Dr. Scarlett has a forthcoming book titled Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and The Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier (University of Tennessee Press 2021), and she being the Project Director for the major grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, Digitizing Hidden and Special Collections and Archives for Michigan Miners at Home and Work: Digitizing, Mapping, and Sharing Employment Records, a project focusing on transcribing, mapping, and record linking 40,000 employee cards from the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company.
Under Drs. Scarlett and Lafreniere, the Keweenaw Time Traveler has continued to grow. We recently received an additional National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Humanities grant which will fund our deep mapping efforts through 2023.
Financial assistance for this project was provided, in part, by the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and is supported through a grant under the National Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
During our current pandemic, we all have had a lot of concerns about how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person. One area we do not know a lot about is how the coronavirus disease is transmitted between school children in their day-to-day lives. To begin to answer these questions, researchers from Michigan Tech's Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab and the Keweenaw Time Traveler project have recently published a paper entitled, Schools as Vectors of Infectious Disease Transmission during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.
Conceptual contact network with schools as primary vectors for disease transmission
This study integrated three types of historical micro-data with a spatially–temporally linked Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) known as the Copper Country Historical Spatial Data Infrastructure (CC-HSDI). The CC-HSDI (also known as the Keweenaw Time Traveler) is built on temporally accurate Sanborn Fire Insurance Plans linking built, social, and environmental variables from 1880 to 1950. The paper utilizes a number of big historical, spatial datasets embedded with the Keweenaw Time Traveler to map and presents a novel model of ways that infectious disease evidently traveled through three schools in Calumet and Laurium during the 1918 influenza pandemic. The study highlights the utility of using historical microdata from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), which is data at the finest, non-aggregated level of precision. Together with HGIS to overcome challenges other studies have had in tracing historical pandemics.
Microdata-generated spatio-temporal patterns of disease transmission in schools during the 1918 pandemic
The results are a quasi-contact tracing method that highlights the key role that schools play as vectors of infectious disease transmission. By utilizing historical big data, like that found in the Keweenaw Time Traveler, we can inform present day models that aim to combat our most infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 and others.
This past week, Drs. Sarah Fayen Scarlett and Don Lafreniere took part in separate presentations, connecting the Copper Country to larger patterns of migration in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Students of Copper Country history are well-acquainted with histories of Cornish, Italian, and Finnish immigrants, but by the early 1900s, the Keweenaw Peninsula hosted many more immigrant groups about which we are still learning. These groups of people lived and worked in our communities which inspire us to research their stories. With immigrant groups arriving from dozens of countries, there is a richness to our history worth researching. Their stories are worth telling.
One such group are the Francophone (French-speaking) immigrants, who came primarily from Quebec, Canada. French-Canadians and other Francophones represented nearly 25% of the entire population of the Copper Country from 1880-1900. Calumet's St. Anne Roman Catholic Church, now the Keweenaw Heritage Center, and Lake Linden's St. Joseph both served as spiritual homes for French Canadian Catholics in the Keweenaw, architectural footprints that testify to their numbers. Where did these people arrive from? What were their lives like in the Copper Country? How did they move about their communities? If they left, where did they move to?
St. Anne Roman Catholic Church (Calumet) and St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Lake Linden, courtesy of the Keweenaw Time Traveler
The Keweenaw Heritage Center and St. Joseph, courtesy of Copper Country Architects
anThe Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab and Keweenaw Time Traveler teams are partners in an international collaborative research project called Three Centuries of Francophone Migration in North America 1640–1940, which unites over 40 researchers in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and Europe to better understand the historical experiences and contemporary relevance of French-speaking people throughout the continent. At Michigan Tech, researchers will use the Keweenaw Time Traveler and other resources to investigate the lives of French-Canadian migrants to the Copper Country, exploring their greater significance in the development of society and industry in the Upper Peninsula.
