Mar 02-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: March: Mar 02-05
Bridge over icy waters    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Carl Schroeder

Mary Drew in the land of 663 miles of beaches on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 06:28 am:

Carl Schroeder snapped a snowy looking bridge over the Pilgrim River located near Houghton. I don't know the exact location of this structure, so someone will have to jump in here with the info and save me from my ignorance. One thing for certain is this pathway looks to be quite the architecturally sound piece of engineering. It gives you the feeling of security as you're about to cross it, with an added bonus of being pleasing to behold from afar. Taking a closer look at the picture, you can see the concrete arch of an older bridge that spans the river too. Makes me want to break into song…"Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go..."

Speaking of going... taking my daily Pasty Cam work with me has never been easier, thanks to the reliability of's Nationwide Dial-In. It keeps me hooked up and able to access the Internet no matter where I roam, whether it be Georgia or Central Florida! How else would I keep abreast of the snowfall accumulating back in the Keweenaw, while I'm catching some of those warm Florida rays! :->

By Jack in CT on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 06:36 am:

I don't remember exactly where it is either but I've been across it a few times.
You don't often see bridges that look like that anymore. Now it seems they only want to make them quick and cheap instead of pleasing to look at.

By Don again Mqt on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 06:50 am:

I think it is the old rail road bridge over the Pilgrim River? now used as a snow mobile trail. In 1944 I was riding my bike with WWII wooden pedals no handed crossing the Pilgrim River on 41 to impress one of the Gaul girls! My foot slipped and I fell knocking myself silly. I still have a small dent in my skull. I found a picture of a 39 LaSalle coup that looks like the one from a few days ago but with the doors hinged in front.

By Yooper in Cadillac, MI on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:00 am:

Don you are correct! That is the old RR bridge, now used for snowmobiles. The bridge is between the highway and Portage Lake. Spent many happy hours duck hunting at the mouth of the Pilgrim River, which is about 1/4 mile north of that bridge. Thanks for the memories.....

By Pauline in PA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:04 am:

Even though it looks cold and icy, it's still a pretty bridge to look at. Getting hit with snow in PA these past few days remind me of the first snow fall in the great UP!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:15 am:

We don't get bridges like that down here. I do miss that sight. We had a tressle bridge near my home in Ashland.

By J Beck Chassell on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:36 am:

Near the new Nara nature trail and just before the Onigaming.

By be, Escanaba on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:53 am:

The concrete arch carrying US-41 was built in 1916 and reconstructed in 1942. It's in very good condition, especially considering it's age.

By Bob on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:56 am:

I'll add a landmark more of you might be able to associate it with.

It's just east of the Pilgram river steak house just east of Houghton, or as more of you might remember it, the old 19th hole. ;-)

Great shot, love the old rail road tressels.

I need to stop on the way to Baraga one of these days, just on top of the hill that 41 goes over before dropping down to the Pines level, I spied a
rail tressel off to the right that I never noticed before.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:12 am:

I was thinking the same thing, Bob. Relate anything to a restaurant or food and we can figure it out!

By j A P E i on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:15 am:

Very good morning also from Finland,of course is for us now afternoon and sun shine magnificent!

This day link from here in Finland is

Please and enjoyed!!!

By Brent, now up to the knees in snow, UPstate, NY on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:25 am:

Great picture this morning. I just happen to be listening to Johnny Cash too! Coincidence? Hmmm.

By Nate P--Michigan on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:26 am:

Hey Dad, Im at school, goes to show how boring this topic on the Industrial Revolution is. Well, Have a good day and dont work too hard.


By Brent, misspoken in UPstate, NY on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:27 am:

"I hear that train a comin, comin down the tracks"

Oh wait, that isn't a train trestle. I'd better get my caboose out of here.

By tozwp, wi on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:32 am:

One of my favorite places - thanks for the pic this morning. Spent many a late afternoon at that exact spot trout fishing while a freshmen living in Wads nearly 20 years ago. It was a beautiful fall hike down the old railroad tracks to this fishing hole. Many brookies met their end there.....

By JL- Canton,GA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:15 am:

Neat pic! Years ago, I often fished the Pilgrim between that bridge and the next bridge on Paradise Road.

By Gary, CO on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:35 am:

Permit me a story about the nearby Onigaming Supper Club. We were having our wedding dinner with our families out on the enclosed porch that overlooked the lake one afternoon 25 summers ago when halfway through the main course, the sky darkened, a hard storm blew in and the waters got rough and choppy. I thought to myself -Boy, this sure is an ominous sign that doesn't bode well. Just then, it let up and a beautiful double rainbow appeared. There have been a few more storms in the next 25 years, but many, many more rainbows.

By Mel, Kansas on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:37 am:

Looks like Carl stopped for a minute on the bridge to lean over the rail before heading off into the snow to snap the picture.

