Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Social Sciences

Advisor 1

LouAnn Wurst

Committee Member 1

Steven A. Walton

Committee Member 2

M. Bartley Seigel


Archaeological and historical literature neglects music and sound. The quantity and distribution of musical remains found during archaeological excavations at Coalwood, a Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company (CCI) logging camp active from 1901-1912 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, addresses the importance of music to the people that lived there. Musical reed plates from harmonicas, concertinas, and accordions were recovered and examined. These musical remains have traditionally been ignored as a diagnostic artifact, but here, I use them as primary evidence to access the daily lives of people in the northern woods. To do this, I will present how CCI developed Coalwood as a lumber camp and some of the people that lived there. Then, I will explore the soundscape through artifacts and bring attention to formal and informal music ensembles and the music they play. I will demystify the reed plate and present a typology of reed plates.