& Copper Country Historical Page
Thanks to all the folks
Recently featured in the Detroit Free Press which
This site was also
Thanks to the Hotbox
What's New ?
Note: If this site is updated with anything other than the weekly photo it will be listed below.
With this site growing to over 40 M (35M in images) it might be difficult for you to find out what is new at this site if you are returning. Welcome back. If this is your first time here then Welcome and make yourself at home. This page will be updated as I update this site so you might easily find out what has changed or what is new. This is also a place for me to talk about what I am working on.
If you have any comments on this site or
just want to say hi you can use the following e-mail address. Questions also welcome.
Current US weather map
Your Rights when photographing.
6/27/07 You may not have stopped by our PM&S pages lately as we had kind of stalled but no longer, we have a new board and a new group of people ready to begin a new in our restoration effort. We have started our Newsletter again which is mailed to all PM&S members and is also available on line here. This month we have bio's for all the board members. We also have another page that gives updates for upcoming meetings or events. We hope to continue on this path with new light and vision with our new board. I hope that you will find a place to help us in this new effort and help keep us on track.
5/1/07 If you have not found this by now check out this effort to digitize the photo
collections of various UP historical societies. Thousands of great photos.
11/25/06 The old Portage Lake Library (the new one is down by the canal) is now back open again. It is open from noon until 5pm on Saturday's and Sunday's to exhibit vintage photos from Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon and Keweenaw Counties. The pictures are a mix of those used in the summer Dee Stadium exhibits and newer additions. I am happy someone was able to do something with this classic building. Stop by and check it out.
10/30/06 Who says they don't mine copper in the Keweenaw any more? Well maybe not on a large scale, but in a big way. This photo was taken last weekend in the Champion Mine Machine Shop that has recently been occupied by a scrap company. They took on a job to cut down a large mass copper found just north of Houghton and recenly sold on Ebay to someone in China. Yes, that is a semi trailer it is sitting on.
10/29/06 Bill Buhrmaster passes along a group of nice photos showing the state of restoration on Copper Range #29. She is looking mighty grand again, check them out here at the Keweenaw Photoshop.
10/24/06 4 new photos from Perry Brumm which will round out the construction of the C&H bridge in Lake Linden. Stay tuned for some photos from a resurfacing project around Michigan Tech in 1969.
10/21/06 There will be an open house at Painesdale Mine & Shaft on October 29 from noon until 3pm. If you are around stop by and check out our restoration effort.
10/21/06 To supplement October's Featured Photo sent in by Perry Brumm of the building of the C&H bridge over M-26 Perry has sent along 3 additional photos of this project. Thanks Perry for the great photos and you can see them here at the Keweenaw Photoshop.
10/8/06 After many months of having my discussion board shut down due to spam attacks (not sure if anyone even noticed) and having to load a newer version of the discussion board database to fend off this issue, the board is back up and running. If you would like to post a message there, and have not registered, you will need to send me a Username, Password and your full name. I will enter you into the database and have you up and posting in no time. After I have created your account you can edit your profile and change your password if you like and also set up automatic emails if a posting is made in a topic of interest to you. It was nice to have people post without having to register but I can't think of a posting board that isn't this way today. Happy posting.
8/29/06 This received from Gerry Mantel (RCM-Maki Publishers, Chisholm, MN) regarding a few Copper Country Book projects coming to you soon. Thanks Gerry for passing this along.
Greetings to All:
8/2/2006 If you are looking for some
nice artwork featuring Copper Country Railroads check out Vince Fontana's work here at ArtByVincent.com.
4/2/06 Added a page that lists the Calumet & Hecla Railroad roster for all those who have asked for it. You can find it here.
Getting a little more scenery completed on my Copper Range Railroad.
1/28/06 Added 8 postcards sent by Tom Roberts to my Post Card Page (at the bottom). Tom promises more postcards when he has time. Thanks Tom. Received two nice photos of the C&H in action taken by Mike Raudio's grandfather who was a section hand on the C&H Railroad. Check out the February Monthly Featured Photo Section for them. Thanks for sharing them Mike, they are gems.
12/23/05 A nice shot below of a work in progress from Bill Buhrmaster in North Freedom. A fresh coat of paint drying on Copper Range #29 in the sun at North Freedom on 7/15/05. Word from North Freedom says they will begin the exterior restoration of CR Combine #25 next fall, the second time around for this car since coming to Mid Continent 1963. Many thanks to Bill for providing this nice photo and for the nice 2006 Mid Continent calender, which has a few very nice CR shots. A very nice one taken by John Doose in 1938 of #29 on the turntable in Houghton and a nice photo from Clint Jone's collection of the CR clearing out the Calumet yard in the winter of 1915. Don't forget to pick up your copy. The end of the year always reminds me of another year maintaining this site, 9 years this year. Always a pleasure as my reward has always been sharing the history of the Copper Country with anyone and everyone. Have a great holiday season.
11/6/05 A nice new collection of postcards was just published by Nancy Sanderson and will help to fund preservation activities of the Keweenaw County Historical Society. Check it out and order your copy today, I just received my copy and have already found two new Champion postcards I had not seen before. Thanks Nancy for a great effort and for sharing your collection with the rest of us.
10/8/05 A nice collection of photos of the Ahmeek Mine, yesterday and today, from Superior Woodworks: here.
9/5/05 Wow, where did the summer go? It went too quick for me. Trying to get caught up with some photos I received this summer. First is a group of photos taken by Mark Andersen of his favorite railroad of the UP today, the Mineral Range. Clint Jone's shortline plying around Ishpeming. Thanks Mark for sharing them. You can find them at the Keweenaw Photo Shop.
A nice set of photos from all over the Keweenaw from Steve Lehto. Thanks Steve and Mark for adding to the Keweenaw Photo Shop. Here are Steve's photos.
