Dec 19-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: December: Dec 19-04
CG-40300    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Don Nelson/Herb Blue
Cutting it by hand    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Eleanor Kiilunen

Charlie Hopper, Eagle River, MI on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 08:47 am:

This morning when I stepped out into the -22° wind chill, it reminded me of the top photo from Don Nelson's award-winning Motor Life Boat page. This rugged Coast Guard boat, now retired in Menonimee, Michigan, served around the U.P. for many years. Seeing the 40300 slice through the lake reminded me of Eleanor Kiilunen's photos which we featured a couple of years ago, harvesting ice on Seneca Lake near Mohawk. Quite a contrast in technique :o)

The U.P. has been pounded with arctic air overnight. Hopefully the deep freeze will not slow down the FedEx and UPS trucks this week, as they leave Calumet loaded with Pasty Central pasties. Although we are totally sold out at this point, the cooks will be freezing a bunch of fresh ones over the Christmas weekend, ready for shipment the final week of December.

A big thank you to all who have contributed to the Keweenaw Sheriff's "Toys for Kids" projects we've been highlighting the past few days. If you know of any family in the Keweenaw who could use some extra help this year, email Sheriff Ron at with any suggestions.

Have a good week!

By RKJ St Paul on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 08:57 am:

Good morning from St.Paul

By Paul, Webberville Troll on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:02 am:

Morning! 25/30 MPH wind out of the north, car thermometer says 2 degrees. Bright sunshine, I think winter is coming in like a lion.

By John from the prairie on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:13 am:

4f and a dusting of snow here on the prairie.

dig that crazy ice cutter made out of what looks like a chevrolet.

so this is a yooper swimmin' hole?

By p on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:19 am:

Can you say MIOSHA ?

By Pete Wi on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:21 am:

-3 here in Peshtigo, Wi. Nice and sunny though and little wind. By the looks of the Tech cams the CC must be buried eh.

By Jean, West Texas on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:58 am:

34 and sunny here in West Texas....arctic air on the way, so they say, by Tuesday. Snow is predicted for the days before Christmas. Happy Holidays to all.

By ed mi on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:04 am:

On the bottom of todays Detroit Free Press there is a story 'YOOPER WAY OF LIFE PERT-NEAR GONE'. A few mistakes in the article but was written by a Troll. I notice he doesnt give any credit to the Yugoslavians i.e. Serbs, Croatians, Slovenians or the Austrians either

By Ernie WA on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:15 am:

Good morning from the west coast,
I can relate to both pics, also the keweenaw county sheriff, Ron, he's my cousin. Keep up the good work Ron.
As for the CG boat, the CG opperates out of Ilwaco WA. They do training not only for our own people but for our allies from around the world. As the Columbia river enters the ocean it is called the Columbia Bar. The CG will tell you, the reason they do a lot of there training on the bar is because it is some of the roughest waters in the world. During a storm, ocean going boats will need to wait out a storm before entering or leaving the Columbia River.
The ice cutting pic. When I was growing up in Jacobsville Dad use to cut ice this same way but a smaller machine. It had like a ten horse engine with about the same size blade. Dad would deliver ice to the summer campers in Jake and to some of the residents that was all the refrigeration they had. I don't know if the Sandstone Princes remembers this but some of her older sisters knew my dad as the Ice man. Then I met one of Sandstone Princes's older sister after many years and she knew me as the son of the ice man.
Hi to the Sandstone Princes and her sisters!

By RJW - WaMe-Home of the NIMRODS on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:16 am:

The picture of cutting ice reminds me that I cut ice with Art Larche of Dollar Bay the last year he made ice for his company. He had a rig just like the one in the picture which was made from an old model T frame and drive train with the saw on the end of the axle. Ice was made out from the old $ Bay smelter which is near the Stout home and straight out from the well house where $ Bay gets its water from.

By Frank Picotte, Ca on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 11:05 am:

I may not get a first post but I would like to wish Charlie, Mary, and the gang at stillwaters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I enjoy the daily pics and staying in touch with the CC. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Frank, and the same to you and yours! :->

By Fran,Ga. on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 11:09 am:

RJW,what year did Art cut his last ice? I remember years ago he lost some horses when they fell thru the ice.I think one of my brothers helped him cut.

This morning here in Rossville there is snow. Umm Lets see I think I counted 5 flakes hit me! :)

By Cold in Michigan on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 11:15 am:

HEIKKI LUNTA! HEIKKI LUNTA! Superior is calling

By scott,Wi. on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 02:09 pm:

How did they cut that ice in the other direction?
How big was a normal block?

Check this out:

By the 1830s ice had become a very profitable American export. In 1833 American ice was being shipped as far as Calcutta, when the Tuscany, which had sailed from Boston on May 12, reached the mouth of the Ganges on September 5. Calcutta, one of the hottest and most humid cities on earth, and then the capital of British India, was ninety miles up the Hooghly River, and the population awaited the ice with breathless anticipation. The India Gazette demanded that the ice be admitted duty free and that permission be granted to unload the ice in the cool of the evening. Authorities quickly granted the demands. Frederic Tudor managed to get about a hundred tons of ice to Calcutta, and the British there gratefully bought it all at a profit for the American investors of about $10,000.