I've done the same plenty of times in the summer, when biking or rollerblading on that nicely paved trail... but can't say I ventured that far in the winter very often... think I made it down there once on a sleepless, snowy night as a freshman at da Tech.

By halwine, Norway on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:37 am:

Is the river deep enough to jump off the bridge? That would be an adventure!

By Janie, Ia. on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:43 am:

These bridges are part of the reason why I love snowmobiling up there! These bridges become not so safe for motor or train purposes, so then they are "recycled" for walking, snowmobiling, etc. trails. Is this one still in use for traffic?

By SarahK, MI troll in FL on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 10:07 am:

Mary...if you get near Bradenton,FL. I work right behind Mel's Diner in the Computer Renaissance store...stop in anytime.

Mary says: Thanks for the invite Sarah! If we get that far south, I'll try to stop in to say HI! :->

By Bob on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 10:46 am:


The rails are long gone, but it's used for foot, bike, ski and snowmobile traffic.

By Bob on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 10:48 am:

If you look closely under the bridge, you can see the concrete of the US41 bridge next to it.

By Marta, MI on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 11:02 am:

Halwine, that is not an adventure anyone would want to take at all. Don't give any ideas, please.

By JL - Canton, GA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 11:07 am:

Who remembers when the passenger train passed over that bridge every evening as it left Houghton for Milwaukee? We used to put pennies on the track behind Broemers(sp?)Dairy.

By Roudy Mi on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 12:16 pm:

How about when it was a steam engine pulling the train. Got two of them in the home movies.The steam train operators prided themselves in being on time. The diesels weren't.You'd think it would have been easier with simpler equipment.

By R Somero CA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 12:56 pm:

The old 19th Hole-was it Mike's Bar?

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 01:06 pm:

Yes, it was Mike's Bar. It has really changed. Now it has a beautiful decor, and the best steaks in the Copper Country.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 01:43 pm:

" The old 19th Hole-was it Mike's Bar?"
No, the Pilgrim River Steakhouse was formerly Mike's Bar!

By Mel on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 02:25 pm:

Halwine -

Sounds like a fun thing to me, but not off of that bridge. The water through there is quite shallow (only a foot or three most of the year).

By Bill Denning on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 02:31 pm:

In response to Gary's story about the Onigaming Club, does anyone have any old pictures of the Onigaming that could be posted on a Shoebox Sunday? There was nothing like a fresh lake trout dinner at the Onigaming on a summer evening.

Regarding the trains from Houghton, yes, I remember the steam engines, and rode the train more than once from Houghton to Chicago. My grandmother lived in Texas, and we'd change trains in Chicago.

The train from Houghton left in the early evening, and we'd sleep all night. I remember waking up one time when we were in Milwaukee, it must have been around 3:00 a.m. We'd get to Chicago about 8:00 in the morning, take a taxi to another train station, and check our baggage.

We'd ride the Santa Fe "Texas Chief" from Chicago to Temple, Texas. Since it didn't leave until 4:00 in the afternoon, we'd have all day in Chicago.

I got to see the Museum of Science & Industry on one trip, and on a Christmas trip, we went to Marshall Field's, where every year they had an extensive model railroad layout set up, both Lionel and American Flyer. I had my first milk shake on one of these trips, at the Dearborn Street Station. It was strawberry, and I must have been about four or five years old.

When I was even younger, my Dad took me to Calumet to see a steam locomotive there, and I remember crying because we were standing really close to the engine, and all of a sudden a safety valve popped, releasing steam pressure very loudly, and I was really scared.

By Kathleen, CA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 03:34 pm:

Yes, the Pilgrim River Steakhouse was once known as the "19th Hole" and before that was "Mike's Bar" owned by Mike Fasini -- that was in the '60's.

By SarahK, MI troll in FL on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 03:40 pm:

I heard from a customer in our store a couple weeks ago that there is a Yooper reunion here in Sarasota/Bradenton FL this month. Another Yooper customer just came in and asked where it was and when and I can't find my notes. Does anybody know about this event? The most recent customer was from Detour, Michigan near the ferry to Drummond Island.

By sl, denver on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 03:47 pm:

love the picture. being long away from home (Baraga vs. Colorado), i miss the sights and the snow. also, if anyone can recommend a website to order pasties from, lmk in the What'sUP. thanks

By Mike K, Laurium on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 03:48 pm:

I must say, I'm disappointed...not one mention that this is one of the smelt dipping "hotspots" come late April or early May. For those that don't know, smelting is a spring ritual which generally involves having a few beers around a campfire waiting for smelt to swim up the river to spawn, straight into the dip net of the fisherman/woman. A great way to spend an evening! As a tech student, it was the first place I ever went smelting.

By ert, GA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 04:23 pm:

Oh, smelt! Yes, that's was something I loved about the UP. Had never heard of it before.