6/7/05 It's been a few month's since I made it over to this page. Spent the last few days reading Hugh Hornstein's book "The Haywire", finally, finally published (8 or so months late, not complaining, just the pains of anticipation). Almost makes me want to start modeling the M&LS, a railroad through a swamp with a car ferry, ahhh, only in the UP. Great job Hugh and well worth picking up for your collection.Working on a few projects as a contributor and spending most of my spare time (what there is of that) in research. Still trying to find time to catalog my collection (the KM Collection page is sadly out of date and is only a small potion and just really a list not a catalog) as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find what I am looking for when I need it. When it is done I will publish it in Excel so those interested in my passion will be able to search through my collection for things that spark their passion. Sharing is what this is all about and I can't do that to the best of my ability if you don't know what I have to share. Boy, I really need to start another model/article, next on the list is the Champion #4 Hoist House.
4/1/05 Working on some scenery on my model of the Copper Range.
3/17/05 Well all you Copper Range fans will want to follow this link. In assoication with Mid-Continent I have happy to announce the publication of the Copper Range Story. A joint effort of Ray and Bill Buhrmaster, George Forero, Pete Schierloh, Paul Swanson, Clint Jones and Kevin Musser (oh, that's me). Over 70 images of seldom seen CR shots (mainly from Clint's collection and some from mine) and the best description of CR activities I have seen. Best of all it is less than 5 dollars and is available now. Stop by MC and reserve your copy today before they are all gone. You will find it here.
2/24/05 The following message was recieved today from Chuck Pomazal regarding John Campbell. "I just got a call from John's daughter and she told me that John had died today. A small service will be held in Milwaukee on Tuesday." Here is a nice story on John.
John was always a wealth of knowledge and he will surely be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him. He always had an answer or at least a new lead to chase. The Campbell family is in our thoughts and prayers.
2/17/05 If you contacted me regarding William Siltala who was a Maintenance of Way Foreman for the Copper Range please email me again. Due to a file issue I have lost your email address and would like to provide you with the information you requested.
2/7/05 From a request on YooperRails I offer this brief description of how I constructed the Copper Range steel rock cars. Also, from a long time ago, my article on the construction of the Copper Range wooden rock cars. Enjoy building one or a whole fleet.
1/16/05 With the winter season in full swing what not a better time than this to publish a nice account of fighting the winter weather on the Copper Range Railroad in 1950, along with an article about the Blizzard of 1939. Both years were record breakers in the Copper Country. Also my collection of Copper Range plow photos doing what they do best.
1/5/05 Happy New Year
9/30/04 Updated the Save the Redridge Dam page with photos I took this week of the damage to the wooden dam by Stanton Township and the DEQ. Not as bad as I thought it would be upstream but the damage to the dam is quite extensive.
9/12/04 A long time vistor and friend to this site, Hugh Hornstein, has just published his book on the Manistique and Lake Superior Railroad. Just placed my order this morning for it, can't wait to read it. You can get your copy here.
8/18/04 Cindy Miller reports that the Stanton Township Board as turned against efforts to save the Redridge Dam and the pond behind it. The efforts of the "Save the Redridge Dam" group was to create a park for all to enjoy, but now the Township board ordered the dam to be breached and the pond has now been drawn down, creating a nice mess for no one to enjoy. Thank you to Cindy and everyone else who wanted to see this park become a reality.
6/13/04 For those who have not seen this elsewhere:
8th Michigan Railroad History
6/9/04 Some additional photos from Mid-Continent on the moving of CR #29 here.
6/3/04 A newspaper article about the move of CR #29
6/2/04 More links to photos of Copper Range #29 move to North Freedom. Also an interesting summary of the action by Mid-Continent Curator, Don Ginter:
I'm sure by now you have guessed that the #29 made its move successfully
to NF. However, it was not without some last-minute problems which gave me some fits
for awhile, but thankful to some good contractors and volunteers, everything worked out
5/26/04 Copper Range #29 Crossing the Portage south for the last time. Dave Jaehnig captures these two images of her passing through the lift brdge for the last time. Dave relates that he was almost the only one there to capture the event, after a head's up from Brian Juntikka and I. Thanks Dave for the shots. Don't forget to check out Mid-Continents webcam tomorrow to see it arrive.
5/23/04 UPDATE, If you have not heard, Copper Range #29 is moving to North Freedom and to top it off you may be able to see her be unloaded on May 27th. Mid-Continent will position of their WebCam to allow viewing of the un-loading process starting on May 27th. Check out their WebCam then by following this link: Mid-Continent WebCam
5/3/04 Keeping with the theme, this month, of passing on personal histories I submit, with great pleasure, the story of Kenneth Nicholson. Kenneth was 4 years old at the time of the Dally-Jane murders in Painesdale during the 1913-14 copper strike. Daniel Nicholson, son of Kenneth, and I have been working on this piece over the last month and present this story to you now. Many thanks to Daniel for passing on this story, an event that turning public opinion against the Union during the strike. The Dally-Jane Murders in Painesdale during the 1913-14 copper strike.
5/1/04 One of the most compelling reasons I had for starting this site many years ago was a belief that most of the history was not residing in any historical archive or library but was locked away in private hands. Over the years this site has proved a key to those locked resources by providing an outlet to share family histories that would otherwise remain hidden away forever. This month I have a personal account of what it was like to work in the Copper Range Company office in Painesdale in the 1940's by Doris Groeneveld, mother of Bruce who has provides us with many wonderful photos over the last few months. Thanks so much to Doris and Bruce for sharing this account.
Also an interesting article on the possibility of turning the Jackson Mine in Negaunee into an historic site.
3/18/04 WILL COPPER RANGE
CONSOLIDATION #29 WILL BE SAVED AND RESTORED?
Time is running out to save Copper Range #29. Soon the Quincy Smelter site will be sold and with it the fate of the only surviving Copper Range steam engine hangs in the balance. Please follow this link to help save and restore this fading piece of history. Think for a moment about riding in coach #60 behind combine #25 and being pulled by Copper Range #29, died and gone to heaven. Help out now before 4/30 so the proper funding can be obtained for the initial movement.
