Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

Current Exhibits

"Cold War and the U.P." Exhibit Opening

Opened Thursday, November 2, 2017

Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center

Free and open to the public

From the late 1940s until the early 1990s, the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a battle for political and social influence throughout the planet. At the crux of this conflict was the ever present danger of nuclear war, as both countries had enough armaments to destroy the Earth many times over. Because of this tense relationship, there developed a mass military industrial complex that spread throughout the country. Even a remote place like the Upper Peninsula played a key role in America’s defense during the Cold War. In addition, there were individuals from the Upper Peninsula who played an important role during the Cold War.

Two Upper Peninsula natives who made enormous impacts on America’s role in the Cold War were Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and Glenn Seaborg. Both were born in Ishpeming, two years apart (1910 and 1912 respectively) and would go on to make huge contributions to the Cold War “effort.” Johnson was an aeronautical engineer who designed the most important military aircrafts of the Cold War period, including the Lockheed U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-104 Starfighter and P-80 Shooting Star. Seaborg was a chemist and physicist, who as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, became one of the key researchers in the Manhattan Project. His main job was to create the plutonium for the first atomic bomb. He later became the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1961 to 1971.

All of these facets are featured in the exhibit, “Cold War and the U.P.”

The "Cold War and the U.P." exhibit will run from November 2, 2017 to March 31, 2018.


Upcoming Exhibits

The Immigrant Experience

Beaumier UP Heritage Center – Opens April 2018

It has often been said that all American’s are immigrants. That is not true since the First Nations people of this continent have been here longer than anyone can remember.  But the vast majority of American citizens are the descendent of immigrants who left their homelands in search of a better life.  Many found what they were looking for but almost all found challenges, hardships and successes far beyond their imagining. 

For many immigrants, the Upper Peninsula was not their original or even final destination.  Some found their way to the U.P. in search of work and many already had family or friends from home who were already here and sponsored their immigration and event cost of travel.  Some, such as Scandinavians, had heard that the region was very similar to their homeland in climate and geography.  Mining and logging were the main industries in the region in the 19th and early 20th century, and some immigrants had experience in these areas where others did not. The exhibit will look at the late 20th and 21st century, and what drove immigrants to chose the Upper Peninsula as a home, in addition to many other questions.

This exhibition will attempt to paint a picture of the immigrant experience, using the Upper Peninsula as a canvas. It will look at that experience from the first European/White settlers of the region to current people who are coming to the region to make it their home.  Regardless of the era of their arrival, all immigrants share certain commonalities in experience, so the exhibition will not be organized chronologically but will rather be subject based.  This will underline how our current immigrants to the region share the same struggles and aspirations as the very first.