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Events

DAILY INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS

Living HistoryLiving History Program
June 13 - August 14
Costumed interpreters act as members of the military garrison• Leave the present and join them in the year 1870! Daily 9:30 AM-4:30 PM from June 13th through August 14th.

Future Historians
July 8th-10th, July 21st-23rd, August 5th-7th, August 12th-14th
The Michigan Historical Center has Future Historians portray actual girls and boys that lived in Fort Wilkins. They perform daily chores, play historic games and talk to visitors about life at this remote outpost. Times vary each day.

Copper Harbor Lighthouse Boat Tour
Lighthouse Boat Departs daily from the Copper Harbor Marina 7 days a week (per person charge). The tours begin Memorial Day weekend, weather permitting... More Info.

EVENTS CALENDAR (updated 7/2/15)
All 2015 events will require a State of Michigan Recreation Passport... More Info

Please note specific locations for each program, bring a lawn chair for your comfort.

MAY
5/25, 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 Saturday, 2pm on the parade grounds by the flag pole
July 4th - Declaration of Independence
Join our role players in the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
7/6 Monday, 7pm at the West Barracks
History Scavenger Hunt Fort Wilkins
See how good you are at the history of Fort Wilkins, led by Shirley Jackson, west campground host.
7/7 Tuesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Keweenaw goes Ka-Bloom
See the explosion of blooms in the Fort and the Keweenaw, Harvey Desnick, author of Keweenaw Wildflowers Blooming Seasons with a power point presentation.
7/8 Wednesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
In search of the Aster House Hotel & the Range Light House Outbuildings
Eric Pomber, graduate student in Industrial Archaeology at Michigan Tech will talk about this year’s archaeological dig on Fort Wilkins property
7/9 Thursday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Three Stories of Immigration to Calumet
Rev. Robert Langseth speaks on three unique stories of immigration ending in Calumet between 1872-1916.
7/10 Friday, 7pm at the West Barracks
The Life of 19th Century US Soldiers
Discover what life was like as a soldier in the 1800’s with Robert Holmstrom, ranger with the National Park Service.
7/11 Saturday, 2pm at Site 121 in the West Campgrounds and 7pm at the West Barracks
Woodcarving and Finnish Culture in a Subsistence Farm in the 1950’s
Pete Olson, ranger from Twin Lakes State Park will talk about growing up on a self-sustaining farm and he will be doing woodcarving
7/11 Saturday, 10pm at the West Barracks (alt. rain date Sunday 7/12)
Star Gazing
As the sky darkens, join Joel Kimball, professor at Gannon University, on the Parade Grounds to view stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes
7/12 Sunday, 7pm at the West Barracks
In search of the Aster House Hotel & the Range Light House Outbuildings
Daniel Trepal, PhD student of Industrial Heritage and Archaeology at Michigan Tech will talk about this year’s archaeological dig on Fort Wilkins property.
7/13 Monday 7pm at the West Campground Host Site #120
Agate Walk
Visit with Shirley & Lee Jackson, take a look at what an agate is and then go for a short hike to find some of your own.
7/14 Tuesday, 7pm at the Picnic Shelter
Bats – Creatures of the Night
Learn about bats and be prepared to build a bat house with Lee Jackson, West Campground Host.
7/15 Wednesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
From Flintlock to Cartridge – The Guns of Fort Wilkins
Presentation by historian, gunsmith, artist and owner of Swedes Gift Shop, Jim Billings. Learn mechanics, origins and see civil war era firearms .
7/16 Thursday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Wait…did you say the Keweenaw is a billion years old?!?!
Learn about the amazing processes that formed the Keweenaw over the past billion years – fire and ice! Program begins with a talk in the West Barracks and will conclude with a short walk to the lake shore to explore the main rock types of the area to learn what their stories tell us about our fascinating past. Erika Vye, PhD candidate with Geological and Mining Engineering & Sciences and George Schafer, seasonal Park Ranger.
7/17 Friday, 10pm at the West Barracks
Astronomy in the Fort
Join Joel Kimball, Professor at Gannon University, on the Parade Grounds to view the stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes.
7/18 Saturday, 4pm at the Picnic Shelter in the Day Use Area
Bear Bumming
Come for a hike with explorer guide Kristin Brusso from McLain State Park to look for Michigan’s black bear. Find out what black bear eat and how he meets his daily food demands.
7/18 Saturday, 6:30pm at the Picnic Shelter in the Day Use Area
I’m not Moosing With you!
Come learn from Kristin Brusso, explorer guide, McLain State Park about the largest member of the deer family! We will also become moose and play some moose-tastic games.
7/18 Saturday, 8:30pm at the Picnic Shelter in the Day Use Area
Going Batty
Bats are good at hiding in the dark! They also have a lot to offer humans! We will learn about bats, play a batty game, and take a short night hike through the woods to test our own senses to try and better understand how bats see! Kristin Brusso, explorer guide from McLain State Park
7/20 Monday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Life as a Michigan Copper Miner
Join Larry Molloy, Keweenaw County Historical Society president and author to answer the question “What exactly did a miner do underground?”
7/21 Tuesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Raptors and Mammals of the Upper Peninsula
Come explore the wildlife of northern Michigan! We will have mounts of Michigan’s birds of prey to include owls, falcons, and hawks. For the BRAVE…dissect an owl pellet or two. Plenty of pelts of the mammals of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and we will talk about their life history, what they eat and how they adapt to living “up north”. Program is very informal and extremely interactive. Tim Burke, US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, working at the Hiawatha National Forest
7/22 Wednesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
A Copper Country Souvenir
Explore the attractions of the Keweenaw with visitors from the past 160 years. Lynette Webber, Ranger with the Natl. Park Service.
7/23 Thursday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Keweenaw goes Ka-Bloom
See the explosion of blooms in the Fort and the Keweenaw, Harvey Desnick, author of Keweenaw Wildflowers Blooming Seasons with a power point presentation

