Mine Towns

Mine Towns

Buildings for Workers in Michigan's Copper Country

Book - 2010
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Chicago Distribution Center
During the nineteenth century, the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan was the site of America’s first mineral land rush as companies hastened to profit from the region’s vast copper deposits. In order to lure workers to such a remote location—and work long hours in dangerous conditions—companies offered not just competitive wages but also helped provide the very infrastructure of town life in the form of affordable housing, schools, health-care facilities, and churches.
 
The first working-class history of domestic life in Copper Country company towns during the boom years of 1890 to 1918, Alison K. Hoagland’s Mine Towns investigates how the architecture of a company town revealed the paternal relationship that existed between company managers and workers—a relationship that both parties turned to their own advantage. The story of Joseph and Antonia Putrich, immigrants from Croatia, punctuates and illustrates the realities of life in a booming company town. While company managers provided housing as a way to develop and control a stable workforce, workers often rejected this domestic ideal and used homes as an economic resource, taking in boarders to help generate further income.
 
Focusing on how the exchange between company managers and a largely immigrant workforce took the form of negotiation rather than a top-down system, Hoagland examines surviving buildings and uses Copper Country’s built environment to map this remarkable connection between a company and its workers at the height of Michigan’s largest land rush.


Book News
Hoagland (History and Historic Preservation, Michigan Technological University) examines working-class domestic life in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula over the two decades from 1890 to 1918. Because of the peninsula's remoteness, mining companies offered housing to lure workers, often building entire towns in the wilderness. Hoagland focuses on the relationship between workers and employers, examining surviving buildings to map the connections between companies and workers, revealing how both sides turned this paternal relationship to their own advantage. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780816665679
0816665672
9780816665662
0816665664
Branch Call Number: 728.09774 HOA
Characteristics: 307 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm

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