Jan 29-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: January: Jan 29-06
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Photo from Robinohio

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:22 am:

This week's Shoebox Memory features a couple of adventurous lads in the U.P., toward the end of the depression. This old photo arrived in my inbox with the following note:

...Painesdale Michigan... 1939... the boys are Wilbert Wainio in the dark pants and My Father Paul Niemi in the light pants. I dont know who Wilbert was other than a friend who went to school with my father. Paul was the son of Edward and Wilma Niemi of Painesdale and Hancock, and the Grandson of Andrew and Olga Niemi who came from Finland. They lived in Painesdale and he worked for the Champion Mine and probably others before purchasing land on what was then Paradise Road Location (I belive its Worham Road now). And he built a farm there while still working in the mine.

I was wondering also what the small building they are standing on is - there are several (around them). Also wondering what the church in the background is.

We welcome your input, shedding light on the exact location of this old photo. Wonder whose shadow that is (the photographer?) and what kind of camera he/she was using? It would really be fascinating to see a shot today from the same angle. Thanks to Robinohio for a glimpse of the past.

Have a good week :o)
Kelly Marshall (Kelly) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:47 am:

It amazes me what great photos the old cameras took. Even 50 or 100 years later, the clarity and detail are excellent. With modern software, even more of the detail can be revealed. I wonder if our great-grandchildren will be able to say the same of most of our newer digital images? I wonder if the print paper will even hold up this well.
I see a chimney ( or a pipe ) strapped to the wall of one of the buildings. Could this be a smokehouse?
The small buildings baffle me.

By mary beth (Mbflorida) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:47 am:

good Morning,
Nice picture.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 08:46 am:

Robin, Thanks for the blast from the past :) I too am baffled as to what the small huts are, that your father and his buddy are standing on. My guess would be pump houses for the well. I remmber my grandfather had a small building behind his farm house, to house the pump for his well.

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 08:49 am:

Good Morning everyone. Boy, if my dad was living and saw this picture, he could tell where this picture was taken. He knew Painesdale like the back of his hand. Grandma & Grandpa Ravasz lived on Concord St right next to M-26.

By M. B. (Missy) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 08:51 am:

The small buildings are outhouses. That is why they are located on the back edges of the house properties.

The pole is not a chimney attached to that one in the background. If I were to guess, I think the pole is there in case the snow piled so high that they could hopefully find it again.

By S.D. (Upla) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:06 am:

The small buildings are outhouses and utility buildings located at the rear corners and lot lines of residential lots. This was once a common sight and landscape feature found in communities of the Keweenaw.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:12 am:

I hope the folks back then didn't confuse their outhouses with their smokehouses or else thay end up with some interesting flavored meat!! Also, perhaps the direction of the shadows being cast could give a clue to the direction the camera was aimed in this shot.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:20 am:

Mornin' all....my guess on the huts would be that they were built for housing pigs, as hog-farmers use in other parts of the country, such as Ohio.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:43 am:

Great black and whites from years past.

By Charles Pomazal (Cpomazal) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:44 am:

it almost looks like a shafthouse and pulley stands behind the boys.

By james f. haven (Technoido) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 11:10 am:

I'm gonna go w/ the outhouses theory. I have several repros of old
maps of various villages that show an alley down the middle of
each block, w/ outbuildings at the back end of the lots, that way
the honeysucker could service the privys more easily. In this pix,
one can see the panked down path between the two rows. Boy the
smell, eh? One can still see this in Ahmeek, Gratiot Location,
Clifton, and several other locations. What's interesting is the
different styles, probably dependent on what was available at hand
when they were built. Now for the $64K question, what else went
down those poopers? Mystery question of the day.

By M. B. (Missy) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 11:28 am:

Response to mystery question: bottles, coins, dishes, toys, etc. Just like your garbage can of today!

In the winter time, outhouses do not have a stench. In the summer, they can be fragrant. If you use enough powdered lime though, they do not have a stench! Powdered lime is the key to a fresh smelling outhouse.

