Morgan Park: U. S. Steel's Company Town in Duluth, Minnesota
by Greta Bahnemann, Metadata Librarian, Minnesota Digital Library, Minitex
Electronic Library for Minnesota Resources (for Minnesota residents)
Additional Resources for Research
- Alanen, Arnold R. Morgan Park: Duluth, U. S. Steel, and The Forging Of A Company Town. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
- "America's Company Towns, Then and Now." Smithsonian.com 2015. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.
Teaching Guide: Morgan Park: U. S. Steel's Company Town in Duluth, Minnesota
Primary Source Analysis
For each source, ask students to indicate:
- the author's point of view
- the author's purpose
- historical context
For inquiry-based learning, ask students to:
- explain how a source tells its story and/or makes its argument
- explain the relationships between sources
- compare and contrast sources in terms of point of view and method
- support conclusions and interpretations with evidence
- identify questions for further investigation
This teaching guide helps instructors use a specific primary source set, Morgan Park: U. S. Steel's Company Town in Duluth, Minnesota, in the classroom. It offers discussion questions, classroom activities, and primary source analysis tools. It is intended to spark pedagogical creativity by giving a sample approach to the material. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt the resources in this guide for your teaching purposes.
- What do company towns tell us about the companies themselves? Their attitudes towards their workers?
- Look at the photograph of the curling rink in the Morgan Park Clubhouse Building. Discuss how U. S. Steel adapted their company town model to Minnesota's people, culture and interests.
- Why did Morgan Park own its own general store? Do you think the prices at this store were more or less than what you would pay at a store in downtown Duluth?
- What could happen to workers and their status within Morgan Park if the workers went on strike?
- Assign the class the job of planning their own planned community. This should be a community for everyone in the class to live in. What would it include and why? What would be left out? What rules would be implemented? What happens when someone breaks the rules?
- Set up a classroom debate. Disucss the pros and cons of living in planned community. What are the advantages of living in a company town? What are the disadvantages of living in a company town?
- Assign students different roles associated with Morgan Park: a U. S. Steel worker, the child of a steel worker, the manager of the general store in Morgan Park, the head of Minnesota Steel Company, a minister at a Morgan Park church, a doctor or nurse at the Morgan Park Hospital. Conduct a series of mock interviews. Ask each member of the Morgan Park community about their lives. Expectations? Roles? Responsibilities?