By the 1850s American ice was being exported regularly to nearly all tropical ports, including Rio de Janeiro, Bombay, Madras, Hong Kong, and Batavia (now Jakarta). In 1847 about twenty-three thousand tons of ice was shipped out of Boston to foreign ports on ninety-five ships, while nearly fifty-two thousand tons was shipped to southern American ports.

By JAD, Oskar, MI on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 02:21 pm:

At the end of Michigan Avenue in Menominee, and on the shore of Green Bay, there was an ice stor-age building. The blocks of ice were stored in sawdust. I remember it from my girlhood days during the 30's. My folks had an icebox at our summer camp. Dad would bring from town each night a cake of ice more than a foot square to place in the compartment at the top of the ice-box. A pan beneath it caught the melting water and we had to remember to drain it. During the 30's there were also a lot of ice sailing rigs on Green Bay. Them was the good ol' days!

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 03:40 pm:

I was down in New Orleans a few years ago, and took a tour of a historic Plantation. When we got to the formal dining room, the tour guide told us that the very rich would buy blocks of ice from the U.P. This was before the Civil War. They would put a block of ice in the middle of the dining table and have a slave operate an over head fan to cool their quests. Just think of the logistics of cutting ice in the U.P. and getting it to the oppressive heat of New Orleans in those days.

By Ernie WA on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 03:53 pm:

To Scott of WI, when the machine would cut the ice, the blade was adjust so it didn't go all the way through. That alowd you to cut in both directions. Still had to be carefull, sometimes the blade did go all the way thru and made for a loose block. Then the ice was broken loose with a bar. My dad cut blocks about 24 inches square. Stored in a building called the icehouse with sawdust 3feet thick on the sides and top. End of August the ice was still frozen.

By maijaMi on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 04:28 pm:

Wow! great interesting history!

By Bthecute1, San Jose on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 04:34 pm:

The man in the background of second picture looks as though he isn't wearing winter gear. Shirtless?

By RD, Iowa on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 04:49 pm:

Working on his tan.

By walter p tampa on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 05:07 pm:

da yoopers are tough

By Marty on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 05:19 pm:


Marty, the comment about MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was some subtle humor. A number of U.P. businesses have received surprise visits recently, and fines for safety issues - which pale in comparison to that open blade behind the tractor sled in today's second picture. Not only has technology changed the way we live, but the regulatory environment has changed the rules of doing business :o)

By Lowell MO. on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 05:42 pm:

There is a Village in NY state where they still harvest the ice like this and in the summer they have a festival where they make Homemade Ice Cream with some of this Ice.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 06:35 pm:

Early evening greetings. Hope things thaw a bit for Santa--but he can take anything. Ice cutting, that would be something to see.

By ed/mi on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 09:13 pm:

Mark, the state (MIOSHA) would die if they would see someone operating like that today..No permits,no hard toe boots, no googles and to hazardous etc.

By scott,WI. on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 10:17 pm:

Amazing history!
I never thought I'd know so much about ice.
Time for a coke....

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP on Sunday, December 19, 2004 - 11:10 pm:

My grandfather, Johannes Korkeamaki, from Papin Road in Pelkie, used to cut and haul ice from Keewenaw Bay. He had an ice-house in part of the barn and stored the ice in deep sawdust. It would keep 'til way late in the summer.

By Keweenaw gal on Monday, December 20, 2004 - 09:23 am:

'Twasn't so long ago they were still making ice as such in Copper Harbor, storing it in the sawdust-filled ice-house for the Harbor House, a lovely restaurant on the dock where the Isle Royale Queen docks.

By Jason, Tennessee on Monday, December 20, 2004 - 03:44 pm:

Those pictures look how I felt this morning. Started the car up around 430 this morning, and still froze 20 minutes later when I got in to go to work. Light dusting of snow, and about 24 degrees currently here in Knoxville. Oh I guess winter is here, freezing weather all the way down into Florida. Oh well at least I'm not still in Marquette I bet 24 is a heat stroke up that way right about now.

By Ithaca, MI on Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - 05:30 pm:

Thanks for all the cool info of days gone by. I remember my Mom telling about there Ice house in the basement. Filled with sawdust her dad cut ice in the winter for preservation of there food. She said it would last all summer.
This was in the 1930's I do believe! She was born in 1924.
I'm a troll for sure but love the U.P.! I would live there if I could.
Happy Holiday's to All!

By ILMHitCC on Thursday, December 23, 2004 - 12:32 am:

I wonder, K-gal, If you are thinking of the ice that was stored for Jamsen's Fish Market that is on the dock between the Isle Royale Queen and the King Copper Motel. The Harbor Haus is on the other end of town. The only restaurant on the 'Queen' dock was the Isle Royale Dining Room that closed sometime around 1970 (?). Spent a bit of time in that ice loft as a kid, and yes, there'd still be ice in August. We still have the same old ice tongs, I believe.

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