Feb 08-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: February: Feb 08-05
Swedetown hill    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brita Haapala
Look out below!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brita Haapala

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 03:02 am:

I think we’re going to dub Brita Haapala our unofficial Winter Sport Roving Reporter. In the past few weeks, she’s given us pictorial reviews of some fun things to do in the U.P. snow, including downhill skiing, backyard hockey and hill flying! Today’s shots chronicle the fun at Swedetown sledding hill. With a backdrop of the Calumet water towers, this hill is a great place for kids to work off some of that pent up cabin fever energy. It’s not just for the youngsters though, if you’re ‘brave of heart’ or just ‘young at heart and a bit foolish’, you could give it a try too! :->

By the way, if you ever have your WiFi laptop up at Swedetown (in the car, not the inner-tube I suspect), you’ll easily connect to Pasty.NET’s broadband network. One of about 28 wireless HotSpots maintained by Pasty.NET throughout the Keweenaw.

By Troll Steve - Big Rapids,MI on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 04:28 am:

Such fun for young and old alike!! It is getting back to the top that's the hard part for us older ones.

By smf in troll land on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 05:47 am:

Looks like a lot of fun, tho getting back to the top is difficult as Troll Steve pointed out. Have a great day everyone!

By Walt, Ohio on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 07:11 am:

It's the hike back up the hill that does a body good! It also attests of the fun in the ride DOWNNNNNNNNNNN.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 07:37 am:

I love to spend the day tubing.

By Pam, Fruitport on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 08:17 am:

Britta Thanks A Bunch!!!! I love seeing my home in the winter in all shapes and forms when I am unable to live there until I retire... I spend my summers in Marquette and Keweenaw and will soon be a full time resident in Hancock or Eagle Harbor....

By Missin the UP from NJ on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 08:28 am:

Woo-Hoooooo! I can almost feel the speed! Great pics!

By Sarah, Central WI on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 08:41 am:

Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! I can almost hear the kids screaming! Great fun pics!

By Brent, Raining but waiting for more snow, UPstate, NY on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 08:59 am:

My last toobin' experience. (My first slide down the hill.) The following happened in less than 45 seconds:
*Hey! How do you steer this thing!
*thought to self: "Where's the creek?"

The next 45 minutes were spent shivering in my brother-in-law's pick-up thinking I was dying.
Ah, good times. :)

By lmr in hancock on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 10:06 am:

We spent many a day sliding down this hill before it was "groomed" and had a chalet. I remember my brother buying us a tobaggan to use on the hill. We went through small trees etc. to the bottom. Other times, we skied down this hill with all the brush. But the best was strawberry picking time below the tower.

Nice pictures, Brita.

By JAD, Oskar, MI on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 10:12 am:

I wonder how many folks remember the sandhills NW of Menominee? Those marvelous dunes were quite a distance from Green Bay. They made for great sledding, and skiing, with bindings consisting of one strap over the foot arch, and for playing cowboys and indians in the summer. Unfortunately they were cleared and used to fill in the swamp area, now the mini-mall, at the foot of the interstate bridge.

By Don again in Mqt on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 11:04 am:

Back when the three boys were little, we got a new long tobogan for Christmas. Soon after we got everyone into their snow suits and into the Suburban with the new tobogan strapped on top of the boat rack. I pushed the garage door opener button and backed out into the beautiful snow! to the sound of a loud crash as the tobogan destroyed itself on the door jamb! Sledding in Marquette in the 30's and 40's was done on designated streets and there would be a red light hanging over the cross streets to warn the cars. Hewitt had a spring that allowed us to ice the south side and the city would sand only the north side. You would slide all of the way to Lakeshore Blvd..

By RKJ StPaul on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 11:16 am:

All you "Old Timers" how about skiing at Maple Grove or the rope tow at Tamarack Hill. We were allowed to use the tow rope to bring our tobagons back up the hill but sleds were not allowed on the hill. It was also free thanks to someones good will.

By Bob on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 11:30 am:

I think the best sled run I've ever seen was the road down to the west public access at Otter lake.

Not sure how long it is (mile maybe), but we ice fished there alot in the 70's and we had to be careful going in and out.

The kids would start at the top of the hill and sled the road all the way to the access where a line of snowmobiles would be waiting to pull a line of kids back to the top.

Looked like they were all haveing a blast.

By Donna in Muskegon on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 12:16 pm:

I remember taking a road that went from Mayflower (around Kearsarge location) to Lake Linden. They used to call it 7-Mile road. Would drop a car off at the bottom of the hill in Lake Linden and then go up to Kearsarge and fly down the hill on a tobaggan. Would actually have to dump it in order to slow down. Also had to pay attention cause there was a road at the very bottom. But boy oh boy, what a ride. Lots of good memories.

By Ron, Michigan on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 12:39 pm:

Back in the early 60's, a friend's Grandpa had an old wooden sled, fairly large too, big enough to fit about 4 or 5 of us kids. We'd lug it up to the top of Bumbletown Hill, jump on, and down the road we'd go!!!!! Can't remember how we steered it, but we made it past the old Allouez school!!!! What a ride!!!!

By Brita on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 01:57 pm:

I got a kick out of the roving reporter comment, Mary. I'll leave that to my brother, Joe, who reports sports for the Gazette. Thanks for posting my pictures!!

<Note from
Charlie Hopper:>

Just a little FYI... The first time Swedetown Hill appeared on the Pasty Cam was back in January of '99. At that time, my son Jonathan was still doing most of the pictures, before so many other talented photographers joined this daily feature, which, by the way, completes 7 years this month.

Brita's note made me feel a little like Tom Sawyer, whose friends rewarded him for the priviledge of getting to paint his fence. All of us at Pasty Central are the ones who owe a big thank you :0)
By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 02:15 pm:

In the 1950's we used to ski down the Plymouth open pit mine in Wakefield. It was not operating so you could get a long ride to the bottom. The walk back up was so long you only had one ride a day. Now it is filled with water and is a pretty big lake. The DNR refused to plant trout in this lake, because they considered it an accident waiting to happen. Four hundred feet deep, two feet from shore.

By Yooper in Indiana on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 03:28 pm:

Oh, the ole Tamarack Location Hill,,,(a suburb of Calumet),brings back many good memories for me, but not to good to another of my siblings,,,,seems I came home one day and there he was resting on the divan,,,head with an ice pack,,,asked what the heck happened and he said he was at Tamarack Hill going down with a few friends,,of course he is in front, and they hit an electric pole. That was the end of that toboggan. He was pretty swollen but it could have been worse as his head just missed one of the climbing spikes that are on the poles. Someone was with him that day!

By Roudy Mi on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 04:31 pm:

Funny how no one has mentioned the ski jump near Bridge street in L.L.

By Gordo, Mich. on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 06:01 pm:

When I was 5 years old my Aunt Donna took me "tubbing" down "the hill". She was laying on the tube with me sitting on her back. Smacked dead on into a tree our first trip down and broke her nose. I thought it was a fun ride. She left me with a stranger while someone took her to the hospital. My mother still has not forgiven her for leaving me alone with a stranger. Oh well, that was only 46 years ago - perhaps next year forgiveness will occur. :o)

By Belo L. Linden on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 06:42 pm:

A famous hill was the trail called 1/4 mile from Bumbletown. Some kids used tobogans,made from the old mine shaft sheet metal. What a ride when iced up, but dangerous.It's grown in with trees now.

By maijaMI on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 06:49 pm:

Thanks for another fun picture, Britta.

Speaking of winter fun, the Techies are working on the snow statues again now that the thaw is over. Check 'em out on MI Tech's live web cams.

By Skoviak,MN on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 06:52 pm:

I think probably with out a doubt the most awseome sled hill is at the porkies(nighttime of course). We have walked to the very top and sleded the whole way down. I can't say this is the safest thing to do in ones lifetime but it sure was the funnest. Two friends of mine actually built a sled out of some old atomic skis and two by fours. Legend has it that as they went over one of the rolls on the hill that the sled disintegrated.

