Tag Archives: Marquette

An aside: Beauty in Small Places: Phil and the Archives

When I first heard of archival work, my first thought was of small rooms with many papers and a lot of dust. I never thought that I would work in an archives. I had only had one experience with archival work before I came to work at the Central UP and NMU Archives. It was for a history project where I had to do some research that couldn’t just be Googled. I went to the Marquette Regional History Museum and was amazed at all the information they had, and that we were even allowed to handle the documents. Now I work in an archives, and even though it can be small and dusty, I still am amazed at how beautiful some of the materials can be.


For example, these books are records from the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, and from a distance they look worn and ragged. However as you get closer, you begin to see the intricate design on the side of the pages.



There are other beautiful books as well, such as these Declaration of Intentions which are used in the process of becoming a citizen of the United States. Even the inside of the books contain beautiful handwriting.


Before working at the Archives, I never would have thought that archives were beautiful, and mostly ours is not, but our documents help it to be. This reminds me of our good friend Phil Niemisto, the Marquette icon, who recently passed away. You could find Phil downtown Marquette washing windows or taking care of the pocket park that has been renamed in his honor. I know I’ve passed him on the street more than once. Phil didn’t ask for attention, but was dedicated to taking care of our city. He was once called “The self-appointed maintenance man for downtown Marquette” Phil helped make Marquette beautiful, not just because he existed, but because of what he did. Just like these books help to make our archives beautiful, not just by existing, but by bringing knowledge to whoever needs it.


(photo taken by Cecilia Brown of the Mining Journal) http://www.miningjournal.net/news/front-page-news/2018/02/remembering-phil/

We will be open from 10-5pm during the week of spring break, so come on in! (This post was written by Eliza Compton, arrangement and description specialist).


Event/Collection Feature: UP 200 race and records

As many of you may know, the annual UP200 sled dog race occurred this past weekend! Nice job to all of the racers out there. Some of you may not know that the “UP 200” is a larger event encompassing more than just that sled dog race. A silent auction starts off the festivities and was held from Wednesday-Sunday of last week. On Thursday, the pre-race banquet and bib draw was held, which determines the starting order of mushers. On Friday the vet check takes place, which is followed by the Musher’s Brunch (mandatory for mushers). Finally, the opening ceremony occurs and then the UP 200 race begins! The UP200 race is 230 miles in length and mushers race with 12-dog teams. The race began at 7:00 pm on Friday night off Washington Street.


Racers get ready by the start of the UP200 race in 1997. Note the price of gas!

Shortly after the last racer has started for the UP200 race, the second race kicks off. This race is the Midnight Run race, which is 90 miles in length, and mushers race with 8-dog teams. On Saturday, the third race begins – the Jack Pine 30 Race. This race begins in Gwinn, is 26 miles in length, and mushers race 6-dog teams. Later on Saturday the Dog Dayz Art Show occurs, featuring kindergarten through eighth grade artists’ winter and dog-sledding themed art. UP200 racers finish the face at Lower Harbor in Marquette on Sunday, and the ceremony completes with the awards ceremony breakfast on Monday (8:00 AM this morning).


The start of the UP 200 race from 1995. Plenty of snow!

As a large community event in Marquette, I thought I’d take the chance to look back and see what records we have on UP 200 races from years past. At the Archives we have a collection of records called the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association Records (MSS-196) spanning from 1990-2015. The collection is split into three categories: internal documents, arts and crafts, and media and advertising. A large portion of the collection is comprised of newspaper clippings, as the races are sponsored in part by the Mining Journal. There are also two boxes of photographs and two large scrapbooks to peruse!


A musher racing in 1995.

Below are more photographs from past years for you to enjoy!


Children volunteering in 1997.


Looking down the start line in 1998!


A musher races in the Midnight Race in 2007


Dogs at the end of the Midnight Run in 2011! Slightly frosty. 

Make sure to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful winter season in the UP or wherever you’re reading from! Come into the Archives to view these pictures and hundreds more in this collection. Our hours are 10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and from 10:00 am-7:00 pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

(This post was written by senior student assistant Stefan Nelson).



Native American Student Association’s Annual Pow Wows

Last week, NMU hosted its 24th annual “Learning to Walk Together” traditional Pow Wow. The Pow wow starts off with the grand entry and flag song, followed by the veterans’ honor song. The Pow wows also consist of a variety of male and female traditional dances such as jingle dress and grass dance, as well as social dances such as the inter-tribal, round dance and two-step. Accompanied by songs and other performances. Crafts, reference materials, and food can all be found at the artisan and vendor booths as well.

The archives has many photographs and articles related to the pow wow over the years. Here are some photographs:


Photo of a tribe member dancing from the 1994 pow wow


Photo of a tribe member from the 1993 pow wow


Photo of a tribe member from the 1993 pow wow


Written by Libby Serra