By kosk in Toronto on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 04:47 pm:

There's another bridge over the Pilgrim. You
can get there by going from South Range to
Baltic, past an old cheese factory, between
some woods, down a hill and past a couple of
old farms. That's the bridge I love and
remember. Makes me so lonesome I could
cry, just thinking about it.

By downstate don on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 06:02 pm:

jAPEI...Thank you for sharing the website with us.
I hope everything is fine with you. Are you having
the same kind of weather there that we are having
in Michigan?

By Jim Copper Country on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 06:42 pm:

The last passenger train rolling across the Pilgrim River trestle was the Milwaukee Road's COPPER COUNTRY LTD, which quit running in March 1968. The last regular service freight train ran across the trestle in September 1982, the oubound Soo Line freight. The last train EVER to pass over the trestle was the chartered fiberoptic-cable-laying train in May 1987, almost five years after regular rail service ended. Michigan Bell (or whatever the corporate name was then) hired the Soo Line to run a special work train to lay cable, from St Ignace to Houghton and from St Ignace to Ironwood. The tracks
from Chassell northward were uproot in Summer 1996.

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By pat lp michigan on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:10 pm:

what is wrong with the cops in luce county atv's never have the right of way to cross anyroad in this state.Lawdog better get his facts strait. befor handing out tickes. this is afantastick bridge

By Dave Hiltunen In the Smoky's TN. on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 07:55 pm:

The ice looks smooth enough to skate on.March came in like a Lion here in TN.What it do up that way?

By FLYIN on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 08:21 pm:

Onagaming.......our wedding dinner too....1977...
Smelt? First time..same place...and you had to bite the head off...and kiss your girlfriend...
Mikes Bar....what a could buy gas, a beer, and head for Chassell on the way out of town. I think the drafts were 15 cents, but that was 1966 or 67....and then off to work at Jon's Library......The mid to late 60's at da Tech were imprints I still carry today....and visit at least once a year on the 4th of July....Wow....

By Jo Ann, Hancock on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:01 pm:

We had our wedding dinner at the Onagaming in 1980 also...25 years ago...seems like yesterday.
Oh that Lake wonderful.

By Gimace on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 09:12 pm:

MIKE'S Bar was the 19th hole . Mike Fasana and his brother Frank filled many a glass. I partook
in many at my days at tech . Lived in a trailer
across the street and the train that went across that bridge also when past my head every day only 15 feet away! what a rush in 1971. Sometimes wish a quiet electric light rail running from Houghton to L.P. was there
instead of snowmobiles. Go team corporate! Profits rule.

By dave s Mad Wisc on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 10:42 pm:

There used to be many bars in Houghton, and Hancock for that matter...i can still remember all the colored glass lights decorating them outside...any pictures of the old clubs ????

There was a big one around where Pennys used to be in houghton..and the Golden Pheasant in more...

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 11:44 pm:

R Somero CA; Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi; Kathleen, CA; FLYIN; Gimace; dave s Mad Wisc

I think we've got it now: Mike's Bar ® 19th Hole ® Pilgrim River Steakhouse.

I do seem to recall that there may even have been a real teeny, tiny (neon?) "19th Hole" sign at Mike's Bar, although no one seemed to pay much attention to that name back in the late 50's and early 60's when the Mich Tech Pistol Club used to religiously adjourn to Mike's Bar from the MTU range on Sunday night for a couple of "Busch/Bosch" beers. As Mike Fasana (not Fasini) was usually minding the store on Sunday nights, it was only a very rare occasion when Frank was on duty. Perhaps it became known more commonly as "the 19th Hole" in later years.

I also have spent some time at Mike Fasana's "camp" at "Little America" during those same years.

My cousin Jack Nara's veterinary hospital was about 800 feet down the road toward Chassell — up the hill on the southwest side of the road, just adjacent to the Pilgrim River. Some years after Jack passed away the family donated some of the land for the "Nara Nature Walk", and more recently the same property, quite appropriately became the new home of the Houghton County Humane Society.

By FLYIN on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 11:46 pm:

That establishment would be the Rex.....Burned down right after the lady owner took the restored model A out of the basement bar which never quite took off. Boy was she lucky......LOLOL.... And we called the Golden Pheasant the Brass Duck.............

By DH, Temecula, CA on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 11:47 pm:

Mich. Bell Cable train: My Dad was a "bridge guy" on the Soo Line and spent the easiest summer of his forty-year career on that train. He had to ride along and make sure that the cable laying didn't disturb any crossings or damage any bridges.
I also passed up a chance to have a ride on the last run of the Copper Country Ltd. I was in elementary school at the time and the journals that my Dad read were full of bridge collapses, train wrecks and other railroad related carnage. I thought it happened all the time and wasn't the least bit interested in going along.

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