Feb 07, 2014 — A musician and folklorist from Minnesota is researching lumber camp songs and traditional music from Maine, throughout the North Country and to the north woods of the midwest.
Brian Miller grew up in the logging town of Bemidji, Minnesota. "In the shadow of the Paul Bunyan statue," he says. His research into 19th century lumber camp and Irish-American music has included singer Michael Dean, who was born and raised in St. Lawrence County.
Miller recently uncovered some of Dean's recordings (made back in the 1920s at Dean's sister's home in Canton) in the Library of Congress archives. The recordings had been lost for decades.
Todd Moe spoke with Miller about how these lost-and-found traditional songs can connect history, culture and regions. Go to full article
Jun 24, 2004 — The 47 locks and 18 dams of the Rideau Canal are a giant draw for boaters and tourists in the summer months. The system connects Montreal with Kingston, Ontario via Ottawa. The British built the canal after the War of 1812 to allow boats to travel inland rather than risking a potentially dangerous transit along the border waters of the St. Lawrence River. The project was the largest of its kind in the British Empire at the time, and mostly Irish immigrants worked on it. Hundreds died. On Sunday in Ottawa, Canadian officials will unveil a Celtic Cross memorial in honor of the fallen canal workers. David Sommerstein spoke with Ken Clavette, a member of the Rideau Canal Celtic Cross Committee. He says it's hard to pin down how many people died building the canal system. Go to full article