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      A historical tour through the Copper Country

      The history of the Copper Country intertwined with Finnish culture can be seen anywhere you go.

      â??The Finns werenâ??t the first ones here, but they certainly were more tenacious than any of the other 30-plus ethnic communities,â?? said Tom Baker, a park ranger for the Keweenaw National Historical Park.

      It is such an integral part of the area, that there are many tours planned to historical sites during FinnFest. Guided tours throughout the Keweenaw Heritage Sites, the Jacobsville Lighthouse, and the Baraga Homestead are all on the schedule.

      â??Theyâ??ll be going into rural places of Finnish communities, the farmsteads and whatnot throughout the Copper Country,â?? Baker added.

      On Thursday of FinnFest, a special ceremony honoring the victims of the Italian Hall disaster will take place. The Italian Hall disaster occurred in the midst of the Copper Strike of 1913 when someone falsely shouted â??Fire!â?? in the crowded building, causing the death of, what historians believe, over 70 people.

      It will be a time for people to pay their respects to those who lost their lives 100 years ago. During the ceremony, presenters will set up the historical context of the events leading up to the Copper Strike of 1913.

      The Italian Hall disaster, which happened on Christmas Eve of 1913, really marked the beginning of the end of the Copper Strike, making the site a very important piece of this areaâ??s history.

      â??It was such a traumatic event both locally and nationally,â?? Baker explained.

      With the rich history of the area, there is no shortage of sites for everyone to appreciate no matter where youâ??re from.

      â??Venture out into the Copper Country,â?? Baker said. â??Get an appreciation for not just the Finnish culture, but all of the cultural influences.â??