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Featured Window

Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Featured Windows, October 2000

J. Robert Van Pelt Library, Michigan Technological University

Building: J. Robert Van Pelt Library

City: Houghton

State: Michigan

This "Window to the Copper Country" records a variety of natural resources and historical sites in the "Copper Country" region of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The center of the window features a map of the Keweenaw peninsula with its major communities marked by inset White Pine copper nuggets and half breeds (nuggets of silver mixed with copper)and two other locations inset with specimens of agate and greenstone. Within the border panels are depictions of architectural and natural resources in the Keweenaw area.

The top left corner depicts the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, built of logs on a high plateau overlooking Lake Superior in the early 1930s under the Civil Works Administration. In the top right corner is the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1866 as a beacon for vessels traveling near the southern shore of Lake Superior.

Left: At the top center is the Indian symbol of a Thunderbird, a mythical bird believed to cause lightning and thunder. The Upper Peninsula was inhabited by Chippewa, Ojibway and Ottawa peoples for more than 4,000 years and their descendants live in the peninsula today.

Right: At the lower center is a view of the Calumet Theatre, which opened at Calumet in 1900 as one of the first municipal theaters in America.

Other panels depict a waterfall (left), representing the many waterfalls in the Keweenaw area and the trillium flower and thimbleberry plant (right), which grow in the region.

Also the Estivant Pines (left), a stand of virgin white pine trees, 150 feet tall; and a miner's candle, hat and pick (right), to symbolize the extensive mining activity that once flourished in the Copper Country. A quartz crystal represents the light of a candle used on early mining hats.

Designed by Herman Gundlach, Inc., of Houghton, Michigan, the Van Pelt Library was completed in 1966. The window was commissioned in 1988 by the MTU Archives & Copper Country Historical Collections. It was created by Peg McNinch of Atlantic Mine. A native of Wisconsin, she has lived in the Copper Country since 1978.

J. Robert Van Pelt Library, Michigan Tehnological University, of Houghton was registered in the Michigan Stained Glass Census by Theresa Sanderson Spence of Houghton.

(MSGC 1992.0065)

Text by Betty MacDowell, Michigan Stained Glass Census, October , 2000.