Newsletter – January 2008
Calumet Heritage Partnership
To identify, preserve and reclaim the natural, historical and recreational heritage
of the Calumet region of Illinois and Indiana
13300 S. Baltimore, Chicago, Illinois 60633 (773) 646-0436 www.calumetheritage.org
The annual meeting of the Calumet Heritage Partnership will be held –
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BOARD ELECTION: The key item of business at the annual meeting is to elect the 2008 Board of Directors. The nominating committee of Kate Corcoran, Frank Beberdick, and Mike Wagenbach proposes the following slate: Mark Bouman, President; Stephen McShane, Vice-President; David Klein, Treasurer; Marian Byrnes, Secretary; Bob Bionaz; Robert Kelliher; Mike Longan; Bill Peterman; Richard Lytle; Sherry Meyer; Rod Sellers; Tom Shepherd.
ARE YOU A MEMBER?: CHP memberships are for the calendar year. If you haven’t already updated your membership (perhaps you did this at the October conference) we’re enclosing an envelope and form, and sincerely thank you in advance for considering renewal. Your membership is very important to us: it not only helps to defray some basic costs of doing business but it declares your interest in the affairs of the Partnership and the region. Benefits of membership? For starters, this nifty newsletter, a very fine website, a quality annual conference, and a region made just a bit better through programs, archives, preservation, networking, and advocacy.
BEYOND ARTIFACTS: THE LIVING ELEMENT IN INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE AREAS: That was the theme of this year’s annual conference, and the focus of an excellent keynote address by Sharon Ann Holt of Rutgers University. Holt concluded her remarks with the words, “Nothing we do now will change the past – but everything we say about the past, everything we learn and share about the past, can shape the future.” It’s fair to say that in the daily work of the Calumet Heritage Partnership this year that we took a number of steps with an eye to the ongoing vitality of the Partnership’s work in the region. Sometimes this led us to exciting bits of news, like the successful movement of the small bell and ingot mould to the Pullman site, or like the gala opening of the Calumet Industrial Heritage Archives in November. At others times it led us to consider other exciting work in the region, as we did in thinking about the Interactive Labor Trail at the conference in October or in discussing the Chicago Calumet Underground Railroad Effort in March.
But more often it meant that we were building a firm base out of which future excitement could blossom. For example, we resolved the remaining financial issues resulting from our effort to secure the Acme Coke Plan site; we negotiated a memorandum of understanding with the Pullman State Heritage Site; we developed a statement of purpose and scope and a collections policy for the Calumet Industrial Heritage Project; we undertook serious
upgrades to the website; we did much hard work in cataloguing and archiving; and we studied industrial heritage activities, especially those involving the steel industry, in other regions and countries. For a quick refresher, why not take a moment to look again at the Partnership’s website at www.calumetheritage.org and the Industrial Heritage Archives site at http://www.pullman-museum.org/ihaccr/
The coming year will surely bring us more opportunities to work on shaping the region’s future through careful stewardship of its heritage. As the steel industry continues to change, we’ll continue to think about acquisitions, but only and especially after we think through the strategic implications of what it means to have them. (In other words, we want to be sure the horse stays in front of the cart, and only bring on board things that fit our mission.) And now that we possess artifacts and documents, we need to work out loan and usage policies. We’ll also be continuing to attend to efforts to “landmark” elements of the region’s industrial heritage, such as the Hulett Ore Unloaders. We also need to consider where heritage preservation at the regional scale fits into other visions for the region’s future. We have the opportunity to network and to consider these and other issues at the annual conference, once again in October, and in all likelihood to be held at Indiana University Northwest in Gary.
THANK YOU: The Calumet Heritage Partnership has no paid staff and depends entirely on volunteers to “do the work”. Special thanks to the hard-working Board of Directors, and also to those who made special gifts of time and talent this year: Jane Baxter, Frank Beberdick, Ingrid Beberdick, Simon Beemsterboer, Ray Boothe, Andrew Bullen, Linda Bullen, Kate Corcoran, Naomi Davis, Leon Fink, Kate Fleming, Kevin Heggi, Jeff Helgeson, Robin Malone, Bob Meyer, Paul Myers, Mike Siola, Adrian Stanislovaitis, Mike Urioste, and Mike Wagenbach.
WOLF LAKE WINTER FESTIVAL: Various aspects of Calumet regional heritage – including the work of pioneering ecologist Henry Chandler Cowles, the underground railroad, Marktown, and industrial history – are on the program at the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative’s Winter Wonderland Festival. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday January 19th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Morning events begin at 9:00 am and will be held at the Environmental Education Center at 2405 Calumet Avenue in Hammond. Afternoon events begin at 1:00 pm and will be held at the Southeast Sportsmen’s Club at 13139 S. Avenue M in Chicago. Call (312) 220-0120 or (219) 933-7149 for more information.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS: The folks at the Calumet Stewardship Initiative have done a terrific job in 2007 of putting up a website and keeping it current. A fresh calendar of activities in both Illinois and Indiana from January through April is now available at www.calumetstewardshipinitiative.org. The site also contains up-to-date links to area organizations and photos and videos of past events. Thanks, Kevin Murphy!