Just completed an article on Copper Range Steam Shovel X-2 from an interesting article I found in a 1946 Model Craftsman. Hope you enjoy it and maybe it will spark someone to build a copy of this interesting piece of CR equipment. See my shovel article here.
1/12/04 CopperRange.org received 15,000 hits yesterday, most around here for awhile. Usually average 6500 per day. Welcome to everyone from Pasty.com that stopped by here to see what's up. Stop back again, always happy to help or use our Discussion Board or stop by The Depot. For some reason everyone likes the Postcard page or the Image index page, so why not join the crowd and start there first. All of these pages (and another 85 or so) are accessble from any page on this site from the buttons on the left hand side. For those of you who visit this site and have not stopped by Pasty.com's daily page (well not likely, but you never know), this site is featured at times on Sunday's (the reason for my 15k hits on Sunday) when they select a vintage photo. Always interesting comments and discussion.
CopperRange.org was featured on these other days in 2003.
Some of my favorites of 2003.
CRRR Houghton Yard
Many Thanks to Charlie, Mary and Toivo for making the daily photo work for all these years and to all the pasty makers at Still Waters, keep up the great work. Featured in Newsweek on Jan.19th.
12/18/03 A page on this site you may not have found yet is our Painesdale Mine & Shaft page of Memories. James Teague Gourd shares his famlies memories and some of his family photos with us in this most recent addition to the PM&S memories page (bottom of page). This page along with a sister scrapbook at the PM&S museum is a growing collection of memories, photos and artifacts from life in Painesdale. I will be adding additonal photos send from James shortly to the Keweenaw Photoshop as well. Do you have any Painesdale memories to share?
12/1/03 Another year here on the Internet, 7 now in total. Always enjoy it and thanks again to everyone for all your support and comments. Comments / Questions always welcome. Drop me a line.
11/10/03 Received some new photos from Brian Juntikka to add fuel to the growing fire, on the Discussion Board, of determining the color of the Copper Range diesels. These photos Brian took in 1972 during the last days of the Copper Range. Here at the Keweenaw Photoshop.
11/10/03 Catching up on some nice photos that were sent to me some time ago to add to my page on the Homes of "Snob Hill" in Painesdale. Check out this update and these nice photos from Julie Asselin and Marjorie Lindley, thanks ladies.
11/9/03 Added a group of photos from a collection of photos from a family vacation in 1924. Some very nice shots of the Quincy mine in operation. Check them out at the Keweenaw Photoshop.
11/1/03 If you are a Copper Range fan you will want to pick up your copy of the Winter 2003 issue of Classic Trains. Robert Anderson has a very nice article on the last days of the Copper Range.
10/8/03 Very pleased to be able to present a group of very rare photos of mostly the Copper Range, but also from other locations around the Keweenaw. Nancy Anderson purchased an old photo album in Chassel some time ago and passed on these. You can find her photos in the Keweenaw Photoshop. Some very rare views for sure, please help me out on the few I can't identify and correct me if I was incorrect in my assumptions. Thank you Nancy for sharing these great shots.
9/30/03 Just completed my page of photos of the Mid-Continent Railway Museum's Copper Country Centennital Limited Open House and run. It was quite an experience and very happy to be a small part of it.
9/14/03 Paul's photo's got me inspired to take a few shots of my Copper Range #101. Actually built by the Reverend Herman Page. Not sure who the manufacturer of this model is but the lettering and striping were done from scratch. A darker red than Paul's and using dull silver for the cab. Anyone else have a model of #100 or #101 or even #200 to share?
9/12/03: One of the longest threads on my discussion board is the coloring of Copper Range diesels. Paul Meier has offered many suggestions and now he offers his models of #100 and #101. Paul relates: "I used Soo Red and CP Grey. The red will create some comments. Maybe Cornell Red would be closer - I don't know. I went with the Soo red for normal layout lighting. At any rate it has been a long running topic on your discussion board. The loco's are Stewart VO-1000's, decals by Ouillet, 100 has a Stewart RS-12 raditor spliced on in place of the VO radiator. 101 has scratchbuilt parts added." Thank you Paul for sharing these nice photos of your models with all of us.
8/29/03 The Detroit News reports LS&I #21, a 100 ton steam locomotive and coal tender that has been sitting in a rail yard from more than four decades, has been sold. The new owner, a real estate developer from northern Wisconsin, is preparing to move the old locomotive to his home for restoration. Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad President John Marshall said, No. 21 was among several dozen steam locomotives that operated in and around the central U.P. for more than half of the last century. Michael Goodell of Augusta, Wis. purchased No. 21 in June from a Wisconsin man for about $10,000. The price was roughly equal to the scrap value of the engine and accompanying coal tender.
8/21/03 Please come and join us in a celebration of the completion of the restoration of Copper Range coach #60.
In February 2003 polished kerosene lamps and luggage racks were installed in the Copper Range coach #60, marking the completion of a restoration effort of many years by Mid-Continent Railway Museum volunteers. That month was also coincidently the 100th anniversary of the placement of the order for coach #60. Later in 1903, our modest second-class coach left the Jeffersonvill, Indiana plant of the American Car & Foundry Company.
More than twenty years ago, in 1982, a weather-beaten coach arrived at Mid-Continent Railway Museum, from Escanaba, Michigan. The car was in need of a lot of work, but certainly held a lot of potential. The car's most immediate need, a roof, was addressed in 1984. Work on the car by Museum volunteers continued sporadically until 1998, when the restoration effort began in earnest. Today, after 8000 volunteer man-hours, the Copper Range #60 has been restored to its 1944 appearance, during the final years of passenger service on the Copper Range Railroad.
The Mid-Continent Railway Museum will have coach #60 on display near the depot on September 20, 2003 from 10am until 4pm for viewing. Museum volunteers who worked on the restoration will offer guided tours of the coach. It will be one of the few times the coach will be out of the shed and out for public viewing, so don't miss this chance to see a piece of Copper Country history.
