(a) FindingsThe Congress finds that—
The oldest and largest lava flow known on Earth is located on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan. This volcanic activity produced the only place on Earth where large scale economically recoverable 97 percent pure native copper is found.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is the only site in the country where prehistoric, aboriginal mining of copper occurred. Artifacts made from this copper by these ancient Indians were traded as far south as present day Alabama.
Copper mining on the Keweenaw Peninsula pioneered deep shaft, hard rock mining, milling, and smelting techniques and advancements in related mining technologies later used throughout the world.
Michigan Technological University, located in the copper district, was established in 1885 to supply the great demand for new technologies and trained engineers requested by the area’s mining operations. Michigan Technological University possesses a wealth of both written and photographic historic documentation of the mining era in its archives.
Michigan’s copper country became a principal magnet to European immigrants during the mid-1800’s and the cultural heritage of these varied nationalities is still preserved in this remarkable ethnic conglomerate.
The corporate-sponsored community planning in Calumet, Michigan, as evidenced in the architecture, municipal design, surnames, foods, and traditions, and the large scale corporate paternalism was unprecedented in American industry and continues to express the heritage of the district.
The entire picture of copper mining on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is best represented by three components: the Village of Calumet, the former Calumet and Hecla Mining Company properties (including the Osceola #13 mine complex), and the former Quincy Mining Company properties. The Village of Calumet best represents the social, ethnic, and commercial themes. Extant Calumet and Hecla buildings best depict corporate paternalism and power, and the themes of extraction and processing are best represented by extant structures of the Quincy Mining Company.
(b) PurposesThe purposes of this subchapter are—
to preserve the nationally significant historical and cultural sites, structures, and districts of a portion of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the State of Michigan for the education, benefit, and inspiration of present and future generations; and