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Press and Reader Reviews

Authors Dave Engel and Gerry Mantel in downtown Calumet, Michigan

 

Is it a coffee table book?

That’s what they want to know down at Shute’s according to editors Gerry Mantel and Dave Engel, who have become regular visitors to the historic tavern adjacent to the famous Calumet Theatre.

“The book has over a hundred photos and it’s printed on glossy paper,” says Engel of Calumet: Copper Country Metropolis. “So it has that ‘coffee table’ spirit and you thus would be proud to set your cup on it.”

The days of glory (1898-1913) in the “world's largest mining camp,” now being refurbished as part of Keweenaw National Historic Park, are relived through text from the original Calumet News and contemporaneous photographs from private collections and public sources including Michigan Technological University, Finlandia University, and the aforementioned National Park.

The result makes it clear that Calumet was truly the Copper Country Metropolis with a storied past quite unrivaled in the Midwest and where Fifth Street seemed like the center of the universe.

Co-author Gerry Mantel, a Detroit native, is proud to be a hereditary son of the Keweenaw Peninsula. His mother’s family came from Finland to Calumet before moving on to nearby Pequaming. His father’s family came to Calumet from the Balkans, finally anchoring in the Mesabi Iron Range of Minnesota.

Mantel’s frequent sojourns in the Upper Peninsula, including a four-year stint at Michigan Tech, “didn’t do anything to dampen the spirit,” he said. “Calumet has always intrigued me. There are yet so many reminders that this was once a bustling place.”

This book, said Mantel, “presents a well-rounded view of life-in-motion and people in action, seeking out every local nook-and-cranny imaginable. It would appeal not only to those with Copper Country ancestry but also to serious students, armchair historians, and tourists as well.”

Engel of Rudolph, WI, whose great-grandfather homesteaded near Hermansville, MI, has published several books about his home area. But he’s always quick to add how much he “really likes those old mining communities, up north . . . .”

Photo of Dave Engel and Gerry Mantel by Steve Neavling

   

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Press and Reader Reviews

DON’T YOU DARE MISS OUR
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DON’T YOU DARE MISS OUR
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