Nov 01-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: November: Nov 01-06
The new bridge    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Z-Man
The old bridge    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Z-Man
Last crossing    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Craig Jordan

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 06:59 am:

Ontonagon is situated on the western end of the U.P., where this new MDOT project has just recently been completed and opened for use. The first shot is the new bridge, taken by Z-Man a few weeks back. The structure is part of the M-64/US-45/M-38 intersection now and has decorative street lights matching those in downtown Ontonagon. There is also a walking/bicycle/snowmobile path that is 12.5 feet wide, which will accommodate the snowmobile groomer during the winter months. Z-Man's panoramic shot gives a last look at the old swing bridge, which opened by rotating parallel to the river on a central pier. It was the last of its type still in use on a Michigan highway. In today's last photo, Craig Jordon captures a moment in history, perhaps one of the last crossings of the old swing bridge before it is officially closed. For a more detailed report of the goings on with the new and the old bridge, check out this link: New Ontonagon River Bridge.

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 07:35 am:

Ontonagon has left such an imprint on our hearts that the above pics have brought a tear to my eye! Can't wait to go back this July!! Hope to make it my permanent home in 2 years and change!

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 07:44 am:

Ontonagon is my alma mater, but I lived in East Branch (S of Mass City). Can't imagine that the new bridge will be good for business downtown. Tourists will no longer have to pass through town and eat pasties at Syl's Country Kitchen or stop for ice cream next door or fill up their gas tanks in their RVs or boats. Time's are a-changin'..... Go Gladiators!!!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:11 am:

Who are the Gladiators?

Too bad about the bridge really. I liked that old bridge and I think Cindy is right about business.

Anyway, I always knew Ontonagon as the Polar Bears?

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:27 am:

Ontonagon HS became Ontonagon Area High School in the 60s (I forget exactly when) and became the Gladiators. It was no longer just Ontonagon, but a consolidated school district encompassing Mass, Greenland, Rockland and surrounding rural areas. I think the "new" high school was built in 1967?? I was a member of the Bicentennial Class.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:29 am:

That's strange that I didn't know that cuz I graduated from Lake Linden in '70 and always thought they were still the Polar Bears. Learn something new every day.

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:39 am:

So, what is everyone's opinion about retiring in ontonagon! Your input would be very helpful to us!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:40 am:

I'm not sure it will be bad for business; people are going to stop in town no matter what if they need something.

Since I haven't been to Ontonagon in a few years, where was the new bridge built?? I'm wondering because wasn't the marina/boat ramp on the south side of the swing bridge?? If the new bridge was built next to the old one, wouldn't that raise havoc for any large boat trying to get out into the Lake (height restrictions)??

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:57 am:

Nice pics. I took an aerial of this bridge being built last fall.It shows locations of both bridges. It probably was moved to accomodate boats to marina without having to sail under it. On page 7 of my gallery you can view the photo below - full size, if any are interested in seeing it. Neil

The new and the old

Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:58 am:

The new bridge is upriver some from the marina so there should be no conflict for any boats anymore. If you know where the old high school is, the new road to the bridge starts about there and totally bypasses the downtown area.

By Michael Austin (Mjayeh) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 09:07 am:

I love bridges, my favorite has to be the Cut River bridge on US 2. Nice photos, thank you for sharing.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 09:08 am:

Joanie, Do you like lake effect snow? LOL

By Charles in Adrian (Charlesinadrian) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 09:16 am:

I don't know about retiring to Ontonagon, but moving back to
Esky a month ago or so has been great so far. It has helped, of
course, that this area has yet to see any snow. I think maybe
Ontonagon is not so lucky in that respect?

By Debra J McCumber (Debrajean) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 09:25 am:

Great pictures today - what a neat bridge, both before and after. It makes me sad that it had to change, but it sure is a pretty sight to see!

