Monthly Archives: September 2016

Look Who’s At the Archives!

Please welcome our two new Student Assistants!  This semester we have added Grace Menter and Libby Serra to our Archives family and we are all very excited to have them here.  Following tradition, we have invited them to tell you a little about themselves and what brought them to NMU and the Archives.

Grace Menter

Accession Specialist


Grace is a sophomore studying History and Public History.  She is originally from a small town in Michigan outside of Ann Arbor, called Chelsea. Grace chose NMU because she loves the outdoors and going on adventures with her friends. Her interest in history arose when she took Advanced Placement U.S. History in high school and absolutely fell in love with everything about John Adams. Working at the NMU Archives is her dream job, since her major is History. In her spare time, Grace loves to watch documentaries, and Netflix in general; read books, like the Song of Ice and Fire series; and most especially she loves her cat, whose name is Tormund, after a character in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Grace’s favorite food is chocolate, as is typical for any girl her age, though her love for cats outweighs chocolate by a lot. If she could feasibly adopt all of the cats she wants, then she would need a much bigger apartment. But for now, she will continue to love her cat Tormund and keep on studying history.

Libby Serra

Digitization Specialist


Libby is a sophomore and a Digital Cinema major.  She is from the Chicago area.  Libby chose NMU because she loves hiking and all things outdoors.  Plus, the art programs are really cool! She loves making videos with her friends and finally decided to put all that to use here at NMU. She decided to apply to the Archives because she has had an extensive background in library work as well as computer programs. She loves watching documentaries, reading, listening and discovering new music, and enjoys going on scuba diving trips with her family.

Once again, WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVES, Grace and Libby.

We hope you are as happy to be here as we are to have you.

Written by Glenda Ward


Need a Place to “Waste” Time?

Do you find yourself having free time during your day and absolutely no idea how to spend it?

Well, we can help with that.


Come to the NMU Archives, located in the lower level of the Learning Resources Center in Room 126, and BROWSE.  In the Archives we have a wide and varied selection of materials that are readily available for patrons to look through in our Reading Room and in our Conference Room.  You could also talk to our plants Yogi and Castor or spend some time with the Lone Arranger.

In the Reading Room you will find a collection of books related to the history, peoples, and cultures of NMU and the local area.  On these shelves you will also find copies of the Marquette County Commission meeting minutes and Marquette County Budgets, Harlow’s Wooden Man journals, and the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections.  There is a collection of Polk Directories for Marquette County (1886-2011), mining reports, indexes to the Cleveland-Cliffs materials available at the Archives, NMU Yearbooks from 1910 to 1980, starting with the Olive and Gold in 1910, and school bulletins back to Northern State Normal School’s bulletin from 1901.  Sitting on top of the microfilm cabinets are three large ledgers that contain an index of the court cases in Marquette County from 1852-1981, while we don’t have the actual court case files in the Archives, we do have them in our off-site facility and can have them here for you to view usually within 24-48 hours.


There are microfilm collections of newspapers from cities across the Central Upper Peninsula, including the Mining Journal (1846-2016); Marquette Monthly (1987-2013); NMU newspapers (1919-2013); and the Nishnawbe News (1971-1982).  There are also microfilm collections of materials from the Office of Indian Affairs (1780-1940); Henry Schoolcraft papers (1782-1878); diaries and correspondence of Baptist missionary Abel Bingham and his wife Hannah (1778-1858) and of Methodist minister John H. Pitezel (1824-1889).  In the Reading Room you can also view Cemetery Transcripts (MSS-382) from Marquette, Alger, Mackinac, Schoolcraft, and Luce counties.


Not enough time for books or microfilm?  Then walk on through to our Conference Room and browse the twelve file cabinets you will find there.  These file cabinets contain what we lovingly refer to as “Archivist Files” and are meant to be quick and ready reference material.  These drawers are filled with materials relating to the Central Upper Peninsula (ARCHIV-001); Northern Michigan University (ARCHIV-002); a Vertical File (ARCHIV-003); and a large collection of NMU photographs (ARCHIV-014).  Each of the four collections are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and to make it even easier we labeled the front of each drawer.  (WARNING:  Whatever you do, DO NOT open the boxes sitting on top of the file cabinets…they contain secret information and we may have to keep you here FOREVER if you do!) (Oh, what the heck.  Go ahead – live dangerously!)