Dr. Scarlett had the honor of joining a bilingual public program hosted by the Centre De La Francophonie Des Amériques and the Québec Government Offices in Chicago, Boston, and Houston examining 3 centuries of French-Canadians in the United States. For those interested, their page hosts a free, bilingual recording of the program available for viewing. While other presenters gave broader overviews, Dr. Fayen-Scarlett presented a more specific microhistory, focusing on the life of Joseph Grégoire. Grégoire was born in Québec, Canada in 1833 and moved to the Copper Country, setting up a lumber mill and establishing a town named Gregoryville. Gregoryville reflected the anglicization of his family name and was a home for approximately 310 French-Canadians in 1870. Grégoire's influence is still felt in the Copper Country today thanks to his support of the first St. Joseph Church in Lake Linden by donating the necessary lumber for its construction. This first building was later replaced in 1912 by the Jacobsville Sandstone building we recognize today. Some of this research was completed with undergraduate history major Brooke Batterson. Check out the story map she made!
Joseph Grégoire courtesy of Dr. Du Long's Acadian and French Canadian Genealogy (left) and the Gregoryville Sawmill courtesy of Michigan Tech Archives Copper Country Historical Images (right)
Dr. Lafreniere, presented as part the Midis du Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises on the integration of the Francophone Migration project and the Keweenaw Time Traveler's historic spatial databases. Dr. Lafreniere began with an overview of the concept of Deep Mapping, which is a way of studying spatial patterns while also developing rich, spatial narratives through the use of maps, aerial photos, oral interviews, newspaper articles, and letters and journals. By providing this background information, Dr. Lafreniere was able to contextualize the power and research capacity of a historical spatial data infrastructure (HSDI), such as the one powering the Keweenaw Time Traveler.
A Deep Map's consolidation of archival sources courtesy of Dr. Don Lafreniere
The HSDI powering the Keweenaw Time Traveler hosts the records and powers our inquiry into the Francophone migration across North America including census data between the years 1870 and 1940, city directories, enumeration district maps and descriptions, and French Canadian surname dictionaries. Dr. Lafreniere highlighted the challenges of this research such as inconsistent census questions, the anglicization of names (such as Gregory instead of Grégoire), and enumeration/transcription errors. His presentation highlighted the tools we use to face these challenges, explored the indicators of social mobility, and introduced the Francophone Migration Project Portal for those interested in exploring the data.
The Keweenaw Time Traveler Team is honored to share the importance of our region's heritage, and we are pleased and humbled that we may share these stories to national and international audiences. We also want to thank our teammate Gary Spikberg for his research in identifying the French-Canadian diaspora and his efforts in their mapping.
The Keweenaw Time Traveler's Explore App is getting an overhaul—at last! Since we launched in late 2017, the Explore App has been growing. The city directory data already connected to Sanborn Fire Insurance Plans have been joined by business directories and additional color maps. The most exciting growth has come from users adding story points. People add newspaper clips, memories of their families, and students add their historical research. There's even a recent marriage proposal story!
But also a lot of growth has been happening behind the scenes. Faculty, staff, and students in Michigan Tech's Geospatial Research Facility have been developing historical data sets to be mapped. An amazing set of records from the Calumet Schools have been transcribed and mapped. Census records from 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 are almost complete. A set of almost 40,000 Calumet & Hecla employee cards are also being digitized, transcribed, and mapped thanks to a major grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources. Most importantly, the individual names in all of these records are being connected to one another and to residences on the maps so you will be able see connections between people and places over time.
Until now, however, the Explore App has not had the capacity to make these additional historical records available. But thanks to a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and additional funding from the Advisory Commission of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, we are redesigning the Explore App to make more data more accessible to more people. We have teamed up with Monte Consulting in Houghton, a nationally recognized web developer to create a powerful and beautiful new Explore App.
In December 2020, we held the first of several design charrettes to get guidance from users and colleagues. Thanks to all who participated! Your feedback helped us and Monte move forward. Right now, programming is underway and we can't wait to show you an updated version and get more of your ideas. Keep an eye open for announcements in the Spring!
History is about the people who lived it, and archival material has allowed us a glimpse into the lives of early migrants from Quebec, Canada to the Keweenaw. The HESA Lab is a partner in an international collaborative research project called Three Centuries of Francophone Migration in North America 1640–1940, which unites over 40 researchers in Canada, the US, the Caribbean, and Europe to better understand the historical experiences and contemporary relevance of French-speaking people throughout the continent. At Michigan Tech, researchers will use the Keweenaw Time Traveler and other resources to investigate the lives of French-Canadian migrants to the Copper Country explore their greater significance for the development of society and industry in the Upper Peninsula.