Today, it is orange scented cleaning solutions for the indoor bathroom!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 12:15 pm:

What is so great about this picture is that you can definitely tell it's Painesdale if you know anything about Painesdale at all. The clarity is magnificent. As to what they're doing and how on earth they get into these things with all the snow, it's anybody's guess. But I do love the picture! We have wet snow today. It's very light so we probably won't get much and I hate it like this because it usually turns into ice. My granddaughter nearly fell on her butt leaving church this morning.

By dlp (Babyseal) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 12:20 pm:

What a great old picture. I asked my hubby who lived in Painesdale most of his life (but not going back to 1939 though :)), he thought maybe some of the little structures might be root cellars. Some of the structures look too small to be all outhouses. But then again, we get a lot of snow here.

By Gary W. Long (Gary_in_co) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 12:50 pm:

re: the snow. If there ever was a reason to shovel snow in the U.P. back then, I would imagine that unobstructed access to the outhouse door would have been on the top end of the list of incentives.

By Helen Milan (Hmilan) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 12:58 pm:

Hello to yous from Chicago's Southwest suburbs, where it is in the middle 40's and rather dreary today. Does anyone know the name of the church in the background of today's shoebox memory photo?

By hicksinindiana (Indyhicks) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 02:10 pm:

Mystery question - In the Manistee area, down state, there are those that find it interesting and profitable to dig old privie sites. I was given a "privie pretty" from a dig at my sister's site, perhaps a shawnee planter with a bird on it. I was hesitant to handle it but, so I'm told, it has been cleaned with a special cleaner. The "digger" has found several valuables in tact, some old bottles have sold on ebay in excess of $100. There is also a local artist that makes "privie jewelry" and it sells!
No snow in middle Indiana but we visit yours daily.

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 02:15 pm:

The first thing I thought when I posted today's picture was: chicken houses. I thought maybe they were coops where the kept the sitting hens and gathered the eggs. Never occured to me about outhouses.

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 02:38 pm:

What a great picture. I love the high-tops. Wonder if he had a jack-knife holder on the side of the high-tops.
I would think the buildings are placed to close together to be outhouses.Could they have been tool sheds?

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 03:07 pm:

There were all sorts of out buildings in the 'backyard' back then: root cellars, chicken houses, tool sheds, wood sheds, and, yes, outhouses. We even had something down here in the South called a flower pit.

By dave sou (Davesou) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 04:04 pm:

if you look at how deep the snow is on the house windows, and by the house in front of the church, you can see that the house the boys are on is actually fairly high.
So an outhouse it definitly could be.

By Robert Mortiere (Mortimer) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 04:48 pm:

Would the outhouses be called poopers for Yoopers

By Jean Pemberton (Jeaniep1) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 04:54 pm:

These are outhouses, which were in every backyard in Painesdale back in the 50's and before, located next to the garage. My family had one when we first lived on Adams Street, but after our house burned down, we moved to Douglass Street and there was no outhouse because we had an indoor toilet... The church in the background is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, which we used to call the "white church." It's since been torn down. The Painesdale Apostolic Lutheran church was across the road and is still active. That building has gone thru some remodeling projects over the years and looks quite different now, at least from the outside. The inside is much bigger, too.

By Robinohio (Robinohio) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 05:48 pm:

Hi All
Just heard from a Distant cousin of mine that My Father and Wilbert are standing on the roof of Mrs Waino's outhouse. Mrs Waino was the mother of Aunt Sophie Fraki whos Pasties were served at Fraki's markets. He dosent remember who Wilbert was though. Robin

By Charles in Adrian (Charlesinadrian) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 05:55 pm:

Yooper Poopers? That close together -- like for a whole block?
Hard to believe one propertyowner would give up his backyard
so the neighborhood could poop there. -- Unless, maybe, it
was like a local laundromat where the neighbors had to pay so
much for a poop? That just seems so unlikely altho maybe our
intrepid capitalist boys in the pic look so jolly because they
really "cleaned-up" on some local clients?
On another subject, the Toledo Blade today had a full page
story on those "dirty-bird" double-crested cormorants in
western Lake Erie which foul their own areas (hmm, sound
familiar?) while fishing the daylights out of the local fisheries. I
know the Bays de Noc area on Lake Michigan have a similar
problem. Anything like that in the western part of Lake

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:14 pm:

Ahhh! days before the Building and Zoning commisioners!