Joanie -

I can't speak for Ontonagon, but I moved up to the Iron Mountain/Norway area about 5 weeks ago and I just love it up here!! I have been looking at property in the Ontonagon area and it looks just beautiful. I'm not sure you could go wrong moving there - just as long as you love the winter! Good luck! : )

By FJL (Langoman) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 09:29 am:

"Capt." Paul, by-passing a town's main street does hurt the small business there. Once a new highway or free-way is built around a town, it does have a major effect on them. At my age I have seen that happen too often. I do believe that age does make a difference in how a person views things. ;)

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 09:43 am:

Love the little taste of lake effect snow that we experienced in Ontonagon last February! Soft, fluffy powder dustings every night. Then low and behold the morning we left - - - big, big, blizzard, couldn't see a thing. That would have been perfect watching through a window, fire going in the wood burner, all stocked up with groceries and not worrying about a thing! We have no more winters in "Ill-annoy", temps are always in the up and down mode. Damp, raw and chilly. Sometimes, if we're lucky, a wet slushy snow that doesn't last. All I know is that I would walk the dog every night, stayed right on "The Lake", and the serenity of the soft-like powdery snow, the clear sky with the stars sparkling, and the clean air convinced me that is where I want to live!

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 10:21 am:

Enjoyed your gallery, Neil. Especially liked the 3 eagles feeding on the deer carcass (Where was that taken?), the flying eagle in Eagle Harbor, the Huron Island lighthouse and the heron rookery. Can't wait to get home from work and check out the rookery, replete with herons, on my home computer. Pictures look so much better on that computer.

By Kathy P. (Katiaire) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 10:52 am:

Joanie, I, also, live in "Ill-annoy" (Marengo area). I love my little 6.5 acre retreat with pond and wildlife habitat, but plan to relocate to the UP in the not too distant future. Am looking more in the Keweenaw area. I totally agree with you re: our annoying winters...cold & bitter with little beauty. Have visited Ontonagon and love the shoreline and the closeness of Porcupine Mtns. I don't think there is a bad part in the UP

By JH (Thumbgardener) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 12:05 pm:

Great pictures. I love Neil's aerial photos. All 3 photographers have some awesome pictures in their albums.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 12:06 pm:

Thanks for the aerial pic Neil. Ok, I see where the new bridge is now, so yes, I could see where that would pose a problem to downtown business. Like I said I hadn't been to Ontonagon now for quite a few years, so I didn't know where the new bridge was being placed. I would agree that with only one way in/out of downtown, that will hurt indeed......

By Sheri (Sheri) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 01:05 pm:

Ontonagon High School became Ontonagon Area High School in 1968. It was the Polar Bears until then when it consolidated with the neighboring schools. They then became the Gladiators and their school colors changed to maroon and white. Ma for Mass High School, Ro for Rockland's Roger Clark High School and On for Ontonagon High School. The building was built in 1967 and the first consolidated class to graduate from there was 1968 although the Rockland school sent their students a couple of years before that.

By Tim Dawson-Townsend (Gremlin86) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 01:36 pm:

What's that huge building down by the breakwater?

By Lori Houle (Runnerlori) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 01:41 pm:

A little off subject, but today on CNN I saw a video of the breakwall with waves crashing sent in by Bill Fink, Houghton Mi...they mentioned the high waves, from recent severe weather, wind and the canal. Also mentioned Isle Royal and Lake Superior of course... Too cool! And I see Bill Fink has photo's in the pasty gallery.

By Mike B. Wishin I was back in the Yoop (Mikeb) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 01:50 pm:

Ontonagon is a very very nice area. Don't let the prospect of a stout winter scare you away.

In my humble opinion, you could blindfold yourself and throw a dart at a map of the U.P. then move to where ever it lands. You are sure to find the same outstanding beauty and the same wonderful people no matter where you choose to go. You really can't go wrong when choosing to retire to the U.P.

Of course, that is just my opinion, and I may be a bit biased :-)

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 01:50 pm:

The Interstate Bridge between Marinette, WI and Menominee, MI was rebuilt, but not relocated, a year ago. Highway 41 was re-routed to the Hattie Street bridge upriver to the west during the construction period. The first bridge was built in 1928-29 and ran at such an angle to the river that one Menominee resident described it as the only bridge that ran parallel to the river. The Marinette side of the new bridge has beautiful etchings on the concrete side panels. They stop at the Michigan line halfway across---because the Menominee folks didn't get their information to the bridge folks in time. My high school class had their 60th reunion this summer and we had a bridge walk, 15 woman, 1 man made the 3/4 of a mile each way. Age takes a toll on those football and basketball knees! Also, the bridge never did go through Menominee's business district. A mall was built in later years at the Michigan end. At the Marinette end the entrance to the bridge, US 41 went right through the business district but a couple of malls located far south of that area did their business district in--highway or no.

By Tom Martin (Akyooper) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 02:56 pm:

nice pic of Ontonagon by neil, I was there this summer, it may have some impact, but the tourist will visit the downtown area I'm sure. I am viewing this from Djibouti, Africa.

