National Park visitors in the U.P. get in free and celebrate history

National Park visitors in the U.P. get in free and celebrate history

COPPER COUNTRY — The National Park Service turns 99 today.

When the National Park Service was formed 99 years ago, the Quincy Mine Hoist was bustling with activity. Today, the site is still pretty busy…but as part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park.

The park staff work hard to educate people about the history of copper mining in the area.

Park Ranger Kristen Hiske said, “People can drive down US-41 and see the ruins but to really understand their purpose and their significance, this helps people to appreciate the Upper Peninsula and appreciate this area and why it is the way it is today.”

A Park Open House was held with activities at both the Mine Hoist in Hancock and the Visitor’s Center in Calumet. Those activities included live music, hands-on projects for kids…and tours through the mine.

Kalamazoo resident Brad Schmitz was visiting the mine while on his way to Copper Harbor, “My friend went to school at Michigan Tech and he told me he went to the mine and how cool it was to go down into the mine. We drove by, we saw it here, we stopped and we said ‘Let’s do it’!”

This is just a prelude to the big celebration in 2016. Next year, the National Park Service turns 100, and events will be held throughout the year to mark the occasion.