Aug 09-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: August: Aug 09-08
Old Toro    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Pete Sidwell
Before conference center construction    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Charlie Hopper

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 05:31 am:

Pete Sidwell visited the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor and came back with the top photograph. It's an old Toro Tractor, which truthfully, I never realized there were farm tractors made by Toro, I just thought they manufactured lawn tractors. But lo and behold, the company actually began in 1914 producing engines for the Bull Tractor Company. They then branched out to steam engines during World War I. During the 1920's they focused on lawn and golf course maintenance equipment. So, I guess it's quite fitting that this old piece of equipment gets a place of its own at the Lodge, which is also home to the most northern golf course in the U.P.

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 05:32 am:

The second shot is one I took about six years ago, before the new Conference Center addition was built. For many years the tractor sat in the spot where the new addition now stands. Pete Sidwell's current shot shows the slab they built to showcase the tractor.

When it appeared on the Pasty Cam in October 2002, our old friend and resident historian Bill Penprase shared his memories about the Toro. Bill passed away in 2005, and we greatly miss his wit and wisdom about the history of the Copper Country. Here's what he wrote about the tractor:

That Toro tractor was used to mow the grass on the fairways as well as other odd jobs. I caddied there when in high school. Many Keweenaw boys had that job. We stayed in caddie cabins for a week at a time.

We always wanted to drive that tractor as all boys would. The day-workers must have realized that and would hide the ignition keys when they went home. We watched them returning in the morning and soon discovered the hiding place. From then on it was fun driving up and down the fairways in the dark. Our only concern was the fear of hitting a bear in the dark.

Well, one night we decided to take the tractor to Copper Harbor. It was fun but we had to hide in the bush every time a car came by.

Now that tractor had sharp spikes on those wide rear wheels so the wheels wouldn't slip on the fairway hills. Everything came to an end when one night we ran over a coiled water hose near one of the greens. In the morning when they tried to water the green water shot out of that hose about every two feet and by tracking they discovered our trail. We did not plead guilty but were given a stern warning.

Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 06:24 am:

The ol golf course looks in pretty good shape this year, nice and green.

By Theresa R. Brunk (Trb0013) on Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 07:40 am:

Wonderful personal glimpse into the window of past PastyCamers. I felt I was there beside him on the old Toro with his elequence. Thanks for the ride.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 10:10 am:

That tractor would fit in perfectly at the Woodward Dream Cruise that's coming up soon.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Sunday, August 10, 2008 - 01:33 pm:

Alex, the Mini vans would crowd the tractor out. This is going to be the week that I look forward to all year long. My daughter and family from Manistee will be visiting. My pals from school will be on the strip. I will be cruising on my trike looking for everyone. Now if Berkley only was situated on a big lake I would be in seventh heaven.

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