Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

People, Place and Time
Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara, 1874-1934


Family Life

J.W. Nara maintained a strong commitment to family. A brother, Frank, emigrated with him from Finland and assisted him in his photographic studio. They were later joined by cousins Isaac and Charles, and were known collectively as “the four Nara brothers” by many in Calumet. J.W. Nara not only documented the Keweenaw’s mighty world of mining and industry in his photographs, but through family photos of wives, children, and extended families and friends, his lens also captured the everyday lives of Copper Country people. His spirit lives on in generations of Nara descendants, some of whom work the same timber lands J.W. Nara walked more than a century ago.

J.W. Nara and family
Image #: Nara 42-021

J.W. and son "Onni"
Image #: ACC-05-097A-003