A Visit from the National Park Service
The week after close of excavations consisted of three more visits to the site. The first visit was to finish some drawings of the excavations (especially the large wood beam from the post, “Defining the Beam”). The second was to give a tour to the Keweenaw National Historic Park and their Advisory Commission. The third was to document a possible wood floor found to the south of the wash house (covered in tomorrow’s post).
The Cliff Mine Archaeology Project is partially funded through grant money given to us from the KNHP Advisory Commission. The grant money is for assisting groups and site owners dedicated to telling the story of copper mining in the area. We fit the bill so they’ve kindly awarded us funds for two years running now to work at the Cliff. As part of the grant’s stipulations, the work must be available to the public. We meet this goal by offering the public open house tours of the site and also by giving talks about our work to anyone who will have me. So far talks have been given to KNHP, the Ontonagon County Historical Society, Hancock High School, and others.
In order to help the Park and the Advisory Commission understand our progress, we’ve invited them each of the past two years to visit the site and discuss our work. This year they came after work was completed but due to the fact that we postponed the backfilling, they were still able to see the work we accomplished. KNHP’s new Superintendent, Mike Pflaum, had never been to Cliff, so this was a great opportunity to expose him to one of the many ways the Park assists others in bringing the story of copper to the public.
Those from the Park and Advisory Commission were impressed with our work, and lots of future brainstorming and collaboration is hoped to come out of their visit. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for the visit and for the funding. Next year (grant money availability willing) we hope to grow CliffMAP even further.