Mar 14-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: March: Mar 14-10
Meet your Motorman    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos From U.P. Dig-ctr
See him at work    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos From U.P. Dig-ctr
Sit with the passengers    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos From U.P. Dig-ctr
Houghton County Traction Company    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos From U.P. Dig-ctr

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 06:55 am:

For the first 32 years of the twentieth century, tracks traced the streets of Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Laurium, Lake Linden and points in between. The Houghton County Traction Company began at the peak of the Copper Boom, and ended in the depths of the Depression. There is a fascinating account of this period - along with more pictures - at the late Kevin Musser's

The photos above come by way of the U.P. Digitization Center, where the Houghton County Historical Society has contributed the collection of Andrew C. Curto. And while we're naming names, the young "Motorman" in the top photo is William Towsey, who appears in several of the pictures, including the one at the helm of Street Car Number 5.

It must have been something 100 years ago to see all the tracks, trestles, and overhead power lines required to run such a network. At Pasty.NET we are currently engaged in a similar project here in the 21st century, but instead of transporting people, we are developing a thoroughfare for Internet traffic. You may soon receive an email about our project in the Keweenaw that is laying lines of fiber, to bring more reliable and substantially faster Internet access to the remote reaches of the peninsula. Stay tuned this week as we make more information available.

By the way, in follow up to last week's discussion about "The Thing": A close examination of its arms revealed the words "LEFT" and "RIGHT", and there appear to be faded measurement markings that suggest it was indeed used to block threaded yarn in a loom, as Theresa Brunk speculated early in the discussion. Wondering if anyone else came up with any other ideas?

Have a good week :o)
Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 07:48 am:

Wow! Wonderful pictures. Very Historic.

By Pat & Glenda (Gormfrog) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 08:05 am:

Possibly we should wander over to ZEN:
"He who Knows does not say-
and he who says does not Know"

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 09:07 am: is amazing what you can find on the internet these days. I was trying to find some information on the cabin that we used to go to when I was a kid and to my amazement, there is a website for it. This was my connection to the UP. The "Hiawatha Lodge" as it is known today, is located at the Yooperland link. below. Click on the "Hiawatha Lodge Cam" on the left.

In the "Lodge History" section, it talks about "John Dillenger" using the cabin as a hide out back in the 1930s. I confirmed that Dillenger stayed in the UP for a short time from other sources about the gangster.

Here we were, enjoying the cabin and not realizing the 30 years before, it was a hid out for a famous American gangster.

(look in the section "On the Run" for the UP connection)

By Theresa R. Brunk (Trb0013) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 10:17 am:

Wow I won!! I was the first guess too. I really didn't think I was correct in my guess. Did I win anything? lol :P

By Graham Baker (Grahamhcmvc1) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 11:27 am:

Hey Charlie

Reminds me of the 'trolley buses' in London in the early 50's.

Do I detect the thaw is on the way early this year?............I can't always tell from here in Cornwall, just by looking at the webcams.

Spring has sprung,the grass has riz,
I wonder where the birdies is,
The birdies they is on the wing,
But dear friend that is obsurd,
For the wing is on the bird !!!


Spring has sprung here after the coldest winter in over 30 years. Although 3 weeks late we now have several flowers in bloom.

Does you heart good just to see the fresh colours


By Roland Burgan (Rburgan) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 11:43 am:

The main storage barn/repair shop and offices for the Houghton Transit Company, 1902-1932, still exists in Hancock, being used since the 30s by the Thornton Construction Co./Superior Sand & Gravel Co., and you can still see where the tracks were in the floor.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 02:44 pm:

I love the photos. When I was a child there were streetcar lines running in and around Nashville, TN, but to my regret, I never got to ride in one...we always went by car.:(

By Tom (Tom) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 03:18 pm:

I remember the "electric" buses in Dayton, Ohio in the 50s. The buses had a huge fly wheel that the
electricity kept at some minimum speed. That drove the bus. Kids would run behind the bus and pull those connectors off the hot wires overhead. The bus
would eventually stall. Some fun.
What was interesting is how many lane changes the
bus could make and not lose the power lines.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 05:33 pm:

Most of us old timers can still remember when the trains used to arrive at Houghton and Calumet from far, far away in Chicago.

As stated once I have pictures of over 300 depots just from the U.P. if anyone is interested n/c.

By Donna (Donna) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 06:41 pm:

PLEASE keep voting for the CCHS!!!

HAMMER the vote!

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 10:53 pm:

I see CCHS is now in third place, by a hair, at 1.18% of the vote, to 1.17% of the vote for fourth place, and 1.88% of the vote for second place.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 12:06 am:

About the same time era, same type electric cars down here was the "Detroit Interurban Railway"-- Commuted from Detroit, Mount Clemens, thru New Baltimore to Algonac, up thru Marine City, St. Clair, Marysville to Port Huron. One can still find remnants of the old track beds in various places. Near us here along Short Cut Road (named because it was a short cut to Marine City from New Baltimore) where it crosses the Swan Creek are the old concrete abutements that supported the bridge over the creek! "Days Gone By"

By Joy Brewer (Joy) on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 08:48 am:

These photos bring to mind a question I have for you all is-does anyone remember Electric Park in Houghton County? Where was it located, and was it owned by Calumet and Hecla? I remember my mother-in-law telling me about taking the trolley from Laurium to this park for picnics. If I recall right, she said something about dances being held there too. I was blessed with such a great mother-in-law (I refer to her as one of my blessings from God.); she told me about her life growing up in Laurium; my only regret is I did not take the time to write these memories down, so I could share them with my grandchildren. I guess it is a lesson learned.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 11:34 am:

My mom was born and raised in Calumet and she use to talk about Electric Park but, she never really elaborated abou it. I have a picture of her and her brother taken at Elecric Park.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 11:37 am:

Joy Brewer (Joy):
"Where was [Electric Park] located?"

It's still there! See the map from the late Kevin Musser's (Click on the map for a larger image, then you may have to click on the large map for a still larger image. It's just along the highway (US41) northeast of Boston and Rhode Island!

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 03:12 pm:

Houghton Co. Traction company owned the Electric park near Boston Location ...Keweenaw Central Railroad owned the Crestview park up in Keweenaw, Copper Range owned the park in Freda.

By James Alain (Charlevoix) on Monday, March 15, 2010 - 09:07 pm:

For those interested, Dayton STILL has electric trolley buses on all the main bus routes (along with Boston and Philadelphia...few, and San Francisco and Seattle...many tbs. Also, streetcars are coming back in many cities, under the guise of "light rail", though Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco still have lots of traditional streetcars. North America's largest streetcar system is Toronto, and the closest streetcars to the Copper Country are on the Hiawatha line in Minneapolis and on a waterfront loop line in Kenosha, Wisc.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 06:24 pm:

Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex):
"… The "Hiawatha Lodge" as it is known today, is located at the Yooperland link. below. Click on the "Hiawatha Lodge Cam" on the left.

In the "Lodge History" section, it talks about "John Dillenger [sic]" using the cabin as a hide out back in the 1930s. I confirmed that Dillenger [sic] stayed in the UP for a short time from other sources about the gangster. … …"

Did anyone get that to work?
1. The "Hiawatha Lodge Cam" link (at the Yooperland site) appears to have deteriorated over time.
2. I can't find any "Lodge History" section.

However, I was able to analyze the HTML code in the broken Hiawatha Lodge Cam link, and have reconstructed a link to that history, see link shown below for the Dillinger connection:

Click → Hiawatha Lodge History.
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