Mar 12-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: March: Mar 12-06
Soo Line, March 1976    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Rob Kitchen
Closer details    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Rob Kitchen
East Houghton Yard '75    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Rob Kitchen

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 07:55 am:

The Guest Gallery just keeps rolling along with new albums every week, from Yoopers and ex-Yoopers alike, with current scenes and a wealth of Shoebox Memories. Rob Kitchen has a nifty collection of Soo Line shots from back in the 70's. The first one had me wondering about who owned the Philips 66 truck, so we zoomed in, where the close-up reveals "Simula Bros. - Calumet". Wonder if anybody remembers that company, and who took over in later years?

The third shot is actually from a year earlier, looking across to the Ripley side from the Houghton Yard. The ski lift appears to be missing from the picture... anyone know when it was built? Which reminds me, it's been been a busy week for skiing here in the Keweenaw, with the Junior Olympics at MTU, and the Great Bear Chase at Swedetown today in Calumet. Don't know what that has to do with trains, except maybe that the old track beds have been known to provide interesting cross-country trails (if you can avoid the snowmobiles). In case you haven't been to the Copper Country since the 70's, the trains definitely don't run here any more.

If you have been following the story of Pasty Cam's beginning, it just occurred to me between today's March photos (75-76), in October '75 was when the original Pasty Camist was born. See another of Jonathan's interesting early shots in today's What'sUP. Wonder if we'll ever see those gas prices again?

Have a good week :o)

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 08:21 am:

Thanks for the pictures of the trains.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to spot a Soo
Line engine in a train yard here in Toronto. It's
been a long time since I've seen a red
caboose. I remember sitting and watching for
them with my son when he was young. Now
he's 22, in the Army and bound for Iraq in
June. Time does fly...

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 08:25 am:

Trains are fascinating. They have been gone a long time from our section of the country,too. Good pictures of the past.

By Carolyn Spoehr (Canyongal) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 08:40 am:

I remember Simula Brothers. They had a gas station next to our house on Pine Street in Calumet. Well there was a street inbetween our house and the station. They were between us and the bus garage for the school. That was back in the early 70's

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 08:59 am:

Wow, I especially love the third pic...something about the bright red of the caboose, against the snow, that accents both the blue in the snow and the red in the caboose.
Kosk, I remember waiting for the caboose on the trains to go by, when I was little. Trying to remember when it was that they stopped having the cabooses on the back of trains...think it was sometime in the late 70's...but not exactly sure.
Hope your son has a safe tour in Iraq.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 09:46 am:

Little Red Caboose, Chug, Chug, Chug! I love cabooses. When I was little we would go to the train station in Houghton. Now my grandchildren are amazed by trains. They're a nuisance out here though. Some are so long and if you don't beat them to the tracks, you could be late for work.
Kosk, Prayers are with your son. Safe journey to him.

By michael braman (Gravedigger) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 10:30 am:

if i remember correctly, in the late 1960s my grandmother took a carload of kids to houghton to see the train from E H . it was the {art-train} that was travelling the country. trains and culture in one shot, plus a trip to the city.

By Dotsie Salani Stewart (Suna) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 10:31 am:

I can remember watching the Soo line trains pass my house in West Hancock everyday. In the winter they would have the big plows on the front to clear the tracks. I can also remember the Copper Country Limited that went from Houghton/Hancock to Calumet and return about 5:30PM to pick up passengers at the depot for the Milwaukee/Chicago trip. Made that trip a few times and I was in "awe" of the journey.We would stand on the front porch when the train went by just to wave to the conductors who stood on the back of the train on a platform. He was dressed in a nice uniform and it was the first black person I ever saw--great memories.

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 10:49 am:

I like these train pics!! When I was a kid gowing up with no air cond. and open windows, at nite I fell asleep listening to the switch engines at Quaker Oats Co. like a lullaby. Now where we live there are train tracks near and when I feed our horses in early a.m. I can hear the train sounding it's horn at the crossings. A sound of comfort for me.

By Lulubelle/Hancock (Lulubelle) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 11:24 am:

My husband remembers in the 50's when the train couldn't get up the hill in west Hancock because of the grasshoppers. There were so many on the tracks that the wheels lost traction. I guess they had to put sand on the tracks to get up the hill.

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 12:50 pm:

What is the magic about trains I wonder. Welive in the hilly country of NW Il. about 1/2 mile from the active tracks of the BNSF. And I still enjoy the whistling as the engine crosses our road. I can hear it in the distance and as it gets closer then passes on. My goal of 2006 is to tape record my husband telling his story of running a steam engine for about 18 years at the large steel mill in Sterling, Il. There were visitors from all over who took photos of those engines and I never even thought to take some myself. Hope to take some of him at a local museum before too long.

