Gilchrist honors local historic preservation project

Keweenaw Time Traveler awarded

Courtesy of Lt. Gov. Gilchrist’s office The Keweenaw Time Traveler project was honored Thursday at the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation ceremony in Lansing.

LANSING, Mich. — Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II awarded four Michigan preservation projects for the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation during a ceremony hosted by the State Historic Preservation Office on Thursday. Communities represented by the projects include the Keweenaw Peninsula, along with the Hiawatha National Forest region, Inkster and Ludington.

The local recipient, the Keweenaw Time Traveler, launched in 2017 as a digital online atlas of Michigan’s Copper Country. The project digitally connects over 2,000 archival maps with historical data sets, including building data, censuses, city directories, and school and mining company employment records.

The official awardees from the Time Traveler project are Michigan Technological University, Department of Social Sciences and Geospatial Research Facility; Michigan Technological University Archives; Monte Consulting; Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw; Keweenaw County Historical Society; and Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission.

Led by Tech researchers and students, the effort brings together the efforts of residents and several local and regional heritage organizations. “Citizen Historians” helped to develop the look and feel of the online digital atlas. The project has mapped and linked the homes and schools for every resident of the region from 1870-1940, connecting these with oral histories and building inventory records for every structure from this period.

Since its inception, the project has included a deeply integrated public engagement program, which includes in-person programming at local festivals, schools, senior living facilities, public libraries, and with many of the heritage sites throughout the region. The online version of the atlas brings Keweenaw history to curious minds around the world. The Keweenaw Time Traveler is leading the way in fostering conversations about how this region’s industrial past continues to affect lives and identities today.

“The Time Traveler is a very valuable resource to people who move to the community or want to research the local area,” said Rep. Greg Markkanen (110th District). “I’ve searched my own address on the deep map app; there’s a lot to be gained from the interactive and educational tools.”

The other projects include the stewardship of the Hiawatha National Forest lighthouses in Alger, Delta and Schoolcraft counties, the rehabilitation and archaeological documentation of the Malcolm X House, Inkster, Wayne County, and earning National Register designation for East Ludington Avenue homes in Ludington, Mason County.

“It’s an honor to recognize this group of outstanding historic preservation achievements,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. “Today’s honorees represent the rich diversity of our communities, our inclusive heritage and the welcoming culture that has long defined us in Michigan. Across our two peninsulas, these historic sites are critical pieces of the fabric that make us who we are as Michiganders.”

Now in its 21st year, the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation program, held annually during National Historic Preservation Month, was created by SHPO to celebrate outstanding historic preservation achievements that reflect a commitment to the preservation of Michigan’s unique character and the many archaeological sites and historic places that represent our rich past. This year’s event took place in Heritage Hall at the Michigan State Capitol.

“Each May, SHPO has the distinct honor to help recognize the exemplary historic preservation work being done by groups and individuals across Michigan through the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation program,” said Ryan Schumaker, State Historic Preservation Officer. “The four projects receiving awards today demonstrate a deep commitment to highlighting and preserving sites that are important in telling a more complete history of all peoples who have called Michigan their home.”


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