Undergraduate history major Brooke Batterson has been learning more about one of the first families to arrive from Québec after industrial mining got underway who settled in a place that came to be known as Gregoryville (near Lake Linden). She has created a Story Map, which provides an immersive experience with historical maps and archival images to explore, as well as stories to read and share.
Sarah Scarlett, assistant professor of history, and Don Lafreniere, associate professor of geography and GIS, in the Social Sciences department, will use the Keweenaw Time Traveler and a combination of spatial and archival datasets to focus specifically on whether French-Canadians were socially mobile as they migrated from Canada to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the period of 1860 to 1940.
Geospatial Research Scientists Ryan Williams and Daniel Lizzadro-McPherson, in collaboration with Dr. Don Lafreniere and Dr. Guy Meadows, presented their work to map historic rates of change along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, at the Lakebed 2030 Tech Surge conference. The event took place in October of 2019 in Traverse City. At the conference, Ryan and Daniel shared the latest technological advancements with Great Lakes communities and businesses, which are reliant on shoreline data to make important decisions that impact everyone living or working along the shore.
“A main component of these land use planning methods is an understanding of the history of shoreline and coastal bluff change over time. This project uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map historic aerial images from 2016, 2009, 1980 and 1938 and used those images to create historic shoreline and bluff line features that could be used to visualize historic coastlines and characterize areas vulnerable to future shoreline change.” (1)
Community Planning groups such as Networks Northwest and Land Information Access Association were in attendance and were aided by the creation of the Community Coastal Resiliency Strategy, and a GIS map and app containing imagery and maps of Great Lakes shorelines, bluff lines, and a 30-year bluff-retreat risk analysis. These groups and more have gained a new tool and insight which can be used to move business, and residential development, forward along Great Lakes shores.
***Financial assistance for this project was provided, in part, by the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Developing the Copper Country Historical Spatial Data Infrastructure (CC-HSDI) (aka Keweenaw Time Traveler) has been an ambitious endeavor, bringing together researchers, students, and the heritage community to build a space-time linked deep map that revolutionizes the way people use historical maps and data. Since work started in 2015, our team has developed data-rich maps for our region between the years 1888-1950, linking different archival records such as city and business directories. In the first three years of the project community member “citizen historians” made over 250,000 classifications and transcriptions in the three builder apps. This data is automatically added to the more than 116,000 building footprints and other records which are available in the Keweenaw Time Traveler Explore app.
Since the beginning of the project we have been committed to community engagement, hosting 10 public design charrettes and introducing users to the Time Traveler at 21 festivals and public events between 2017-18.
Teammates successfully published 2 dissertations, presented over 30 conference papers, and published 11 peer-reviewed papers in interdisciplinary journals which included American Quarterly, Journal of Community Heritage and Society, and Historical Methods.
We are honored to announce that the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities has awarded us a three-year grant to move the CC-HSDI and the Keweenaw Time Traveler to the next phase! Much of the $324,985 awarded will go to support Michigan Tech students who will learn on-the-job skills in historical GIS and geospatial technology applications for public history.
Phase IV of our project has three main goals:
Toward the end of this three-year grant period, we will also offer tools for reproducibility so that other communities might be able to build their own “deep maps.” We plan to host webinars and make freely available the process, procedures, and coding that we used. The Keweenaw Time Traveler has been developed specifically to match the history, landscape, and archival resources here in our community. Other communities will need to tailor their deep maps to their own specific needs and resources. But sharing our process should make the concepts accessible so they can be used to produce rich digital spatial humanities projects that create meaning and context in other locations. These webinars will help other scholars and communities to begin building deep maps that serve their individual needs without having to reinvent the wheel.
This project has made, and is now able to continue making, theoretical and methodological contributions to the fields of historical GIS, spatial humanities, and public history. Phase IV will innovate our platform and methods, and empower others to use deep mapping to study and protect their own cultural heritage. We anticipate that three main groups will immediately benefit from our planned work, being the field of digital spatial humanities, researchers in social, cultural or environmental studies, and residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula whose work with KeTT is a contribution to their own histories.
The Keweenaw Time Traveler is made possible, in part, by our partners in MTU Social Sciences, the Advisory Council of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, and the National Endowment For the Humanities.