Mar 22-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: March: Mar 22-05
Frosty    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Z-Man
Bye, bye Frosty    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Z-Man
Antique snowmobile    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Z-Man

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:28 am:

The village of Ontonagon found a fun way to usher in the spring season, while the ground is still laden with snow of varied colors. They held a Snow Go Bye Festival, with activities including snowmobile drag races, an antique snowmobile show, a parade - complete with a Festival Queen, a fishing contest and last but not least, the burning of the snowman, a.k.a. "Frosty". Z-Man, our Western U.P. roving reporter checks in with an account of "Frosty's" demise:

"The snowman was built to be burned inside the town of Ontonagon. But due to his size at 15 feet tall, the organizers decided it would be wise to move "Frosty" out of town so as not to start the village on fire. Well, when it was time to give old "Frosty" the flame, they could not get him ignited what with the winds that were howling. After several attempts, "Frosty" let out a poof and the rest is history."

That's quite the old snowmobile in the third shot, kind of a tandem of sorts. It's a Diablo Rouge, manufactured by Bolens, from the 60's and 70's I think. For more pics, click on over to Z-Man's slideshow of the event. Sure hope this ritual helps to get spring moving along, similar to the way the Heikki Luntta snow dance gets the snow to falling!

By NKR Mishawaka IN on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:34 am:

Good morning from Mishawaka IN. Is Frosty waveing goodbye to the snow? Ooops, didn't see the second picture. I guess he was just waveing goodbye. Have a nice day everyone.

By Tim, Downstate on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:35 am:

That's quite a fire! I didn't know frosty would be so flammable. The snowmobile is interesting, I don't think I've ever seen a contraption like that before.

By Beverly, San Jose on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:37 am:

Good morning all. Time to rise and shine for a new day. It is 3:47 am in San Jose.

...and 6:47 in Ontonagon

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:02 am:

Mornin', I know everyone in the UP had fun at the drags.

By SGT Nate, Afghanistan on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:21 am:

That snowmachine looks like a cross between a wagon of somesort and a riding I like the pics, great ones. Take care and Keep the Faith!

By Mr.Bill on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:42 am:

That BOLENS is sure a far cry from the sleds' that topped one-hundred mph last week.

By Gus LL on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 08:09 am:

The first snowmobile, like the above Bolens to come on the market was the Huskii, which was manufactured in Canada. It had a 8 or 10 hp.JLO, German made motor. That was in about 1962.
Bolen's started manufacturing them a few years later. Rudy Kempainen,Hancock chain saw dealer was our local dealer for Huskii snowmobiles in the early 1960s. The Huskii was the forerunner to that type of sled. It was quite a popular machine in it's day and was very maneuverable. They are a collectors item now.

By Roudy Mi on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 08:30 am:

Yup, many an hour was spent sitting around the 'Leaf extolling the merits of the Huskii versus the one piece muchine whilst clutching a Bush. Then there was the story of Jack getting run over by his own Huskii on the way to the 'Leaf one evening.

By Sue, Calumet on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:02 am:

Ontonagon already had a big fire in 1896. This is from Michigan Forests Magazine:

'The Ontonagon Fire of 1896 "The summer of 1896 also was unusually dry, especially in the Upper Peninsula. As early as August 25, the `Detroit News' reported that `forest fires have gained terrible headway in the vicinity of Trout Creek.' On the twenty-ninth Rockland, Greenland, and Bessemer were threatened. On September 12, the town of Ontonagon, with its sawmill and lumberyard, was wiped out. For two weeks fires had been burning unchecked in the swamps back of town. On the twelfth, the wind freshened and by noon was blowing a gale from the south. Sparks from the fires in the swamp set fire to the sawmill and soon the lumberyard was ablaze. From here it spread to the town which was largely consumed. Only one life was lost, however.'

By Inquiring mind! on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:19 am:

Hey Roudy, was it Jeb or George dubbya you were clutching?

By pld on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 10:30 am:

That is way too funny Inquiring Mind!

By Raven, Downstate on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 11:23 am:

How macabre.

By JJ MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:00 pm:

Sue, Calumet

The story, as told at the Ontonagon Historical Msn suggest a differnt twist, that the fires that burned for weeks in the swamps were blanketing the town with smoke, and for what ever the reason a forman of the (I forgot mine/lumber mill)decieded to go dig up (with townsmen and local laborers) and turn over - kind of like a controlled burn - the smoldering areas, they broke for lunch, and a freak noon gale ignited the area and the the town was consumed... Would not want to be the one who suggested a) lunch, b) to address the fire in the first place.