8/6/03 Paul Meier relates: The Winter Edition of CLASSIC TRAINS will, according to their coming next issue section, include an article on the Copper Range during its last years. Thanks Paul
Champion #4 Shaftrockhouse (complete, finally), captain's office (complete), hoist house (mock up) to the right, electrical shop (mock up) and oil house (complete) in foreground. Photo taken from the roof of the machine shop (mock up). Scenery to come.
6/25/03 Just thought I would pass along a new link on my Great Lakes, Great Sites page. Clyde Elmbald has been very busy lately working on his forth site to support local history in the Baraga area. The Alberta Village Museum is his latest and I am very happy that the Alberta mill is now open for tours. I have passed this site countless times and have measured the mill in order to do a model of it and now I can go inside and check it out. Check out this site as well as Clyde's other historic sites. Thanks Clyde, you surely have some Great Lakes, Great Sites.
5/22/03 It has been some time now since I build this model (1998) and just getting around to writing a short article for an upcoming Hotbox issue. The Champion Mine Oil House has always been a favorite of mine. It is no wonder the little pigs built their house from bricks as this 100+ year old structure is still alive and well, and also alive and well on my model of Painesdale. You can get a preview at my article here.
5/21/03 For those of you who had interest in my Scheuermann's Brewery Warehouse article/model, I just finished a wood model of Copper Range #150 decked out in her Rheingold paint scheme. I started with an old Camino Scale Models wood box car kit, modified the door hardware and everything else that didn't look like #150. Hard to tell from the photo but I painted the car Poly Scale Reading Yellow and the trim is Poly Scale B&O Royal Blue. I have been asked twice to provide information about the car after the article on the warehouse first appeared. BS Models was working on a kit of this car and a set of decals that matched the colors I provided, haven't seen the finished product yet. The second inquiry was from Art Griffin Decals and the set shown here is available now and is what I used for my model. The decals would also fit on a Roundhouse old time box car kit if you like plastic or a La Belle wood box car kit if you perfer a wood model like me. The Rheingold banner is a tight fit, but so was the prototype. Art also has decals for Copper Range box car #161 and Refer #953 in addition to this car. Many thanks to Art for making this available and with the kits mentioned above you can build one too, try the warehouse as well while you are at it. P.S. My Champion #4 model is almost complete, have to rust it up a bit and add the glass to all those windows, getting very close.
Many thanks to the over 240 people who came out and helped to support PM&S on Mother's Day.
If you are in town Mother's Day weekend and would like to
help support Painesdale Mine & Shaft and have a great inexpensive breakfast at the
2/27/03 You will find plans for Quincy & Torch Lake Caboose #3 by Edward Cass in the January/February 2003 issue of Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. The plans were developed from photos and measurements taken by Al Henning and Rev. Herman Page.
Happy New Year to everyone and what a better way to start the new year but with 20 vintage photos from the last century sent to me by Robert Bice. You might remember the start of this collection in November and once again this month two others photos from this collection are this month's featured photo You can find all these postcards in the Keweenaw Photoshop.
As well I received 8 nice photos taken by Clayton Sharrard during his trip to the Keweenaw last summer. You can find these in the Keweenaw Photoshop.
It has been yet another year here on the Internet maintaining this site, 6 years to be exact. I had wished to get a lot more material that is piling up in my shop out here on this site but too many other things have got in the way (mainly trying to earn a real living). I have spent this whole year working on my model of Champion #4 and still have not completed it, but it is about 75% of the way there. The best part of a hobby is what differentiates it from a job, no deadlines, just the enjoyment of it, so I don't really care that I still have work to do, as I will always have more to do.
In addition to a host of other Copper Range related material to enter my collection this year, I just purchased about 6 pounds of documents from the estate of William Siltala who was a Maintenance of Way Foreman for the Copper Range from the late 30's up to 1970. Just started to look it over and can't wait to read it all in detail. I am sure some of it will find its way to this site. I also acquired a bridge report showing the state of all the bridges on the Range in 1960, and just recently a Copper Range Company phone book from 1945. Both of these documents should fine their way to this site in the near future.
I can't thank enough, all of you who continue to send material and information my way to share with all of you who continue to enjoy the history of copper mining and railroads of the Copper Country, as I always say, I could not maintain this site with out your help. Thank you all and please keep it coming and I will try my best not to disappoint you with what I find and what comes my way, as the best part of all of this is sharing it with others. Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season, looking forward to 2003. Thank you as well to Pasty.com for their continued support of this site as well as Painesdale Mine & Shaft, Inc.
As stated in this month's feature photo I received a large group of photos taken in 1959-1960 from Neil Fleming. Many thanks to Neil for sending along all these photos to share. Also included are two nice photos, one of Marquette harbor taken in 1938 and one of Negaunee taken at the same time for the Iron Ore fans in the crowd. Thanks again Neil. You can view them at the Keweenaw Photoshop.
Received an interesting document from Brian Juntikka this week. A transcribed version of the 1962 telephone book for the South Range area. Back to the days of party lines and the phone number for Copper Range's Champion #4 shafthouse, those were the days. Many thanks to Brian for his effort and energy in providing this document. You can find it here.
Also received a copy of Calumet, Copper Country Metropolis from author Dave Engel. Thanks Dave for the copy. You can read about it in my Library.
10/6/02 This information and photo sent in by Chris Gleason
SUNDAY JULY 7TH AT 4:15 PM:
7/2/02 Added 5 additional photos of the progress I am making on my model of Champion #4. It is down towards the bottom of my model railroad page.
7/1/02 Added a small collection of Copper Range work documents to my Copper Range History section.
5/20/02 Added a group of photos of my mock-up and initial construction of Champion #4 ShaftRockhouse, down toward the bottom of my page on my Copper Range Railroad.
5/1/02 I nice collection of photos taken by Paul Meier in 1964-65 has been added to the Keweenaw Photoshop. Thanks once again Paul for the great shots.
3/22/02 After 8 years of having many different email addresses the only one that has survived all this time is firstname.lastname@example.org after the middle of April this account will no longer be active. If you have this address for me in your address book please change it to email@example.com as after 4/15/02 it will no longer reach me.