SPECIAL EVENT- 3 DAYS
7/24 Friday, through 7/26 Sunday
Battery D – 31 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 31st annual weekend encampment. The weekend event will be open to park visitors from 8 AM to 8 PM on Fri and Sat 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.

7/27 Monday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Crossing the Big Lake to Isle Royale
With photography of Captain Ben Kilpela, Copper Harbor Ferry Service to Isle Royale, the Isle Royale Queen IV.
7/29 Wednesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
An Immigrant Life in Calumet
Ruth Harmala, ranger with the National Park Service.
7/30 Thursday, 7pm at the West Barracks
My Keweenaw
Gary Bjornrud, professional photographer, shows local and aerial photography depicting changes and seasons in the Keweenaw.
7/31 Friday, 7pm at the West Barracks
What’s going on with our WEATHER???
Meteorologist Matt Zika, from the National Weather Service, will look back at our unusual UP weather.
AUGUST

SPECIAL EVENT
8/1 Saturday at 8:45am
Copperman Triathlon
New this year is the Duathlon which consists of 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 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 Hospital. 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).

8/1 Saturday, 10pm on the Parade Grounds (alt. rain date Sunday 8/2)
Astronomy in the Fort
join Joel Kimball, Professor at Gannon University to view the stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes
8/3 Monday, 7pm at the West Campgrounds Day Use Area across from Site 161 and 142
Wild Berry Jam Making
Barb Koski, retired extension home economist, shows 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 .
8/4 Tuesday, 10am to noon in the East Campgrounds
Trailer Walk
Tin Can Tourists, (an all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club). Selected trailers will welcome people to view their rare Vintage Home away from home and share their stories• Trailers are from the 1930’s – 1970’s. Please respect the privacy of those campers not wishing to be in the Trailer Walk
8/4 Tuesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
1910-1920 High Sea Adventures of David Kingston and his Boat
Join Barb Koski, retired extension home economist and genealogy enthusiast as she traces David’s escapades on Lake Superior and his 14 rescues by the Eagle Harbor Coast Guard.
8/5 Wed, 7pm at the West Barracks
Defining A Landscape
Amanda George, ranger with the National Park Service.
8/6 Thursday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Gold Medal Heroes of the Shipwreck – L.C. Waldo
Historian, Mark Rowe with the Keweenaw County Historical Society commemorates the 100th anniversary of the shipwreck. Two lifesaving crews were awarded gold medals for their heroic efforts.
8/7 Friday, 7pm at Site 120 in the West Campgrounds
Step’n into the Woods
Take a Nature Walk with Naomi Haycock, West Campground Host as she points out our local berries and interesting plants.
8/8 Saturday, 8pm in the Day Use Area by the Fort Parking Lot
METEORS & S’MORES
Enjoy that sticky gooey campfire favorite in the Day Use Area by the Fort Parking Lot. Clean your hands before heading down as the sky darkens, join Joel Kimball, Professor at Gannon University, on the Parade Grounds to view stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes. PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 8:00 PM for S’MORES and 10:00 PM for the Meteor Watch. (alt rain date 8/9).
