Company and Community: Copper Mining on Lake Superior
Social critics have blamed Americans for homogenizing our culture. When travelers leave the interstates and head down the smaller highways and byways, they can still find curious survivals, pockets of culture rendered unique, colorful, and interesting by their setting and story. Many of the people in Keweenaw work for Michigan Technological University. The fact that Keweenaw was held as the world's largest deposit of native copper made this place so unusual. Located on the western end of Upper Michigan, Keweenaw is a narrow, jagged finger of land about 70 miles long. It extends northeastward into Lake Superior, the greatest body of fresh water in the world. The Lake Superior basin provided almost all the copper used by prehistoric American Indians in the eastern portion of the United States. This copper urged the rise of an industry whose fortunes were tied back to the copper.
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