"The lake has a limited plant community due to poor water clarity and the shorelines have been disturbed by past mining activity."
Upper Panasa Lake is small, murky, and unspectacular. Viewed from above, Upper Panasa Lake stands out from the dozen or so other lakes that surround Calumet, MN not because of its size or shape, but due to its pale green color - reminiscent more so of pea soup than as the aquatic home for bullhead, northern pike, and pan fish.
Although its appearance may be drab, Upper Panasa's industrial past is quite vibrant, and it begins in part with the Hill-Trumbull washing plant and the 24-billion gallons of water it sucked from Upper Panasa Lake over half a century to process silica-laden low grade iron ore.
John Baeten holds a PhD in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology from Michigan Technological University. His research aims to contextualize the environmental legacies of industrialization as meaningful cultural heritage.