8/10 Monday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Crossing the Big Lake to Isle Royale
with photography by Captain Ben Kilpela, Copper Harbor Ferry Service to Isle Royale, Isle Royale Queen IV.
8/11 Tues, 8pm in the Day Use Area by the Fort Parking Lot
METEORS & S’MORES
Enjoy that sticky gooey campfire favorite in the Day Use Area by the Fort Parking Lot. Then join Joel Kimball, professor at Gannon University, on the Parade Grounds. Bring a blanket, binoculars and a flashlight to find your way…fun to lie out under the stars and watch meteors overhead. PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL TIME 8:00 PM for S’MORES and 10:00 PM for the Meteor Watch. Weather permitting.
8/12 Wednesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
Guns of the Copper Rush
Presentation by Jim Billings, historian, gunsmith, artist, and owner of Swedes Gift Shop.
8/13 Thursday, 7pm at the West Barracks
The Life of 19th Century US Soldiers
Discover what life was like as a soldier in the 1800’s with Robert Holmstrom, ranger with the National Park Service.
8/14 Fri, 7:30pm at the West Barracks
Wander and Wonder Fort Wilkins
Have you been wondering what flowers are blooming around the Park? What animals are chipping, singing, or hooting all 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. If weather does not co-operate a program on Cranial Capacities of Corvids: What it Really Means to be a “Bird Brain, will take place in the West Barracks
8/15 Sat, 10pm on the Parade Grounds
Astronomy in the Fort
Join Joel Kimball, Professor at Gannon University, on the Parade Grounds to view the stars, planets, galaxies and more via high powered telescopes. (alt. rain date Sunday 8/16)
8/17 Monday, 7pm at the West Barracks
1,900 Lives
Larry Lankton, Michigan Tech Professor of History and author of Beyond the Boundaries and Cradle to Grave will speak about the Human Cost of Mining Copper.
8/18 Tuesday, 7pm at the West Barracks
She’s Not As Shiny As She Used To Be – The Shipwreck Story of the City of Bangor
Mark Rowe, KCHS Maritime Chairman and Keweenaw County Historical Society, trustee.
8/19 Wed, 7pm at the West Barracks
Wait…did you say the Keweenaw is a billion years old?!?!
Learn about the amazing processes that formed the Keweenaw over the past billion years – fire and ice! Program begins with a talk in the West Barracks and will conclude with a short walk to the lake shore to explore the main rock types of the area to learn what their stories tell us about our fascinating past. Erika Vye, PhD candidate with Geological and Mining Engineering & Sciences.
8/21 Friday, 7pm at Site 120 in the West Campground
Step’n into the Woods
Take a nature walk with Naomi Haycock, West Campground Host as she points out our local berries and interesting plants.
8/22 Saturday, 7pm at Site 120 in the West Campground
A Copper Country Souvenir
Explore the attractions of the Keweenaw with visitors from the past 160 years. Lynette Webber, ranger with the National Park Service.
SEPTEMBER

SPECIAL EVENT
9/19 Saturday, 10am at at the Picnic Shelter
9th Annual Geocaching Event and 2nd Annual Fall Spook-tacular
Spooky things are going on at the Fort this year. Decorated Campsites and Trick or Treating for the children. Maybe a few Ghouls in the Fort.
SCHEDULE:
Geocaching- 10am at the picnic shelter
Bonfire and a hot dog luncheon, bring a dish to pass!- 2:30pm
The Fall Spook-tacular- 6pm

 

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