We use the information housed within the Keweenaw Time Traveler to teach our detectives about interpreting the landscape over time. By using the Sanborn fire insurance plans and a walking tour of Downtown Calumet, these young detectives learn about buildings clearly recognizable on the 1917 map, buildings whose modifications make their histories questionable (unless they search for more clues), and buildings that are lost to time.
For instance, our young Nancy Drews, Hardy Boys, and Sherlock Holmeses learn a great deal just by standing in the parking lot beside the Calumet Visitors Center and seeing how many different buildings used to stand on that spot:
Looking at these maps from different years, we can see changes over time. The 1888 retail spaces are missing from the 1900 map, where we can see a temporary structure. Were they lost to fire? Just based on the map, we have no way of knowing. By 1908, we have the construction of the Y.M.C.A. which became the Calumet High School Athletic Department by 1928. By 1949, the brick structure had disappeared, and today, we have the parking lot.
While looking at different maps enables our young detectives to understand building changes over time, the walking tour offers the chance for critical thinking exercises and interpreting the Village of Calumet itself.
Beginning in a parking lot and walking along Fifth Street, we can ask our detectives questions such as, "Do you think we needed parking lots in 1917?" Such a simple question enables them to think about their classroom lessons on the development of the automobile.
Both the ornamentation on our buildings and the make-up of historic businesses, such as confectioneries and the YMCA, allow us to ask our detectives about the bustling economy that fueled Calumet's early growth. These question and answer sessions allow the detectives to think about how life has changed in 100 years.
While we had the opportunity to spend 30 minutes with each group, we wish we had more time. We had so much fun working with our detectives, and some groups, particularly Ms. Pestka's class from Ontonagon, gave us the opportunity to explore even deeper connections within the landscape! We look forward to the Keweenaw Time Traveler making its appearance in the classroom and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Park Staff and area teachers. See you next year!