germany.

Her favorite part of working at the Archives is how much she has learned from Marcus and how much he trusts her judgment. She said that another of her favorite parts of working at the Archives is “meeting all of the amazing people that I have worked with. Working with people who are more like your family than co-workers is something really rare and very special.”

I asked some of the people who have worked with Kacey over the years to share some of their favorite memories of her:

Allison Engblom: “I remember the first day I met her she was wearing a black cardigan with a gray scarf and and her hair was in a pony tail. She was sitting next to Kyle on the couch in the reading room. We were all getting trained in together. I came up to sit next to her and…[said], “Hey, I’m Allison.” She gave Kyle the funniest look, like who is this crazy person. We bonded over the fact that I went to an Avenged Sevenfold concert (the original before the drummer died) and she never could… I remember Kacey and Ali hid in boxes in the back and Marcus came back to look at something and they scared him. THAT was funny.” She also remembers “wearing our matching One Direction shirts to work and making everyone be embarrassed to sit by us.”

Savannah Mallo: “I found out that we both shared an undying love for cats. That was a beautiful moment.”

Anne Krohn: “Kacey has always been very helpful and a good mentor to me and I really appreciated that. I can’t really think of a specific memory that stands out. I am just very thankful that she was my mentor because we got along so well. I know she’ll do well in grad school. She’s a hard worker and a passionate person. Kacey is confident, smart and she’s not afraid to stand up for herself and her beliefs. It’s due to these qualities that I know she’ll go far in life and I have confidence that she will accomplish her goals and dreams.”
Everyone here is going to miss Kacey a lot, but we know that she will be successful in grad school and beyond! Congratulations to everyone graduating from Northern this semester!

 

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Prepared by Annika Peterson

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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

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!

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!

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Prepared by Annika Peterson