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 01:25 pm:

I thought I'd sent a message but it must have gone out into space, hey? Hope it doesn't show up later after this one. I just said that there is such a magic about trains. I live about a 1/2 mile from a BNSF line. As it crosses our gravel road I can it hear it's approaching whistle and it fades at the next crossings. I love watching the trains following the Mississippi River by nearby Savanna, Il. My personal goal for 2006 is to tape record my husband telling about his experiences running a local steam engine for about 18 years. He ran them at the local steel mill in Sterling, Il. Many visitors from all over the country took photos through the years but I never did. Hope to have him pose on an engine at the Dillon Museum in Sterling. The mill owner had a love of the steam engines but after he passed the engines were gotten rid of. Such a loss.

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 01:30 pm:

Opps! :)

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 02:14 pm:

Gee Deb s You like caboose's, well I happen to own one. Its been fixed up somewhat but the original is still there. It was a small Copper Range caboose,from in the late 20s or early 30s.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 02:53 pm:

The ICG donated a caboose to the Rockwood Historical Society..It has been de-asbestosed?? and now, newly painted and sits on tracks next to the new replica built depot/museum. It can be seen from the I-75 freeway while Yoopers are on the way to Florida!!!!!

By Helen Milan (Hmilan) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 02:54 pm:

Prayers go out to your son while he is in Iraq and to your family while he is abroad.

By Seismic Pirate (Marc) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 03:55 pm:

With a son headed to Iraq, you may find something in the following posts of a young soldier and father stationed in Afganistan. He's a bright young man who offers some candid ideas of what its like over there and what soldiers need from their family and friends. I was directed to this site yesterday by a friend and found myself unable to stop reading. I read the site straight thru in about an hour.

By Joe Dase (Up_miner) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 04:57 pm:

Which Copper Range Caboose is it? Just wondering.


By maija in Commerce Township (Maija) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 07:03 pm:

god speed to your son, Kosk

By Jane (Yooperski) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 07:17 pm:

Klickety Klak
Train on the tracks
Hauling our goods
Through Peninsula woods.

Sure do miss the Soo Line. Thanks for the memories.

By in NVA (Bobby2k) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 07:18 pm:

re: Ripley Chair Lift

My wife recalls a chair lift in 1974 -'75 She does not recall using a rope tow.

By RCW (Rcw) on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 07:42 pm:

Joe, da miner I'm not sure what it could have been called. It was the smallest I ve ever seen. I got an old photo I'll have to look up. They sold them for scrap and my dad bought one, probably during the depression.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 10:04 am:

Pasty Cam Friends:Thanks for your good wishes for our
son! I would like to get one of those blue star flags that
Mary Drew mentioned a few weeks back. I would like
to fly it at the family cottage in the UP this summer.

Mary Drew says: I purchased mine from the William Giroux Post 90 American Legion, right here in Lake Linden!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 10:16 am:

Thank you Mary Drew and thank you Seismic Pirate.
I printed up the list of what to send in care packages
and what to say and not say to our deployed soldier
and I will purchase a flag when I get to the UP.

By Rob Kitchen (Rgkitchen) on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 - 11:34 pm:

I spent many hours at the East Houghton yard while I was attending Tech in the late 70s. I got to know the train crew pretty well (although I can't remember their names now). They allowed me to occasionally ride along with them when they went north across the canal on Saturdays. They told me a lot about some of the places they used to work in the past. For instance, there was a large frame building beside the tracks at Boston that they told me used to be a major shipper of potatoes. It seems that potatoes were a big crop in the Copper Country in the past. The building that is partially seen in both of the above photos was called the potato warehouse - it was used by the town of Houghton for salt storage when I was taking these pictures.

Kosk - my son in law spent nine months in Iraq last year. He returned safe and sound and I'm sure your son will also. My nephew is a new Second Lieutenant and is worried that he won’t get a chance to go over since his training is taking so long that his outfit may return before he gets his chance.

Click Here to view more of my photos at RailPictures.Net!

By Ian Soumis (Isoumis) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 02:49 pm:

Sure glad these pictures were posted. When I was a kid, the SOO LINE trains passed through our back yard in Chassell. We would always watch them go by on their daytime runs. I currently live in Metro Detroit, and my job requires me to drive all over the place. I noticed last Fall that the SOO trains are still in service down here, and I find myself wondering if I'm seeing some of the same ones again after all these years. Now I can look out for train number 700! Thanks the memory!

By Rob Kitchen (Rgkitchen) on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 12:17 am:


Soo number 700 has been preserved at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth. You can see a picture of it at this web page:

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