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 02:56 pm:

Thank you everyone for a little insight on the UP. You are all right, no matter where you go in the UP, you're in God's country. Just wish I was there now. Stout winters? Piece of cake, I was born in Vienna, Austria, foothills of the Alps. Guess that's why I'm missing the excitement of being "snowed in"! I know one thing; gotta have a snow-mobile, gotta have a lot of wood split, gotta stock up on groceries and got to have a back-up heating system.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 03:01 pm:

The buildings on the left, with smoke coming out, are the paper mill (was Hoerner Waldorf when I still lived there) and the big building on the right is the now-defunct UP Shipbuilding Company.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 03:08 pm:

I'm glad to learn where the school colors came from. I had no idea. Rah! Rah! Rah! I was proud to wear the maroon and white as a Gladiator cheerleader!

By Gonna be a Yooper (Joanie) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 04:03 pm:

I think the paper mill is now called Stone Container. They make the cardboard barrel-type containers with metal reinforcement rings. The smoke always has a sweet aroma, kind of like wood burning.

By Therese (Therese) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 04:22 pm:

There is still a swing bridge over the Crooked River in Alanson, about 15 miles south of Pellston in the Lower. It is on a small side street and opens for pleasure boats going east towards Burt Lake and West towards Crooked Lake. There's an ice cream shop at the water's edge that also sells gasoline to the boaters. I had stopped there many summers ago for ice cream with my niece and nephew (Christina and Brendan), and there was a water snake swimming below the bridge. Brendan leaned wa-a-a-ay over to get a look and fell in right on top of the snake. It was long debated which of them exited the area faster.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 04:45 pm:

You must have smelled the paper mill on a good day. It usually smells like rotten eggs. Eeeeewwww.....

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 05:55 pm:

Love your picture Neil. The Ontonagon school history has been a learning experience too. How could I not have known about the name change? Maybe Lake Linden never traveled there after '67 or something. Love learning where the school colors came from. Wish I knew more about Ontonagon. How great living right on the lake like that. The UP is beautiful, that's for sure.

By Happy to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 06:15 pm:

By Tim Dawson-Townsend (Gremlin86); That is Smurfit Stone Container (paper company)....they make corrugated cardboard there. I hope that was helpful!

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 07:09 pm:

I was looking at that low bridge. I bet a lot of boaters passing under it were hit Ontonagon.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 07:52 pm:

T'anks, Neil, now we know where da name "Ontonagon" really came from! (Da old bridge was 'dere before da town and da county, eh?)

By Happy to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 08:34 pm:

Legend says Ontonagon (Nantaonagon) is derived from the Chippewa Indian Language meaning "lost bowl," a reference to a time when a young Indian girl washing dishes at the mouth of the river had a bowl swept away by the current.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 10:35 pm:

so if you live on the lake side of town, you're going to have to drive all the way over there and back?

They have been building roads around towns down here in Wisconsin with the net loss of more than 50% of their business. Its really bad because the drive through traffic is gone.

By Tom Martin (Akyooper) on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - 11:14 pm:

The Paper mill makes the paper from raw material and is then produced in large rolls which are then shipped by boxcar to different plants to make the corrugated boxes and such. Most lake affect snowfall occurs inland which is typical to receive 250-300 inches during the winter(i.e. Mass City)

By Michele Maatta (Mrmaatta) on Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 01:04 am:

I happen to agree that the new bridge could potentially dissuade business downtown. I can only hope that the new bridge is properly signed to induce traffic to downtown Ontonagon-- I was born and lived my early years in Green just outside of Silver City, therefore, I have a heart string still pulled for that area! Many 'o Labor Day Parade did I enjoy, as well as the Stubb's Museum!!!

By Sheri (Sheri) on Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 11:12 am:

It is indeed Smurfit-Stone Container. They make corrugated medium that sits between the two layers of linerboard. It is shipped out in rolls and made into boxes at other plants. Only the corrugated medium is made in Ontonagon. No type of container is made there - only the corrugated medium.

By Chris Penegor (Cpenegor) on Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 01:09 pm:

I think the mill changed its process years ago... probably when they were still the polar bears. The mill doesn't smell like rotten eggs. Its more of a sweet pulpy smell.

By Happy to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 05:19 pm:

On some days it does smell like rotten eggs. Trust me! I work in town and smell if a little too often, lol! PHEW!!!!

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