2/26/02 I recieved this email below from Erik Nordberg today about the sad passing of Ruth Ristola. Ruth was always very helpful and a good soul always willing to go that extra step. I talked to her last in December and she talked about how happy she was to be retired and doing the things she wanted to do. We will all surely miss her and her passing will leave a void that will be hard to fill.
Ruth Ristola, former manager of the Ontonagon County Historical
Society passed away over the weekend. I don't know if they have a cause of death,
but it looks like natural causes maybe a heart attack.
OF BUILDING AND BRIDGES OF THE COPPER RANGE 1899-1916.
On another note: The Painesdale Mine & Shaft Spaghetti dinner is set for April 14th at the VFW hall in South Range, hope to see you all there in support of Painesdale Mine & Shaft. If you can not attend why not send off a donation. We now own the Hoist house and have it pretty well cleaned out ready to paint. A nice addition to PM&S. Hope to have an update to the newsletter soon.
2/4/02 Tom Blazen sends along and interesting photo of an MKT caboose sitting in front of a depot in Katy Texas. It turns out through some work that it is in fact Copper Range Caboose #5. The same caboose that was shown in a Daily Mining Gazette article in 1972 sitting in the yard of Ferris Denniss of Atlantic Mine. How and when did it get to Katy Texas. Any one have a clue, if so please join in our discussion board and let us all know. What a find, I thought it was long gone to the scrapper or mother nature, don't you agree! Thanks a bunch Tom.
1/18/02 Since my Vintage Postcard page used to boast that I add one new one every week, I have had to make up for at least a year of not performing this task. Therefore please take a look at over 50 new post cards that I have posted on that page. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did putting them there (my fingers are still sore). If you have not been there before their are over 80 vintage postcards in this photo collection.
1/14/02 Just received a group of photos from Jerry Maloney that were taken in the 1940's at the Cleveland Cliffs iron mine. If you are a LS&I fan you will want to check these out. Thanks Jerry for passing them along and sharing them with all of us. Check out the other photos that have been sent in as well at the Keweenaw Photoshop and don't forget to send yours along today.
12/11/01 It is quickly coming up on 5 years here on the old Internet running this site. It has been quite an experience and I continue to enjoy sharing what I find with all of you. I have always wondered what good a collection of information, either graphic or text, served if you never shared it with anyone. I have found that sharing promotes others to share and as I have always said, in my yearly rants about another year on the Internet, "I could have never done this without those of you out there who share", and I will say it again this year. A large thank you to everyone who added to my enjoyment of this little piece of history this year and I hope that I added to your enjoyment as well. I hope and wish you all a wonderful holiday season from my family to yours.
As I near another year here I am sad and happy to share the following information. I have been in contact with Cindy Miller who is trying to start an effort to save the wooden dam in Redridge. I am quite sad to even think about this dam not being there at the end of the trail out to it from the steel dam. I enjoy that walk everytime, and by the way, just what the heck are those reed like grass things growing all around there anyway? Anyway, you have to read my story about this on my new page for the restoration effort that makes me happy to see getting started to save this wonderful piece of history. Call me crazy but if I could save everything the Copper Range ever owned I would, well a guy has to have a hobby. Check out the story and I hope you will be crazy like me and support this effort once it gets rolling, or better yet help it to get rolling.
11/25/01 A very sad note arrived today regarding the death of Barbara Oom. You might be aware of the contributions of both Robert and Ed Oom to this site as well as other U.P. railroad sites as well as many railroad historical societies. The wife of Robert and the mother of Ed, who also enjoyed train watching and traveling, passed this Thanksgiving after a short illness. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Oom family and we keep you in our prayers. The Oom family asks that you consider a contribution to the American Cancer Society or the Kalamazoo Christian Schools. Her Obituary appears in the Kalamazoo Gazette.
11/19/01 Starting to get a few new Painesdale memories so I have split off the main Painesdale page into two pages. If you haven't had a chance, check out the memories of Painesdale along with 3 new photos of the Painesdale area. We can find this new page here. If you lived or live in Painesdale you might consider adding yours to our list.
Report on Copper Range #200 previously posted by Kent Rengo on the
TwinPortsRail list on September 5, 2001:
10/3/01 Although not specifically Copper Country related, my new (or I should say old) Hotbox article is now available on line. It has been some time since the Hotbox has been updated, so you might check out it's new look, many new articles, as well as my article on the construction of a pulp mill.
An email from Bill Buhrmaster (Project Leader) pointed the way to a page setup by Schreuder Paints which updates us on the progress of Copper Range coach #60. Schreuder Paints were used for the restoration of this car. Thanks Bill for the update.
9/18/01 With the addition of the restored C&H #3 at the Houghton County Historical Museum I find they have a new website, or at least another one (as John Dulong's HCHM site is still running as well ). In any case, the new site has a large group of photos regarding the restoration of this engine as well as other items at the museum. Nice to see this piece of history running again.
9/8/01 With all this new space and the ability to run cgi scripts I am very happy to provide a new service for this site. The CopperRange.org Discussion Board. There is a place for you to comment on this month's featured photo, discuss copper country railroads, history, and living and vacationing in the U.P. I hope you enjoy this new feature and please send me your comments about this new service so I can insure that it is providing a value to everyone interested in this subject.
This menu tab will be appearing shortly on all CopperRange.org pages.
9/1/01 Historic Houghton Virtual Tour. What a great site, you have to check it out. http://history.cityofhoughton.com/
8/24/01 Received an update from Chuck Pomazal on the progress of the Qunicy Mine layout. Here is a nice photo showing the progress of the layout, looks like it is nearing completion. A truely wonderful effort by Chuck, Dick Taylor, Dave Zelisse and others.