How is the development of the harbor there going???

By Snowman Fan on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:03 pm:

My goodness, what did Frosty do to deserve THAT!?!?! LOL They do have lethal injection these days, or is burning still a common form of corporal punishment in the UP...?



By SDC, Ferndale, MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:53 pm:

Back in the very early '60's when we lived on our farm, during the winter months, the Bell Telephone repairmen would come check out the lines on their new "contraptions",,,snowmobiles. We kids soooo wanted a ride on them but our mom said no, leave them alone so we just watched from the kitchen. After they were done doing whatever they were doing, they would enjoy driving them around and teasing our dogs but I think the dogs were having just as much fun as the repairmen were having on their snowmobiles.

By Roudy Mi on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 12:55 pm:

I was thinking more along the lines of Joe. If Jeb or Geo. had shown up they probably woulda got in a "clutch". Mor'n once ! Could this be a generation gap?

By Sue, Calumet on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 01:07 pm:

JJ, Ontonagon harbor development should benefit soon from the new bridge about to be built, depending on who you talk to.

Say, isn't Frosty the Yooper-equivalent of a Wicker Man? Was anyone inside when they set it on fire?

By sur5er on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 01:22 pm:

Wow, that snowmobile is old...and can't say I have ever seen one like it before. At first glance, I thought it was a riding lawn mower...and ya'll were having lawn mower races in the snow. :)

By j A P E i on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 02:09 pm:

GOOD DAY all peoples here!
I look just webcamera pictures in Houghton centre and there is GREAT WEATHER!!! Is also here in Finland pretty weather.. .LOVELY spring is already far (long.. .)!

By Gary in Wisc on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 02:30 pm:

Frosty the Snow Witch?

By b in gb on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 02:38 pm:

We had a '70 or so.. Diablo Rouge in Escanaba! My folks bought it in Brampton near Gladstone I think.It was a bit of a bear in a slow tight turn.I sure liked our later Artic Cat much better.Funny I was thinking of our Diablo after seeing the strange machine in the airport picture on Sunday.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 02:53 pm:

You would definately have to be a fan of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol to see what I'm about to say... If you look at the face of the burning snowman, you will see what appears to be that door-knocker of Mr. Magoo's. I see it as plain as can be... Anyone else see it?

By halwine. MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 03:12 pm:

Poor Frosty!

By Helen, MI on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 03:53 pm:

Poor Frosty? I am tired of Frosty for this winter!! It was more than time to go bye!!
Still have more than our share of snow UP here in Ontonagon. But the weather has been great these past 2 days. Snow's finally melting!! (Hopefully we won't see another snowstorm till next winter, lol).

By Boschman of da MTU on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 04:01 pm:

Roudy Mi, Inquiring mind!:
"...whilst clutching a Bush."
"Hey Roudy, was it Jeb or George dubbya you were clutching?"

Sorry to bust the polly-tickle joke, but methinks Roudy was clutchin a Bosch!

By Roudy Mi on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 05:06 pm:

You chust gotta lead some boeples around py da nose ring.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 05:35 pm:

(Blush)... Actually, it's the left side of the HAT... Not the FACE!

By Therese from just below the bridge on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 05:53 pm:

Okay, Alex, now I see it! "Oh Magoo, you've done it again!" I would like to see Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol again!

By copper country resident on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 06:34 pm:

Speaking of Rudy Kemppainen, seem to recall the chain saw shop, also sold lawn movers & other related items was located on the corner where the Republic building (main street of Hancock). Rudy & wife Helen were great people, lived in Obenhoff. Both are deceased now. The Bolens snowmobile or Huskii, we used to call them a tractor hauling a ironing board around.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:28 pm:

Thanks to Therese Under The Bridge, for making me know I wasn't insane today! :)

By superiorgirl on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 10:29 am:

Ontonagon Harbor - the Corp of Engineers announced that due to budget cuts, 2005 will be the last year they dredge harbors that off load less than a million tons. Ontonagon typically registers about 300,000 tons of coal for the mill and now for the power plant at White Pine. W/o dredging, it wouldn't be long before the river mouth is filled with silt and the harbor effectively closed. This will also considerably increase the risk of flooding - again. To use alternate means of getting coal to the mill would increase the cost by $1.5m. So, how is the harbor? It is in peril, as are we all.

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