June 2, 2021 Program Info:
"Michigan Copper" presented by James Hird
by Yury Kalish, MSDC Vice President
Our speaker in June will be James Hird. Jim got to know Michigan Copper Country while working on his engineering degree at Michigan Technological University (“Michigan Tech”) in Houghton.
Jim spent most of his professional career in West Virginia and is active in the Kanawha Rock and Gem Club out of Charleston, WV. Jim often returns to Northern Michigan to visit his son’s family, collect minerals during Keweenaw Week, and ride snowmobiles. Jim’s life story, in his own words, is published later in this newsletter.
Jim’s presentation is devoted to Michigan copper and copper minerals. The full title is “The Keweenaw: Its Mines and Minerals, Then and Now.” Keweenaw is a name of the county and peninsula on Lake Superior, at the northern edge of the
Upper Peninsula (“UP”) of Michigan. Copper deposits there were known to, and used by, Native Americans for thousands of years. Modern commercial mining started in the late 18th century (with a full-blown copper boom starting in 1840s), and continued through the 1960s. For that reason, the story of Michigan copper mining is the story of American industrial development.