8/15/01 WE HAVE A NEW HOME. You might have been wondering what happened to this site, well if you are reading this then you have found my new home. Portup.com (bought out some time ago by Skyenet) seems to have lost their server in Houghton and has not seemed too interested in fixing it and therefore I have been down for the last 3 weeks. All this time got me thinking about where I should be on the net. For those of you who follow Keweenaw area goings on it was clear what I needed to do. Move to Pasty.com and I ALSO HAVE A NEW DOMAIN,
but you can also find me at www.pasty.com/copperrange
Many thanks to the folks at www.Pasty.com for their support of local history by hosting this site. Lots of new space to work with, faster access time for all of you. If you enjoy this site then take some time and stop by their site and say thanks for sharing all the history of Michigan's Copper Country.
6/6/01 I have been contacted by someone who is interested in selling an extensive collection of Houghton County Traction Company memorabilia, photos, and negatives. If you are seriously interested in this collection please send me an email and I will put you in contact with this person.
4/19/01 I have recently aquired the John Campbell collection of well over 100 photos of the Copper Range Railroad. I will be posting new photos from my collection in the near future. All of the photos shown will be placed here.
4/4/01 Looking for another site with lots of historic Keweenaw photos, well check out Chuck Voelker's Copper Country Reflections site.
I know it has nothing to do with the Keweenaw but I have just completed my latest Hotbox article on the CB&Q's Oregon, Illinois depot. It was an interesting project involving various different materials. Looking for an interesting depot to model for your railroad then check it out.
Also for you rock hounds out there. I have been in contact with Tom Rosemeyer who is currently publishing articles on rock collecting and history of some Keweenaw area mines. I have not, as yet, ordered any of these but hope to in the near future, I will let you know or if someone else have purchased any of these let me know what you think.
The Cliff, America's First Native Copper Mine, Nov/Dec 1996. A Keweenaw Adventure: Specimen Mining at the Caledonia Mine, Mar/Apr 1997. News from the Keweenaw: Recent Mineral Finds in Michigan's Copper Country, May/Jun 1998. The History, Geology, and Mineralogy of the White Pine Mine, May/Jun 1999. Mineralogy of Point Prospect, keweenaw County, Michigan, Jul/Aug 2000. In press The Copper-bearing Conglomerate lodes of the Michigan Copper Country, May/June 2001. Copies of the magazine can be obtained for $7.50 each from: Marie Huizing, Managing Editor Rocks & Minerals 5341 Thrasher Drive Cincinnati, Ohio 45247
2/19/01 Just found a very nice Wisconsin Central RR Screen Saver offered for free from the Wisconsin Central Website. Check it out here. I also noticed that they have a car tracker (public equipment trace) where you can find out where any piece of WC is currently located. You can find that here. There main site is located here.
1/23/01 Happy New Year, a little late. Hope all is well with everyone. Many new things in the works for this year. New Painesdale, South Range, Freda pictures never before seen and lots of other stuff. Even a photo of the interior of the Copper Range depot in South Range. I finished my model of the CB&Q depot in Oregon, Illinois for a good friend of mine, soon to be a Hotbox article. I also released a new article on a pulp mill I built based on a 1920's process flow. It is in print but not yet on the Internet due to delays at the Hotbox due to heavy schedule conflicts. Finishing my drawings of Champion #4 (it has only taken 8 years or so), and have completed the mock-up, soon to start the model. Sould be interesting.
I have come across a few E&LS sources out there on the web for all you U.P. railroad fans. Joe Whitens has been putting together a site which is a collection of all the E&LS photos out there on the Internet, stop by and check out his site. The real E&LS website has also recently added a railfan page to their site with many fine photos of the line, including a very fine photo of the Sidnaw depot. Stop by their site as well. Does anyone know if they are becoming railfan friendly again?
12/23/00 This month marks my forth year providing information and history of Michigan's Keweenaw. As with every other year I think I have learned as much as those who visit. Many thanks to all of you who help to support this site with your own history and stories of this great part of this great state of ours.
On a very happy note, I am pleased to announce that I married the love of my life on December 16th. Diana and I have just returned from our honeymoon and looking forward to a very happy life together. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy all this great snow.
11/5/00 Painesdale Mine & Shaft is starting to work on a documentary video project to record the thoughts and images of past employees of Champion Mine, their experiences working in the mine and living in Painesdale. In order for us to get really serious about this project we would like to get some idea of the kind of iinterest this project might generate. If you might be interested in purchasing a documentary video like this please email me with your thoughts.
8/15/00 I have added a photo from the construction progress of my railroad as well as the plan for the Painesdale section. Things are going slow but progressing.
8/8/00 I recieved an interesting (well, more than interesting) story from Brian Juntikka that I just had to share with all of you serious Copper Range fans about the telephone system used by the Copper Range and the Atlantic & Lake Superior RR. You won't find stories like this anywhere!!!! Thanks Brian, keep them coming.
UNTIL I WAS 5 YEARS OLD, I LIVED IN ATLANTIC MINE ON WHAT WAS
THEN KNOWN AS FRENCHTOWN ROAD AND IS NOW KNOWN AS ONTARIO STREET. THE COPPER RANGE
RAILROAD RAN RIGHT BEHIND OUR HOUSE. IN FACT, THERE WAS A WYE TRACK THAT RAN ALONG SIDE
OUR HOUSE THAT RAN ALONG PART OF THE OLD ATLANTIC & LK SUPERIOR RR GRADE THAT
THE OLD ATLANTIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR RAILROAD RAN PART OF THAT ROUTE BUT THEN IT CROSSED THE CRRR MAIN LINE HEADING WEST TOWARD REDRIDGE (THROUGH OBENHOFF AND ONNELA ALONG THE COVERED DRIVE) THAT TRACK WAS TORN UP IN THE 1920'S FROM WHAT LIFELONG AREA RESIDENT RUDY KEMPPAINEN TELLS ME. WHEN I WAS SMALL, I REMEMBER SEEING THE OLD ROADBED AND TIES, BUT THE RAILS WERE LONG GONE.
