Mar 21-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: March: Mar 21-10
Coal powered plant    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Don Kilpela
"Brockway" Trucks    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Tom Hynes

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 06:18 am:

Although most of the snow has disappeared, it has turned cold again here in the Keweenaw. As my thoughts turned to warmer days this morning, I remembered these two Shoebox Memory photos received recently. The first comes from Don Kilpela, the view from Quincy Hill looking down at the Swing Bridge, probably in the early 50's. Don directs our attention to the billowing smoke pouring from the Power House, the current day location of MTEC's Smart Zone. "Good thing the old ways went out with the good old days", Don says.

The second picture is on the other side of Portage Canal, and a few decades later. Tom Hynes sent along this account:

In the mid 1980ís the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) was burning coal in its J.H Warden power plant. The coal was shipped by Great Lakes freighter to a dock in Dollar Bay and trucked south roughly 35 miles to the plant in LíAnse. I donít recall all the details but it seems like there were at least three trucks and they normally ran 5 days a week. The rigs were standard 11 axle Michigan "gravel trains" but were painted quite distinctively with lime green trailers and bright red tractors.

On August 11, 1986 what seemed like half of Hancock was stuck in a traffic jam when one of the coal trucks broke down on the s-curved hill leading off the lift bridge on the Houghton side. Once I made it through the traffic backup, I pulled over to watch the truck get rescued. Within minutes another coal truck showed up from the dock, minus its second or pup trailer. A little maneuvering was done, a massive chain hooked up, and the mighty "Brockway" truck proceeded to pull three fully loaded trailers of coal and the disabled Freightliner tractor up the six percent grade. Fortunately the turn off for M-26 was directly ahead so they didnít have too far to go before the grade leveled off and they had a shoulder to pull over on. But it was still an amazing sight watching that well-used highway tractor pull such a huge load up the hill.
It just so happens, we have been working with UPPCO quite a bit recently, refining the plan for constructing a fiber optic network throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula. (Thanks to the hundreds of folks who have taken time to submit a letter of support for the project.) It is a proposed multi-million dollar project designed to bring 100 Mbit fiber connections to almost the entire peninsula over the next 3 years, in areas not now served with at least 5 Mbits. And yes, it will require the use of quite a few UPPCO poles.

As you can well imagine, it is a busy time for those of us at Pasty.NET working on the funding application, which is due a week from tomorrow. I'm glad we could take at least a few minutes this morning to step back into the past. Thanks to both Don Kilpela and Tom Hynes for sharing these two treasures.

Have a good week :o)
Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 07:26 am:

Good photos.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 08:19 am:

The coal fired power plant in Monroe, Mi has two large stacks and now have installed a smaller scrubber stack with another one to be built. In years past one could see the brown layer of particles for miles upon miles as it drifted all over the U.S. and Canada from there. The new stacks will reduce the emmission greatly.

A sure sign of spring here in Rockwood, Mi is the sight of double-bottom rock haulers. We have 3 rock mines here in our area and is a good sight to see these loaded and the start of the construction season. Good for the Michigan economy.

By Donna (Donna) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 09:29 am:

GO CHARLIE and GO TEAM PASTY....FIBER on, and keep voting!

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 09:47 am:

Everyone better crank up the votes. Its fallen back to 3rd.

Back in the good ol days, if my memory serves me at all, there was a lot more smoke around the area. It all seemed more "industrial".
Most of the buildings around Houghton on the water are now gone.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 10:06 am:

Nice pictures this morning!

It's cooled off here too. Those 60 degree days were awesome!!! Was nice to get outside again. Sure hope March isn't going to go out like a lion since it definitely came in like a lamb.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 11:35 am:

The first photo is in very clear, like it was snapped yesterday.

By Donald Kilpela (Commodore) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 02:48 pm:

That first picture was taken by my father, Ano Kilpela, and I found it among his slides.

By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 06:12 pm:

Boy! Do I remember that coal dust. I lived in the "Manse" next to the First Presbyterian church on Franklin Square. Coal was delivered to the back of the church which faced Ruby Street--and it was poured down an open chute into the church coal bin.
What "back yard" we had was layered with coal dust, and it was the only place my kids had to play. Literally, HOLY SMOKES!

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Monday, March 22, 2010 - 12:27 pm:

"Everyone better crank up the votes. Its fallen back to 3rd."

Huh?? It's been in 3rd for about a week now, and it's climbing. It is now at 1.52% of votes overall. This is the highest it's been.

Good job everyone!

By Janelle (Skopskil) on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 12:51 am:


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