By Sue, Florida Location on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 07:50 pm:

Thanks for another great picture to remind us to get out and take advantage of the white stuff. It's been a couple of years since I've flown down that hill blinded by my tears. And what great exercise to climb back to the top!

By memories on Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 10:59 pm:

In my mind, I can still hear the squeaking of the snow, and
the windburn on my cheeks... the smell of the wet wool
mittens, cold toes inside those old rubber buckle boots,
and the hot cocoa warming up frozen little hands
afterwards. Chickadees and cardinals fluffing for warmth,
and calling at dusk to feed, and the afternoon church bells
ringing. Smoke trailing out of chimneys in houses so cozy,
and moms calling kids in for supper. The sparkle of
snowflakes lit by garage lights in the alleys as I trudged my
way home, and standing on the back stoop while mom
brushed off the snow clinging to me with her kitchen
broom.... oh, how i miss winter fun.

By Ms. Katie, old fogy on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 12:05 am:

Memories...what a gift you have to express the thoughts and memories of our innocent childhoods. My personal favorite is of ice-skating the local rink along the near-by creek in Milwaukee's north side. Near Hampton and Hopkins Roads. We would scream as the boys swung us in "Crack the Whip" And we practiced spins like the stars did them. Oh what fun. Then we had to head for home on frozen feet, cheeks red, our breath puffing "smoke".Geez, the kids these days just don't know fun is!

By former yooper on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 01:34 am:

Can't help but remember going to grade school in the Copper Country and the smell of all of us kids' wool mittens, scarves, hats, coats, boots, etc. drying on the radiators around the room. By the time everything dried we went out for recess and repeated the whole process. This continued at lunch time and again for afternoon recess. How did the teachers ever have time for class by the time a room full of kids changed in and out of our snow clothes 3 times a day! Also remember going down the hills of Houghton (streets and yards) on flying saucers, sleds, and cardboard boxes, and in the summer anything with wheels.

By Brad of Canton on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 07:26 am:

My mom used to tell us stories of sledding down Bumbletown hill when she was a kid.

By Great on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 07:54 am:

We had a different type of "sled" to go down the hills in Munising in the 40's. The Munising Wood Products mill had a dump yard for their shavings and imperfect bowls and products. One of the scraps the kids all watched for was the largest of the wooden bowls. That was our cheap sled. Great fun to sit in this bowl and go down a steep, ice covered alley or any nearby hill.
Another good thing about this dump yard was free wood. My brothers and I would go there with a wheelbarrow and a shovel to get the biggest pieces of scrap wood and we filled the wood-shed
with enough free wood to heat the house all winter.

By rich adams on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 10:55 am:

looks like fun. this is my first year back from airzona.i wos trying to think of a way to deal with the weather.i mean its not anything like 60 to 80 degrese out.well anyway i love kids,kids are my world,and i have a good number of nieces,and nephews.so i took all my snow that i shovel and even some from the back yard,and made the kids a slide.its cool.the man made hill is way higher then the garage and turns into a bank curve,almost on the same line as a bobsled,but not so exstream.but anywayeveryone thinks im nuts becouse im wishing for more snow so i can make my slide bigger.i guess i found a way to deal with winter.and i realy do like it.

By Walt, Michigan on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 11:59 am:

Anyone remember Koskela's hill? Walk up the right side and slide down the left and don't park the cars at the bottom of the hill. I the days of old someone would have to stand by the railroad tracks to yell "TRAIN" and the sledders would have to roll over in the snowbanks. Now I wonder if anyone uses that hill anymore??

By trish, wa on Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 08:17 pm:

former yooper,
my younger brother and I used to take a little wheeled cart
and go zipping down Agate Street in Houghton. what a

By Julie S., Kiel, WI on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 01:03 am:

I just love Brita's pictures! The kids are just too cute!

By RJK AR on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 12:21 am:

I Lived in Swedetown in 55 very cold and snowy year,loved to fish in pond behind town!

By me on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 10:29 am:

swedtown is the best

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