ONE PART OF THAT INFRASTRUCTURE WAS STILL OPERATING WHEN
I WAS A KID, AND THAT WAS THE OLD ATLANTIC & LAKE SUPERIOR RR TELEPHONE LINE. AFTER
COPPER RANGE CONSOLIDATED COMPANY TOOK OVER THE ASSETS AND LIABILITIES OF THE ATLANTIC
MINING COMPANY, THEY ALSO
CRRR HAD THEIR OWN TELEPHONE (CRANK, OF COURSE!). OPEN WIRES ON POLES ALONG THE RR RIGHT OF WAY. (WESTERN UNION ALSO HAD A TELEGRAPH WIRE ALONG THAT ROUTE). CRRR USED TWO COPPER WIRES TIED TO GLASS OR CERAMIC INSULATORS. THEIR POLES RAN ALONG THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF THE TRACKS FROM MCKEEVER TO MILLMINE JUNCTION. AT MILLMINE, CRRR HAD A TELEPHONE CONTROL STATION....IT WAS A WOODEN BOX WITH A RR PADLOCK. INSIDE, THERE WAS A MAGNETO RINGER BOX, THREE DRY CELLS AND AN OLD PHONE ON A BRACKET. THE RECEIVER WAS A 528b TYPE SINGLE HEADPHONE. ON THE BACK WALL OF THIS CALLBOX WERE THREE DOUBLE POLE/DOUBLE THROW KNIFESWITCHES....A SINGLE KNIFESWITCH TO TIE THE PHONE TO ANY CIRCUIT ON THE LINE, AND A SINGLE POLE, SINGLE THROW KNIFESWITCH ON THE LEFTSIDE - BESIDE WHICH THERE WAS THE INSCRIPTION:"HANDS OFF - TELEGRAPH".
THE PURPOSE OF THIS CALLBOX WAS TO BE ABLE TO CONNECT
THAT PHONE TO ANY OR ALL THREE LEGS OF THE RR TELEPHONE LINE WHILE ISOLATING ALL OTHER
LEGS. IT WAS A GREAT IDEA FOR TROUBLESHOOTING ESPECIALLY AFTER STORMS. ALL THREE LEGS OF
THE RR TELEPHONE CIRCUIT WERE CLEARLY LABELED BY EACH OF THE THREE KNIFESWITCHES ON
THE BACKWALL......"LAKESHORE" which was Obenhoff, Redridge Jct, Beacon Hill,
Freda Post Office and Freda Mill, 'HOUGHTON'" including Atlantic Mine, and
ALL THOSE SAWMILLS WERE CONNECTED BACK IN THE 1950S AND 1960SBECAUSE THEY HAD SIDINGS ON THE RAILROAD AND DID REGULAR BUSINESS WITH COPPER RANGE. IN ADDITION, THE RAILROAD PHONE DIDN'T COST THEM ANYTHING TO USE . UNTIL DIAL PHONES FINALLY CAME TO TOIVOLA, DONKEN, TWIN LAKES AND WINONA IN DECEMBER OF 1965, IT WAS A TOLL CALL FROM THOSE PLACES TO HOUGHTON.
THE CRRR TELEPHONE WAS SABOTAGED DURING THE WINTER OF 1967-1968 WHEN A YOUNG FELLA NAMED SKOVIAK WENT OUT WITH HIS SNOWMOBILE AT NIGHT AND STARTED CUTTING THE COPPER WIRES OFF THE POLES..SELLING IT FOR SCRAP METAL. (THE LINES WERE STILL IN USE!) I GUESS HE GOT A FEW MILES OF WIRE ROLLED UP BETWEEN SOUTH RANGE AND PAINESDALE BEFORE THE SHERIFF FINALLY CAUGHT HIM. HE HAD ROLLS OF THE BARE WIRE IN HIS GARAGE. WHAT THEY DID WITH HIM I CAN'T REMEMBER NOW.
WITH THAT LEG OF THE CIRCUIT GONE, CRRR HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO LEASE A PAIR OF WIRES FROM MICHIGAN BELL (FROM THE DEPOT AND OFFICE IN HOUGHTON TO THE RR TELEPHONE LINE IN PAINESDALE). THIS WORKED FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. IN THE MEANTIME, PEOPLE STARTED RIPPING OFF THE REMAINS OF THE RR TELEPHONE LINE FROM MILLMINE JCT TO FREDA AND ELSEWHERE. BY 1970, CRRR GAVE UP ON THE PHONE LINE NORTH OF TOIVOLA AND CONTRACTED WITH UP TELEPHONE FOR DIAL SERVICE ALONG THE RR LINE TO MCKEEVER. LATER THAT YEAR, UP TELEPHONE INSTALLED MOBILE UNITS ON THE ENGINES AND THAT WAS THE END OF THE OLD RAILROAD TELEPHONE SYSTEM.
AS YOU HAVE PROBABLY FIGURED OUT, I TOOK AN INTEREST IN THEIR TELEPHONE SYSTEM LONG AGO. AT MILLMINE JCT, THEIR POLE LINE SHIFTED FROM RUNNING ALONG THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF THE TRACK TO THE NORTHWEST SIDE OF THE TRACK, ALL THE WAY TO FREDA. THE POLE LINE FROM MILLMINE JCT TO HOUGHTON RAN ALONG THE EAST SIDE OF THE TRACK.
IN THE DAYS I REMEMBER THEIR OLD RR PHONE IN OPERATION, THEY HAD MODERNIZED THE ANSWERING POINT SOMEWHAT. AS YOU WALKED INTO THE HOUGHTON COPPER RANGE DEPOT, YOU COULD HEAR A TINNY HUMMING SOUND. AS YOU CLIMBED UP THE STAIRS TO THE RAILROAD OFFICE, THE HUM GOT LOUDER AND WHEN YOU REACHED TO THE TOP OF THE STAIRS AND WALKED INTO THE OFFICE, THERE SAT THE DISPATCHER IN FRONT OF HIS MAIN RAILROAD PHONE. THE HUM WAS AMPLIFIED LINE PICKUP...A 60 CYCLE HARMONIC COMMON TO OLD OPEN WIRE TELEPHONE LINES OF THAT ERA...COMING THRU A LOUDSPEAKER. ON A TUBULAR BRACKET WAS THE TRANSMITTER MOUTHPIECE, AND A FOOTSWITCH ON THE FLOOR TO ACTIVATE IT.
