"Do you like 'Whodunnit?' mysteries?" We ask this question of 4th Graders attending Copper TRACES, a program funded by the National Park Foundation as part of its Every Kid in a Park program. Students from the six western counties of the Upper Peninsula visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park for a series of field days, and the hands-on learning connects nicely with educational standards. One of many stations that the kids visit, we conducted 12 workshops over three days and worked with approximately 116 young history detectives.
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: