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Events

DAILY INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS

Living HistoryLiving History Program
Costumed interpreters act as members of the military garrison. Leave the present and join them in the year 1870!
Daily 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM from June 18th through August 19th.

Future Historians
The Michigan Historical Center has Future Historians portray actual girls and boys that lived at Fort Wilkins. They perform daily chores, play historic games and talk to visitors about life at this remote outpost. Times vary each day.
Dates: July 13th-15th, July 26th-28th, August 3rd-5th, August 17th-19th

Copper Harbor Lighthouse Boat Tour
Departing daily from the Copper Harbor Marina 10:00 AM-4:00 PM (every 2 hrs.) and an evening ‘Sunset Cruise’ 7 days a week (per person fee)... More Info.

2016 Summer Programs and Special Events (updated 6/21/16)
All 2016 events will require a State of Michigan Recreation Passport on all vehicles... More Info at www.michigan.gov

Sponsored by the Fort Wilkins Natural History Association and Fort Wilkins Historic State Park – DNR
Please note this year the Programs are in and around the park; watch carefully for times and locations.
All evening programs are held at the Fort Wilkins West Barracks, at 7:30 PM EDST (unless indicated otherwise) Weather Permitting.

MAY
5/30, Monday 10am
Memorial Day Program
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park will host a Memorial Day program on the Fort Wilkins parade grounds to commemorate U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. The program will feature Students from the Copper Harbor School and a special Memorial Day address. Refreshments will be served following the program.

JUNE
 
JULY
7/4 Mon.
July 4th - Declaration of Independence
Join our role players in the reading of the Declaration of Independence. PLEASE NOTE
SPECIAL TIME 2:00 PM held on the Fort Parade Grounds by the Flag Pole.
7/5 Tues.
Keweenaw Goes Ka-Bloom
See the explosion of blooms in the Fort and the Keweenaw with Harvey Desnick, Author of Keweenaw
Wildflowers Blooming Season
.
7/6 Wed.
Life of a Copper Miner
Join Larry Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical President and Author, to answer the question “What exactly did
a miner do underground?".
7/7 Thurs.
1900 Lives
Larry Lankton, Retired Michigan Tech Professor of History and Author of Beyond the Boundaries and Cradle to Grave, will speak about the Human Cost of Mining Copper.
7/8 Fri.
Astronomy in the Fort
Join Joel Kimball, Professor of Physics and Engineering, and Doug McIntosh, local amateur astronomer, on the
Fort Parade Grounds to view the stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes.
PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 10:30 PM. Rain Date Saturday 7/9
7/9 Sat.
History Scavenger Hunt Fort Wilkins
See how good you are at the History of Fort Wilkins, led by Shirley and Lee Jackson, West Campground Hosts. PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 3:00 PM at the Picnic Shelter near the Fort Parking Lot.
7/11 Mon.
Archaeology at Fort Wilkins
Since the 1970’s several episodes of archeology have been conducted at Fort Wilkins to support the interpretation and restoration of the Fort. Learn about the archaeology of Fort Wilkins from an illustrated presentation by Patrick Martin, Retired Michigan Tech Professor of Archaeology.
7/12 Tues.
The Life of 19th Century Soldiers
Discussion of a typical soldiers weapons, routine and origins. Robert Holmstrom, Ranger at the Keweenaw National Park Service, will emphasize the fifth regiment, which was stationed at Fort Wilkins.
7/13 Wed.
Missing in the Copper Country
Accompany Lynette Webber, Ranger from the Keweenaw National Park Service, in a visual study of change overtime in the Copper Country.
7/14 Thurs.
Wait…Did you Say the Keweenaw is a Billion Years Old?
Join Geologist and Geoheritage Specialist, Erika Vye, as she discusses the geological process that formed the Keweenaw over the past billion years.
7/15 Fri.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
7/16 Sat.
Bats – Creatures of the Night
Join Lee Jackson, West Campground Host, in learning about bats and to build a Bat House.
7/19 Tues.
Agate Walk
Come for a walk to look for agates with West Campground Hosts, Shirley and Lee Jackson. Please meet in the West Barracks.
7/20 Wed.
From Flintlock to Cartridge – The Guns of Fort Wilkins
Learn mechanics, origins and see Civil War Firearms with a presentation by Jim Billings, Historian, Gunsmith, Artist and Owner of Swedes Gift Shop.
7/21 Thurs.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
7/22 Fri.
Keweenaw Goes Ka-Bloom
See the explosion of blooms in the Fort and the Keweenaw with Harvey Desnick, Author of Keweenaw
Wildflowers Blooming Season
.
7/23 Sat.
A Walk Through Fort Wilkins State Parks History
Join Elgie Dow, last child born in Fort Wilkins and President of the Superior Alliance for Independent Living, on a walk through Fort Wilkins State Park. Learn about the Fort and the reconstruction from when Elgie was growing up.
PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 4:00 PM at the Lighthouse Overlook Deck. Sponsored by the Superior Alliance for Independent Living.
7/23 Sat.
Raptors and Mammals of the Upper Peninsula
Come explore the wildlife of Northern Michigan with Tim Burke, US Forest Service Department of Agriculture. Mounts of Michigan’s birds of prey will be shown: owls, falcons, and hawks. Dissect an owl pellet and learn about the mammals of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s life history, what they eat and how they adapt to living ‘up north’.
7/25 Mon.
Crossing the Big Lake to Isle Royale
Come hear stories and see photos with photography by Captain Ben Kilpela, of the Isle Royale Queen IV.
7/26 Tues.
Jacobsville Sandstone Helps Build America
Join Pastor Robert Langseth and learn how the sandstone in Jacobsville contributed to the building of American into what it is today.
SPECIAL EVENT
7/29 Friday, through 7/31 Sunday
Battery D – 32 YEAR ANNIVERSARY- History comes alive at Fort Wilkins. Battery D, 1st Michigan Light Artillery, a Civil War era living history group returns to Fort Wilkins for its 32nd annual weekend encampment. The weekend event will be open to park visitors from 8 AM to 8 PM on Friday and Saturday and 8 AM to 4 PM on Sunday. Battery D will interpret army life of the period, demonstrating artillery and small arms drills, period cooking and soldiers’ pastimes.

AUGUST
5/30, Mon.
Copper as Cargo
Masses, and Barrels of Native, Stamped and Kiln Copper were transported from our local mines to Detroit,Cleveland and New York in 1840-1860’s. What were the ships? How much did they carry? What historical events occurred with the ships? Did any go aground or sink? Join Barb Koski, Retired Extension Home Economist, as she shares the resources that tell of the export from the docks of Copper Harbor, Eagle River and Eagle Harbor.

8/2 Tues.
Wild Berry Jam Making
Join Barb Koski, Retired Extension Home Economist, in showing you the safe way to make jam outdoors and how it should be stored. Then enjoy Bread on a Stick with the jam that was made. Please meet at the West Campgrounds Day Use Area across from Site 161 and 142.
8/3 Wed.
From Flintlock to Cartridge – The Guns of Fort Wilkins
Learn mechanics, origins and see Civil War Firearms with a presentation by Jim Billings, Historian, Gunsmith, Artist and Owner of Swedes Gift Shop.
8/4 Thurs.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
8/5 Fri.
Astronomy in the Fort
Join Joel Kimball, Professor of Physics and Engineering, and Doug McIntosh, local amateur astronomer, on the Fort Parade Grounds to view the stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes.
PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 10:30 PM. Rain Date Saturday 8/6
SPECIAL EVENT
8/6 Sat.
Copperman Triathlon and Duathlon
A 6k run, a 23 mile bike ride and a 5 mile run. The bike route and the 5 mile run will be the same routes as the Triathlon bike and run. This event begins at 8:45 AM at the Fort Wilkins boating access site with the 6k run starting things off. Then the Triathlon ½- mile swim will begin at 9:00 am. Participants will swim tranquil Lake Fanny Hooe, bike along the shores of Lake Superior and run through wilderness on shady roads. The swim is .5 mile (cap mandatory and provided), bike is 23 miles (helmet mandatory – bring your own), and run is 5 miles. Visitors may observe all stages of the event from the Fort Wilkins boating access site. Register at
https://aspiruscopperman.wordpress.com or phone Crystal Holzberger at (906) 337-7000 for more information. Sponsored by Aspirus Keweenaw Memorial Medical Center. Participants must pre-register. Registration is limited to 195 individuals and 50 teams. All registrations are final. No refunds. Entry Fees: Individuals: $70.00 Teams: $160.00 (pricing is the same for the Triathlon and Duathlon).
8/8 Mon.
Crossing the Big Lake to Isle Royale
Come hear stories and see photos with photography by Captain Ben Kilpela, of the Isle Royale Queen IV.
8/9 Tues.
The Life of 19th Century Soldiers
Discussion of a typical soldiers weapons, routine and origins. Robert Holmstrom, Ranger at the Keweenaw National Park Service, will emphasize the fifth regiment, which was stationed at Fort Wilkins.
8/10 Wed.
NATIONAL S’MORES DAY!
Enjoy s’mores, a campfire favorite, in the Day Use Area by the Fort Parking Lot. Then join Joel Kimball, Professor of Physics and Engineering, and Doug McIntosh, local amateur astronomer, on the Fort Parade Grounds to look at stars, passing meteors and much more… Bring a blanket, binoculars and a flashlight to find your way!
PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 8:00 PM for S’MORES and 10:00 PM for the Meteor Watch.
8/11 Thurs.
Step into the Woods
Take a Nature Walk with Naomi Haycock, Campground Host, as she points out our local berries and interesting plants. Walk begins at Site 120 in the West Campground.
8/12 Fri.
Astronomy in the Fort
Join Joel Kimball, Professor of Physics and Engineering, and Doug McIntosh, local amateur astronomer, on the Fort Parade Grounds to view the stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes.
PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 10:30 PM. Rain Date Saturday 8/13
8/13 Sat.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
8/15 Mon.
The Shipwreck Story of the City of Bangor
Mark Rowe, Trustee and Maritime Chairmen of the Keweenaw County Historical Society, will speak about the Shipwreck of the City of Bangor.
8/16 Tues.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
8/17 Wed.
Gold Medal Heroes of the Shipwreck – L.C. Waldo
Mark Rowe, Trustee and Maritime Chairmen of the Keweenaw County Historical Society, will speak about the two lifesaving crews that were awarded gold medals for their heroic efforts.
8/18 Thurs.
Discover the Game of Geocaching and How It Can Help Guide You in Your Exploration of the Keweenaw and Beyond
Join Ranger, David Wicklesse, from the Keweenaw National Park Service, for an introduction to this GPS based scavenger and short hike to find nearby cash. Please meet at the Lighthouse Overlook Deck. Handheld GPS’s will be available.
8/19 Fri.
Wait…Did you Say the Keweenaw is a Billion Years Old?
Join Geologist and Geoheritage Specialist, Erika Vye, as she discusses the geological process that formed the Keweenaw over the past billion years.
8/20 Sat.
Wander and Wonder Fort Wilkins
Have you been wondering what flowers are blooming around the park? What animals are chirping, singing, or hooting around you? Join Naturalist Dorothy McLeer from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and get to know your plant and animal neighbors as we look up, down, and all around on this serendipitous stroll when the day shift gives way to the night. If you have binoculars, please bring them! We’ll begin and end our walk at the Lighthouse Overlook Deck across the road from the Fort. In the event of rain, Dorothy will present an indoor program in the West Barracks.
8/25 Thurs.
Step into the Woods
Take a Nature Walk with Naomi Haycock, Campground Host, as she points out our local berries and interesting plants. Walk begins at Site 120 in the West Campground.
8/26 Fri.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
8/30 Tues.
Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide
Join Tom Wright, Lead Guide and Facilities Supervisor from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, for a presentation on “Exploring the Keweenaw; Let Geoheritage Be Your Guide”. Learn more about what makes the Keweenaw such a unique place geologically, historically and culturally, as well as the Copper Country’s contribution to our nation’s development.
SEPTEMBER
SPECIAL EVENT
9/17 Sat.
10th Annual Geocaching in the Keweenaw
Registration is at 9:00 AM at the Picnic Shelter near the Fort Parking Lot, where you can pick up your Geocaching List. Following the event there will be a bonfire and a hot dog luncheon at the Picnic Shelter near the Fort Parking Lot. PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 2:30 PM. For more information telephone Fort Wilkins Historic State Park at (906) 289-4215.

 

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