WHEN ANY OF THE RAILROAD GUYS WANTED TO CALL IN, THEY'D PICK UP A PHONE OUT ON THE LINE, CLOSE THE KNIFESWITCH (ALL RR PHONES HAD A KNIFESWITCH ON CRRR BACK THEN) AND ANNOUNCE THEIR LOCATION. THE DISPATCHER IN HOUGHTON WOULD HEAR THIS COMING OVER THE LOUDSPEAKER AND ANSWER WHOEVER WAS CALLING.
BACK IN 1966, I REMEMBER CY LABISSIONERE USING THE PHONE ON THAT POLE IN MILLMINE JUCTION. HE PUT THE HEADPHONE ON, THREW THE SWITCH AND HOLLERED INTO THE MOUTHPIECE...'MILLMINE!.......MILLMINE!.... IT WAS REALLY WINDY THAT DAY AND I GUESS HE HAD A HARD TIME HEARING OVER THE PHONE. FINALLY HE SAW RED AND YELLED INTO THE PHONE: "....LISTEN !##%&!!! IT...IF I YELL ANY LOUDER THAN THIS I WON'T NEED NO ###!!^$! PHONE!"
BRIAN R. JUNTIKKA
7/12/00 This just in.
5/11/00 I have been checking out two newsgroups of interest to most of you who visit this site. You might want to try them yourself.
Just another FREE service offered by The Copper Range Railroad and Copper Country Historical Page
While you are at it why not add the Michigan Train Watcher's
Channel as well.
4/4/00 Here is the latest update on the move of CR200.
The Soo Line Historical & Technical Society's ex-Copper
Range Baldwin S-12 No. 200 has arrived in Duluth. The locomotive is positioned at
BNSF's Rice's Point Yard prior to being shoved into the museum.
3/30/00 An update to the CR200 story from 3/28:
3/28/00 Please remember to mark your calender on April 9th for the Painesdale Mine & Shaft annual Spaghetti Dinner at the South Range VFW hall from noon until 5pm. Hope to see you there, I will be boiling 110 pounds of noodles in the back.
3/28/00 Some new information on CRRR 200 sent in by Bill Carney:
From: "Dennis J. Holmes" <RUN_SD40@bresnanlink.net>
This notice came across the trainmaster's desk last evening and was dated 3/27/00. It reads:
"On Tuesday March 28, will be moving eng CR 200 from Mellen to South I. to be delivered to the Duluth Museum via the BN. South I. will arrange to have a crew on duty in the morning at Mellen. Will take one eng off LO-13 in and line up 6 idlers: SSAM 52027, WC 54014, WC 54119, WC 55255, WC 55079 and WC 55038 with 3 cars on each side of eng. The eng should be set up where the air is bypassed. Crew will handle from Mellen to Prentice to Ladysmith and then to South I. The train will be handled in one piece to the BN. Once the train is delivered to the museum, the BN will deliver the idlers and eng to be interchanged back to the WC. This eng will move dead in tow, non-complying and not to exceed 25 MPH."
This engine sat back in a secluded area in Mellen for quite a while and as a result, had just about everything brass stolen off of it in the several years it was there. When they tried to put air to it, the air was coming out of just about everyplace there was any sort of valve. Hence the reason for the idlers. Happy hunting..........
Dennis J. Holmes (Homer)
2/23/00 I have been using a screen saver and wallpaper program from www.webshots.com for a while now and have been very happy with the results and photos available. I am very happy to announce that if you are using this free product, or would like to download it, you can now view my favorite Keweenaw photos. I have added a Keweenaw photo album which can be found here, by clicking on the image you can add it to your webshots wallpaper or screen saver, or you can view a slide show of the photos by going here. I will be adding future weekly photos to this album as well. Hope you enjoy them.
2/15/00 On the heals of the demise of my first Copper Range layout comes my second attempt. Please check out the new plans for my HO scale version of the Copper Range set in 1923.
1/29/00 5 new postcards were added to Vintage Postcards, look down to the bottom of the page.
1/26/00 I have recieved many emails from people who visit my LS&I cybertour pages about additional information or sites related to this great railroad. Well I can finally say there is somewhere else to go to learn about the LS&I. Dave Pierce has started an unofficial LS&I site to take care of all your LS&I needs. Please visit it by following this link. The Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad
1/7/00 Three interesting stories from the Detroit News on the Copper Country
HAPPY NEW YEAR
1/4/00 Some information send along from Dave Zelisse. Thanks Dave for keeping us up to date.
I also saw something about a unit in Mellen (?)
getting authorized to move. I asked my boss about it and he was saying he thought it was a
Baldwin (maybe the one the WC lost the trucks to). He said during its residency there,
someone came along and stole all of the brass off of it (maybe the same ones responsible
for the missing brasses on the DMIR ore jennies?) and that it would have idler cars at
either end (for braking) and a substitute brake pipe run thru it for the trip. It is
supposed to be interchanged to the BN - where I do not know. (in Superior?). Maybe someone
else knows more about this. I will keep my eyes open for further messages about this
move......... This is the ex-Copper Range Baldwin owned by the SLH&TS. It is indeed
the same one that the WC lost the "spare" trucks to (sent to a scrap yard I
believe). One good roller bearing truck from the Lake Superior Railroad Museum's ex-Erie
Mining Baldwin switcher (S12 7243, the "last" Baldwin) was sent to Mellen and
put under the unit in question. The CR Baldwin currently has one good friction bearing
truck that is capable of moving. The switcher's one bad truck was sent back to Duluth and
put under the Erie Mining S12. The Copper Range unit will be moved to Duluth next week
(tentative) for storage at the LSRM. The switcher will be sandwiched by six or seven cars
and there will be a brake hose strung alongside to carry air through (around) the