By Julie Beck (Mrsmommybeck) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:15 pm:

Robin, my husband suggested that perphaps because of the church in the background, the picture may have been taken in Chassell. Contact me if you'd like. Julie

By Helen Milan (Hmilan) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:24 pm:

Thanks, Jean, for identifying the church for us all. Have a restful evening.

By jim lu maye (Jimlu) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 07:25 pm:

the little houses in the picture could be dog houses for hunting dogs. we in wisc also have hog houses like that. jim

By Inwis (Inwis) on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 09:40 pm:

they could be so close together because they are

"out back" of "two family company homes"? If so would each family have there own ..?

By Michelle Tregembo Wilson (Michelle) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 12:23 am:

Hi Robin! I'll make sure my dad sees this photo.
He will be in Ohio this June for his 60th class

By Barbara J. Manninen (Barb61) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 12:17 pm:

I love the picture taken in Painesdale. My sister Jean Pemberton posted above...I'd like to just add-on. I have fond memories of that "white church." I remember attending Sunday School and Summer School (Vacation Bible School)there. Mrs. Ivar Seppanen was in charge of both. She made those Old Testament and New Testament stories come alive for us using the flannel-graph. I remember the letter boxes and sewing cards and walking the churchyard fence during recess. It was so cold in the church in the winter that we often would go up in the balcony to have class, wearing our mittens, to take advantage of the heat rising from the floor registers. Each family had their own outdoor toilet. I looked forward to the toilet cleaner each year, going through the alleys dipping out the contents of each outhouse and dumping the stuff into his wagon. It was heaven on earth, as I loved horses, and could feed the horse grass and pat his nose as he waited patiently to move to the next place.

By Andrew Sewell (Asewell) on Monday, January 30, 2006 - 03:57 pm:

If you look close at the middle rear outhouse, you can indeed see a path shoveled to the door - perhaps all the snow between the outhouse rows was shoveled there from the front.

here in Ohio, we've had a lousy winter. All warm weather and no snow!

By Paula Jo Lucier (Paula) on Wednesday, February 1, 2006 - 09:35 am:

I believe this is Concord Street in Painesdale and could be where our house is today. My parents Joan and Paul Tormala purchased a house at the end of Concord Street from a Mrs. Wainio back in 1963. We grew up there and still own the house. It's awesome to see what the neighborhood looked like then - thanks for sharing. paula

By Ryan Wainio (Winshark) on Saturday, February 4, 2006 - 07:55 pm:

I believe Wilbert Wainio was my grandpa Reino's brother. At first I thought it was my dad, but then noticed the date. I never met him, but I'll have to ask my grandma.

By lyndon Paul Rose (Chip717) on Sunday, February 5, 2006 - 03:45 am:

I am with great anticipation to see Painesdale on my next trip to the U. P. I got my first taste of it in '03 while lighthouse hunting. I was intantly hooked. I came back in '05 to spend more time there, staying in near by Christmas for a few days - exploring, and playing tourist. This year We will be coming up from the Apostle Island, to get up to Copper Harbor, coming across Wisconsin. Had to stop at Marquette last year, in order to make Oshkosh Sawdust days. The first two times we came up through Mackinaw. The Lakes are a drawing card, but the U. P.! - now that's another thing. Thanks to Pasty.net for getting me out of Missouri on cold winter nights, to the warmth of the Northwoods. Paul, Festus, Mo.

By Robinohio (Robinohio) on Sunday, February 5, 2006 - 01:05 pm:

Just checked out the Copper Range Railroad web site and there is information on there about the big snow storm of 1939 This photo was taken March 19 1939 so it is of the big snow storm.
Charlie Thanks for posting the photo. now I know I have a photo of Painesdale history.

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