From The Daily Mining Gazette:
From there to here: Cornish student visits Keweenaw
About a year ago, Robert Herron was watching television at his home in Falmouth, Cornwall in the United Kingdom, when he noticed something that eventually would stimulate an idea for a university project and bring him to the Copper Country.
"I saw someone in Butte, Mont., eating a pasty," he said. "I looked into it and found there was such a rich history of Cornish people in America and all over the place. They went everywhere."
The pasty was brought to America by Cornish miners.
Herron, who is a student at Falmouth University in Cornwall, is in the Copper Country working on a Press and Editorial Photography project for his degree, which is equivalent to a bachelor of arts degree. He was at the Keweenaw Heritage Center in Calumet Thursday to talk to people from the area who are of Cornish ancestry. He talked to about 35 people individually to get the story of their ancestors' journeys from Cornwall to the Copper Country. He will be in the United States for a month, and will also travel to California, Nevada and Wisconsin. Later he will travel to Australia, South Africa and Patagonia at the tip of South America for another project about Cornish miner migrations to those areas.
Herron said he's been working on his project - which will consist predominantly of photographs, but will also have a written component - for about a year.
"It's all coming together," he said.
Many of the men who came to the United States, including the Copper Country, were hard rock miners in Cornwall, Herron said. Many of them were copper miners there, and some were lead miners.
While in the Copper Country, Herron said he has been staying in Eagle River with Carol and Jack Treganowan, who are members of the Keweenaw Kernewek, which is composed of people who want to preserve Cornish culture and history in the Copper Country.
Kernewek is the Cornish language word for Cornish.
Herron said he became aware of the Treganowans because a cousin of Jack's was staying at a bed and breakfast his parents own in Cornwall.
After talking with them, he learned about the history of Cornish people in the Copper Country.
"I bled them dry of information," he said.
He was able, also, to arrange to stay with the Treganowans in Eagle River, Herron said.
Cornwall is a peninsula located at the southwestern part of the island which contains England, Scotland and Wales.
Jean Ellis, who is a member of the Keweenaw Kernewek, said Cornish miners came to the Copper Country generally in the 1840s, and to the area which became Calumet, in the late 1860s and early 1870s.
Herron said his project will hopefully include family photographs from the people he talks to, as well as photographs he takes in the area. "It's going to be a catalog of portraits and landscapes," he said.
He's been in the Copper Country since Sunday, Herron said, and he's getting good material for his project. "I'm being stuffed full of information," he said. "Everyone's so friendly."
The one-on-one talks he had Thursday at the KHC were very helpful, Herron said, and he especially enjoyed seeing the family photographs some of the people brought. He arranged to have more talks later with some of the people to get more information.
Herron said his project about Cornish migration to America will be online, hopefully by May. Although the website is under construction, it will be found at robertherron.co.uk.
Overall, Herron said his visit to the Copper Country has gone very well.
"This is way more than I expected," he said.
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