The archivist file for the Central Upper Peninsula fills five drawers and covers not only mining, lumbering, railroads, shipping, and tourism; but also, economics and education; churches and organizations; history, ethnic groups, people, places, and war; events, sports, and theater.  Let me not forget controversies, crime, disasters, and mysteries, along with lots of other subjects in between.  The NMU archivist file takes up twelve drawers and covers a wide array of topics all relating to NMU and representing various periods of the University’s history.  You will find information on people, faculty/staff, buildings, administration, and organizations.  Here you will also find files on controversies, mysteries, and tragedies.  Feeling a little nostalgic and want to take a trip to the past, then wander through the files of NMU memorabilia we have compiled.

The materials contained in the three drawers of the Vertical File fall in line with our book collection.  These materials are cataloged and arranged by library standards.  You will find information related to any number of topics from the business and economic history of the Upper Peninsula to politics and government of the Upper Peninsula.  Then look at information on the people, culture, and literature of the Upper Peninsula.  The materials on the history of the Upper Peninsula include information on Native American Indians, emigrants and immigrants, missionaries and explorers, historical sites, as well as, the Upper Peninsula at War and the Holocaust.


You could spend hours looking through the sixteen drawers that contain part of our Photographic collection.  (Yes, sixteen drawers!)  But this is only a small part of the collection, there are approximately another 75 boxes of photographs of NMU and the region in our collection storage area.  The files in the conference room hold pictures of NMU at different times in its history and are of many different subjects.  There are pictures relating to academics, administration, alumni (yes, even famous ones, but then aren’t we all famous), faculty and staff, sports and sporting events, buildings and the campus, and commencements (you can even see the first graduating class at Northern from 1901).  Student life photographs will keep you entertained with the assortment of things that have gone on at NMU, from orientations, to checking into the dorms to married student life and we could never forget the “Mud Festival.”  The Homecoming files will show you events like the “World’s Largest Game of Musical Chairs,” the “World’s Largest Pasty,” and those wonderful homecoming parades.  My favorites are the Events files, they are massive!  Only a portion of what you can see are photos of campus visitors, like Muhammed Ali in 1977; concerts, among them are BB King, BTO, and Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman; performances given by Yakov Smirnoff, Nancy Hauser Dance Co., the American Indian Dance Theatre and many others; and political visitors that include governors, congressmen, representatives, presidents and presidential candidates.  There are also pictures of the many speakers that have come to NMU (and there have been a lot).  To name just a few of the people our students have had the honor to hear we have:  Ansel Adams, Edward Albee, Vernon Bellecourt, Cesar Chavez, Alexander Ginzburg, Dick Gregory, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alex Hailey, Spike Lee, Abbie Hoffman, Elie Wiesel, and Simon Wiesenthal.

Now you have no excuses for not having anything to do before, between, or after classes and during your breaks from work.  Remember this has been just a glimpse into the treasure trove of materials and information readily available to you for browsing, there is oh so much more.  Come to the Archives and find out about things you never knew happened here at NMU or in the Central Upper Peninsula, you might find both areas more interesting than you ever realized.  We would love to have you visit and help us make it through our day.


We are in Room 126 on the Lower Level of the LRC and are open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm and on Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 7pm.  You can also contact us via email at, call us at 906-227-1225.  Follow us on our Facebook page, Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, subscribe to our Blog, The Northern Tradition,and check out our webpage.

You can find additional information on the collections mentioned here, as well as all of our other collections on ArchivesSpace.

Thanks to our two new student assistants, Grace and Libby, for jumping in and being our models today.  More on them next week so stay tuned.

Written by Glenda Ward, Arrangement and Description Specialist

Location Spotlight: Sugarloaf Mountain

As you know, this past weekend was Labor Day weekend. Students, locals, and other tourists will have been enjoying the great outdoors last weekend and this upcoming weekend. Among all the places to enjoy spending time outside, Sugarloaf Mountain is arguably the most popular in the vicinity. With how close it is to town, the ease of access to people of multiple skill levels, the quick hike time to the top, and its breathtaking views, it’s no wonder the climb is so well-frequented. Do you know the story of the monument at the top? That it had fallen into disregard, was trashy, and mothers even chose not to take their children up Sugarloaf? I’ll fill you in on a bit of the history of the mountain from various documents at the archives.

Sugarloaf Mountain has been a beloved spot to hike since at least 1900, and most likely earlier. One thing that most people probably don’t know much about is the story behind the stone monument at the top of the peak. It was constructed by Boy Scout Troop #1, the first Boy Scout Troop in the nation, in dedication to former member and esteemed friend Bart King. Bart (Alanson Bartlett King) was born in 1894, grew up in Marquette, and was an original member of the Boy Scout Troop #1, which grew up hiking, camping, scouting, and reading maps. Bart was a friend, debater, hard worker, and natural artist, drawing and painting “colorful futuristic designs as well as capturing the familiar faces of those he most admired in warmly penciled illustrations” (Bothwell 2). Bart graduated Northern State Normal School (now NMU) with a Life Certificate in Education by age 20 and taught in Thompson, MI, a “tough U.P. logging town routinely avoided by most college graduates” (Bothwell 2). After teaching and running his one-roomed school for three years, Bart enlisted into the Army along with all the rest of the original Boy Scout Troop #1. He earned the rank of master sergeant and refused further promotion in order to stay with his friends. He fought bravely in France amidst terrible battles and awful conditions in an engineering unit. Sadly, Bart died of pneumonia, the only one from the original troop to not return home. He was nominated for France’s croix de guerre (the War Cross), but did not live to receive it. Upon being brought home by his companions in 1921, he was reburied in Park Cemetery.

Later that summer, Troop #1 met and began the long process of finding rocks and moving them up the mountain, a process that would take through November. In addition to all of the stone, the troop “hauled over 100 bags of sand, 3,000 pounds of cement and lumber, and tons of rock,” where “each day the boys made ten or twelve trips to the summit.” Talk about dedication! Aided by a Marquette stonemason, the boys finished the 12 foot high monument in November of 1921. Although the monument has been buffeted by winter’s winds, had stones chiseled out of it, and has even been struck by lightning, it still stands today as a remembrance and honor to Bart.

This information was all found from an article written by Henry Bothwell, which is in the Rudi Prusok papers (MSS-011). Bart and his memorial are pictured below:


Later, Sugarloaf became an undesirable place to visit. Multiple accounts report large amounts of trash present, vandalism on the rocks at the top, including paint, and young people performing “activities better unseen.” Over these years though, the Exchange Club and the local Boy Scout Troop #1 continued to volunteer and put in innumerable hours to clean and maintain the area. It got to be such a problem that groups like the “Citizens to Save the Superior Shoreline” researched the real owners of the land on which Sugarloaf lies. It was found that the land encompassing Sugarloaf belonged to the Marquette County Road Commission, who didn’t know that they owned it. The job of policing the area was the responsibility of the Marquette Sheriff’s Office, but their office was “unable to cope with the problem.” So, an idea was proposed to form a committee of “ecology-minded citizens, Northern Michigan University students, and Marquette High school groups” to focus on the cleanup of the area. Two NMU students were chosen to help lead a clean-up day event at Sugarloaf Mountain, focusing on picking up every piece of trash present. The results can be seen pictured below:



After this success, groups and individuals have continued to preserve the popular hiking destination. It has returned to its original beauty as shown below. The brass plate has been restored to the monument, and the area is as wonderful as could be. To learn more about this story and others, feel free to stop down and visit us here at the archives! Our open hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 AM-5 PM and Tuesday/Thursday 10 AM-7 PM.

Have a good weekend!


View off of Sugarloaf as of now with Presque Isle in the background. Photo by Stefan Nelson.


Written by Stefan Nelson