©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ishpeming/Marquette Day Three

I often find it strange how easily we adapt to our surroundings. We’ve only been in the Ishpeming/Marquette area since Sunday but now, mid-week everything feels familiar. We can usually find our way around Ishpeming, Marquette, and Negaunee without the help of the map. With Ishpeming being short on restaurants, we’ve come to recognize the servers at the Country Grill where we’ve been taking our breakfasts and dinners, and they us. Our room at the Best Western is comfortable and is beginning to feel like a home away from home.

We woke this morning to very heavy fog which was predicted to burn off by mid-morning. Based on the prediction, we decided to stick to our predetermined schedule. Our first stop was the Peter White Public Library in Marquette; our only Marquette locations for the day. I had two primary goals at this library – (1) finding the specific item on the microfilm for The Iron Agitator newspaper and (2) finding a book The Early History of a Mining Town: Ishpeming, Michigan, 1852-1920 by Robert D. Dobson.
I had tried to get this book through interlibrary loan last month but was told the few libraries will to lend it would charge for $10 to $30. Since I knew we were making this trip and since WorldCat showed two copies at the Peter White, I decided to wait. It turned out to be a gold mine of information and background material. I’m so glad I found it because its material will be so helpful when I write the Christiansen/Larsen stories. I also found a very nice “picture” book on Marquette.

Now for the big frustration of the day. I have transcriptions listed in Incidents of Mortality In the Marquette Range Iron Mines compiled by Kenneth D. LaFayette from The Iron Agitator of 15 Sep 1883 that states “The engineer Hans Christiansen, of whom we spoke in our last issue as being struck by a fly-wheel at No 2 engine house…”; the key being “in our last issue”. There was no listing for anything form the 08 Sep 1883 issue. Peter White was said to have the microfilm from the Agitator in that time period. The good news is they do have the issue in question; the bad news is the page on which Hans’ accident would have been reported is missing from the microfilm. The issue is there; pages 1,2,3,5,6,7,and 8 are there but the news from Ishpeming always reported on page 4 is not there. (Note, the pages for this issue, and as far as I can see only this issue, are also out of numerical order.) Well, at least, we have an explanation as to why LaFayette didn’t list it in his compilation as I was told he used newspaper microfilm.

On our way back to Ishpeming from Marquette we stopped for lunch at the Midtown Café and Bakery. Not only did I enjoy are nice salad there, when I checked in on Foursquare I became the Mayor and as the new Mayor we got a 20% discount!

Next, we went to the Cliff Shaft Mine museum which was very interesting. Their exhibits include items from many of the mines in the area. The Cliff Shaft Mine was shut down in 1967 and the day they shut down they simply walked away leaving everything in place. The tour with a very knowledgeable docent was quite an experience. If you ever go there, be sure to leave plenty of time to take in everything available.
Our last stop for the day was the Ishpeming Carnegie Library. This is the only Carnegie Library building in the Country still being used for its original purpose. I had two goals there as well but, alas, came up empty this time.

Now it’s time for me to work on getting the camera and Flip-Pal photos into the computer.

~ Becky

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