Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Social Sciences


Susan R Martin


The purpose of this research is to assess public values and perceptions concerning industrial heritage in the Keweenaw by studying visitors at an endangered mining site tour. This research presents and analyzes feedback collected directly from participants in the Cliff Mine (Michigan) archaeological field school public tour surveys in June 2011, gathers semi-structured interview data from survey participants and local experts, and synthesizes and collates both survey and interview data. As those who study heritage site visitors have found, in all outreach there is a necessity for deeper understanding of visitors for the outreach to be effective. An appropriate metric for collecting public values and opinions was created and used at the Cliff Mine archaeological field school public tours.

To accomplish research goals, an opinion survey was created to collect demographic information and qualitative feedback from visitors at the Cliff Mine field school. The survey, a pre-tour and post-tour question list, found that all visitors who filled out a survey supported preservation and most were adults over 46 years of age. Most visitors were white-collar professionals, identified as local residents, and found out about the tour through the newspaper. Interview questions were constructed to supplement and expand on the visitor survey results. In addition, local experts involved in Keweenaw heritage were interviewed. All interviewees supported heritage preservation but often had conflicting views when activities such as mineral collecting were factored into the preservation question. By analyzing responses to the survey and interviews, improvements to outreach efforts at the Cliff Mine are recommended. Future research should further explore perceptions of social class and identity, and should seek out stakeholders not contacted through this research, in order to improve outreach and include all community groups.