Oct 24-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: October: Oct 24-04
1860's    ...scroll down to share comments
From Copper Country Reflections

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 12:24 pm:

According to Chuck Voelker of Copper Country Reflections, miners used to bid on jobs at operations such as the Minnesota Mine near Ontonagon, as shown in this rare shot during the Civil War years.

At this year's banquet of the Keweenaw County Historical Society a couple of weeks ago, Mel Jones of Eagle River presented a program of memories and music of the Civil War. Mel performed one haunting melody which we captured for the Pasty Cam, entitled "Just Before the Battle Mother".

Mel Jones
Hear the song in Real Audio

By BOB on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 12:29 pm:

Good Mornin

By julie b., MI on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 12:29 pm:

Always nice to see how the Yoop figured into history! Thanks!

By P. V. on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 12:35 pm:

Chuck, where on your website can we read about this 'bid' process?

By Cousin Jack on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 12:51 pm:

That would be the "Minesota" Mine, Charlie. A misspelling accounted by a footnote in Angus Murdoch's very entertaining Boom Copper:

*The single letter "n" in the name was the result, it is said, of the carelessness of a weary clerk who filled out the incorporating papers late at night by candle-light. The State of Michigan solemnly recorded the name just as the clerk had written it and the Mine, thereafter, willy nilly, was forced to misspell its title. Jim Paul, who was able neither to read nor to write, said that the mispelling was due to "bodacious ignorance".

Bodacious? For all those who thought that word was invented in the 1960's, go to the back of the classroom and hang your head in shame.

Thanks to Chuck Voelker for another great historical shot!

By B in G B on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 01:36 pm:

YUP it is Minesota..I got marked down a grade on an N.M.U. class paper for spelling it "wrong" with one n.
However, I had spelled it right of course!
or is that the wrong way .. but still the right way..or..

By mitchell fan on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 01:49 pm:

Mark mitchell of Marquette wrote a great song in the eighties called Blood red.
It is about a miner at the Quincy feeling that "the copper looks blood red today" ..only to find out his son had just been killed in the civil war. He speaks of the irony of
"mining the copper that made the cold weapons that pierces the hearts of young southern man."

By Marcy/Arizona on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 01:54 pm:

what a neat picture today! I happen to love old photographs and the history behind them. Expecially history of the UP!

By HockingTwin B, CO on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 02:05 pm:

Mel....great work on the music. You still have a lot of wind in you, huh?? Sally (maybe I should play it while I read the copy of your Civil War book I got for my husband)

By Civil War Buff on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 02:19 pm:


"Just before the battle, Mother, I am thinking most of you,
While upon the field we're watching, with the enemy in view,
Comrades brave are round me lying, fill'd with tho'ts of home and God;
For well they know that on the morrow, some will sleep beneath the sod."

"Farewell, Mother, you may never, press me to your breast again;
But, Oh, you'll not forget me, Mother, if I'm numbered with the slain."

"Oh, I long to see you, Mother, And the loving ones at home,
But I'll never leave our banner, Till in honor I can come.
Tell the traitors all around you that their cruel words we know,
In every battle kill our soldiers by the help they give the foe."

"Hark! I hear the bugles sounding, 'Tis the signal for the fight,
Now, may God protect us, Mother, as He ever does the right,
Hear the "Battle Cry of Freedom," how it swells upon the air,
Oh, yes, we'll rally 'round the standard, or we'll perish nobly there."

By Cindy, St. Clair Shores, MI on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 02:49 pm:

I've heard that the copper in the buttons on the civil war uniforms came from the Keweenaw Peninsula copper mines.

By Leedills on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 03:31 pm:

Where is every one today? It seems that all the pasty camers must be watching a game on telly as there sure aren't many postings today. Does anyone know where I can find some wild cranberry bogs in the central part of the UP?

By Elizabeth , Mi on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 04:02 pm:

Great picture today as everyday! Of course I
recognize it as the Minesota in Rockland with the
Little Church on the Hill.

By exLionsFan on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 04:12 pm:

Just saw that the Lions won!

By djbelo@pasty.com on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 05:28 pm:

thanks for the music.. anybody got a Bashful Joe for us??

By M.B., IL-WI-MI on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 05:34 pm:

Thanks for the snapshot of history!

By Lion Fan. on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 05:43 pm:

Lions 28, Giants 13 , final.Lion Fan

By Ms. Katie on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 06:22 pm:

It's 34 to 13, Packers leading on my time...5:20 Ill. time :) Gee whiz, my husbands Bears lost ...ahhh. (We have a "mixed marriage)

By YUP SURE on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 07:14 pm:

41 20 final GO PACK..

By Capt. Paul in Nevada on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 09:15 pm:

P.V.: The "bid" system of mining was a carryover from the system used in Cornwall England that was brought over with the miners. Teams of miners would assemble a team based on friendship, kinship, experience, skill, etc... The miners then contracted for work with an individual mining company, usually for 6 months at a time. The contracts were in 2 forms; "tutwork", which covered shaft sinking and drifting, and "tribute" that covered stoping.

Mining teams would then gather at public auction to bid against one another for contracts, called "setting day". Prior to setting day, the Mine Captian would tour the underground workings to determine what work needed to be done. At the same time, the Captian would also assay the mineral value of each stope. With this information, acceptable contract rates could be set.

During this time, mining teams also decided what work they wanted and how much they would bid for it. On setting day, each contract went to the lowest bidder unless the Captian found it to be too high. In this case, the Captian would set his own price and offered it to the teams at a "take it or leave it" deal.

Cindy: Yes, for the most part the copper buttons on the Union uniforms did come from the Keweenaw Mines, specifically, the Quincy Mine because at the time they were the largest producer of copper.

Hope this answers everyone's questions about the contract system......

By Therese from just below the bridge on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 09:52 pm:

Thanks, oh Civil War Buff, for the words to 'Just Before the Battle Mother'. At work this morning I read the story above about Mel Jones singing the song, and went around all day trying to hum it, to the annoyance of my coworker. I kept getting the tune mixed up with 'When This Cruel War is Over', another Civil War standard. Reading the words brought the melody back.

By char in manchester on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 10:03 pm:

ironically I just started reading a new book titled "A Distant Thunder Michigan in the Civil War" by Richard Bak. Very intersting and many photos or diagrams. Mining in the UP is mentioned.
Thanks for your wonderful site! I visit it daily usually at the end of the day so I can read what everyone else has written.

By Union soldier's g-g niece on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 10:41 pm:

I think buttons on Civil War uniforms were made of brass,
not copper.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 11:59 pm:

Buttons on Civil Wr uniforms were made of brass, not copper? And what is brass?

brass: An alloy (usually yellow) of copper and zinc, in variable proportion, but often containing two parts of copper to one part of zinc. It sometimes contains tin, and rarely other metals.

By TROLL IN EAGLE HARBOR on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 01:32 pm:

I have my Great Great Grand dad's cival war discharge button...It's made of copper..

By g-g niece on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 06:37 pm:

I'm sorry to have angered you, FRNash :(

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 08:06 pm:

g-g niece: So who's angry?

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions