Local History Documentary:
Copper, Iron & Gold: Upper Michigan's Legacy
They were once booming, bustling communities. Now, many are quiet hamlets, some are even ghost towns. Public TV 13’s documentary tells the story of early mining towns in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—then and now. We discover the history and heritage of copper, iron and gold by visiting communities built by mining and by listening to the stories of the people who forged a living out of the earth for their families, leaving a legacy for many generations to inherit.
Local residents, descendants of early miners and historians remember the past in the Copper Country, the three iron ranges: the Marquette, the Menominee and the Gogebic; and the Soo Locks, which opened the Lake Superior region to the world. Their stories are told through reenactments from Fort Wilkins State Park near Copper Harbor, and Old Victoria near Rockland.
Copper, Iron & Gold includes historical film footage provided by the Ford Motor Company and The National Archives, as well as hundreds of vintage photographs made available by local museums and individuals. The project was inspired by the book Going Back to Central by Lon Emerick, and is also based on writings from other regional authors. Copper, Iron & Gold features original music by White Water, the family band from Amasa, Michigan. The narration is by Public Radio 90 News Director Nicole Walton of Marquette. Various broadcasting students from Northern Michigan University assisted with the project. This is the fifth documentary for Emmy-Award winning producer Sonya Chrisman. Her other programs include Northern at 100: A Century of Memories, Barnes-Hecker: Memories of a Misfortune, One Room, Many Stories: Schoolhouse Memories, Lumberjack Life: U.P. Days of Yore and The U.P. Recalls the War.
Support for this production was made possible by a grant from The Emerick Family Fund, a participating fund of the Marquette Community Foundation. Closed-captioning is made possible by The Lions Clubs of Marquette County.
DVD copies (with special features) of Copper, Iron & Gold are available for $19.95. Click here for information on how to order your copy.