MARQUETTE — Several thousand years ago and more, glaciers swept across the Earth and aided in the formation of what we now recognize on a world map. In addition, they carried minerals, ores and other precious metals and settled them in one place or another.
That’s the case for the world’s largest piece of float copper, weighing 28.2 tons. Discovered in Hancock over a decade ago, its owners have let be displayed in Marquette for the past five years.
“I tried to have a donation kind of a campaign,” June Rydholm, wife of the late historian Fred Rydholm, said, “and we raised about $50,000, but the men want $200,000 more. I don’t know if we can put prices on things that are this rare and beautiful.”
Although Rydholm and friends have only collected a portion of the asking price, they’ve caught a few breaks from the owners.
“They have been nice enough to give us extension upon extension,” Rydholm said. “If we could raise that kind of money for them, or even almost approach it, maybe they would figure out a donation for the rest of it.”
The late Fred Rydholm was an historian and a preserver and his wife feels the need to protect the copper to honor his memory, and also for one other glaring reason.
“You’ll never get another 28-ton piece of float copper in this whole planet,” she said.
Even as I was talking with Rydholm, a tourist walked up and offered a little something toward the cause.
Currently, the owners are trying to relocate the copper back to their property in Calument, but as long as it remains solid and in one piece, there’s still enough time to donate and save it.
Rydholm and friends are asking for pledges instead of physical dollars for the time being, but once they reach 75% of their goal, they ask that all pledges be honored. If you would like to donate, you can do so at marquettecountycommunityfoundation.org.