Feb 08-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: February: Feb 08-04
Skating Party - 1903    ...scroll down to share comments
Researched by John Hunter

Toivo from Toivola on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 07:58 am:

Pasty Central's weekly Shoebox Memory, has become a favorite of many, not only for the old photos, but because of the history that follows in the notes. John Hunter came across an old copy of the Mining Gazette, Special Edition of 1901 to 1930. The picture was taken in 1903, of a skating party on Portage Lake and turned into a postcard, which now belongs to the Houghton Country Historical Society. A similar view to the one we saw last month, from a different stop in time.

Did you know, for several decades before the Daily Mining Gazette, the local paper was the Portage Lake Mining Gazette? Now you do ;>

By JJ MI on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 08:10 am:

Wasn't there a painting on the side of a (houghton / Hancock) building advertising the Miners Gazette???

Great memory...

By Vanessa, Calumet, MI on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 09:55 am:

Good Morning!!! Wow looks like fun!! I wonder what it was like living here back then??? humm.... Probably hard because of the minning. The lake sure looks narrow compared to now.

By Mary Lou on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 10:08 am:

Love it! So this is how it looked when my famly lived on the hill!!!!....I see Quincy....but where are the trees????...is that a church on the right on top of the hill? The company must have clear cut the hilll so they could get the ore to Ripley. my grandfather built the powder house (1884) at the base of the hill in Ripley...it is still there an looks great..he was a young Swiss stonemason and it resembles what you see in the mountains in Switzerland.

By Herb_Wis on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 11:10 am:

The old buildings and ruins up there are wonderful
relics of the past. And some of them are real works
of art. Even some of the "ordinary" mining
buildings. I only wish I could have seen the
Keweenaw at an earlier time before they knocked
so many things down. My first visit was in 1980.

I often wonder what will become of the old dredge
in the water near Mason. It's pretty cool right where
it is and I hope it doesn't get scrapped.


Mason dredge
From the Archives: Jan. 9, 2003

Frank R. on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 12:18 pm:

My Grandmother Helmi Paavola from the Paavola location used to talk about the afternoons spent on Portage Lake skating with her friends.In the early 1900's.

By Patti on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 12:30 pm:

The skating party looks like fun.

By Joe Dase MTU Mining Student on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 12:31 pm:

A local group owns the dredge now, along with some land they plan on turning into a park. They have plans to raise the old thing but their plan is a little extravagant money wise and lets just say there are better ways to do it than the plan Iíve seen. Lets hope they save it though!

By Paul in Illinois on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 12:39 pm:

I believe the photo was made later than 1903. Quincy No. 7 is visable on the left and shafthouse to the right looks like the present Quincy No. 2. That building was built about 1908. It also looks like the new No. 2 hoisthouse was in place so that places the photo in the post WWI era. While that all maybe nit picking, the photo is another great example of some of the community activities that abounded in the old Copper Country. Skating on Portage Lake over a weekend was an "event". People tended to gather together more back then - no home enterainment centers to stay at home and watch.
The lack of trees around the communities was very common. People made do with what they had. Wood was used for building and heat in the early days. After awhile, it became cheaper to ship in coal for fuel but wood was still an option for heat and was heavily used in construction and for mine supports. The mining companies used poor rock as a building material, there was plenty of it, later the more prosperous companies used Jacobsville sandstone. Brick came after the Copper Country established itself as one of the most permanent mining districts in the nation. Like Mary Lou, we have Copper Country stonemasons in the family tree, Anton Gipp and at least one son were stonemasons for C&H.
No doubt, Vanessa, mining was hard and dangerous work. Statistically it was safer in the Copper Country than in other areas. One has to remember that back when that picture was made, working for a living anywhere was hard and often dangerous. We have progressed. The people in the picture were having fun. Most of them came to America for a better life and had hopes thier children would have even better lives. Here we are about 3 generations out from that time and we are living at a level those people couldn't imagin. The sad part is now we have doubts that our children and grandchildren will have it better than we have.

By David S. - CA. on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 12:50 pm:

There was little thought given to conservation back then. Obviously the loggers of 100 years ago clear cut everything down in the name of progress. My Dad, born in 1930 Calumet, remembers huge tree stumps from the virgin forest. Fact is, the Keweenaw probably looks a whole lot better now than it did in 'the good old days'.

By Ms. Katie on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 01:03 pm:

oa note that not all was "the good old days' of selective memory. My mother's 9 year little brother fell throught the ice at Hubbel and was lost, about 1920. Some things never change.

By JAD, Oskar, MI on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 01:49 pm:

I've lived near Oskar since 1978 and only twice have I seen skaters on the canal--once about 10 or 15 years ago, and, again early this winter! Each time the skaters were in the area between Coles Creek and the UP Power offices. I took photos the first time because there were several groups, some playing hockey and others just skating around. Skating on Portage Lake, however, is not unusual. My daughter-in-law and family have skated there a number of times over the years. Skating outside requires cold weather without snow. I suspect once The Dee was built that the skaters went inside to "warmer" conditions and "smoother" ice. In Canada,
outside skaters have found a neat way to get smooth ice: they MOP the ice with VERY HOT WATER.

By James, Los Gatos, CA on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 02:13 pm:

David S. in Ca - My grandfather use to cut that virgin timber. I have some old photos of it that I will be posting in my area of the "Guest Photo Gallery" sometime this week I hope. It's hard to imagine how large the trees were in the U.P. but they were very old and of course never been logged before. He came to the U.S. from Scotland at a young age for a better life. He ended up in Detroit where my mother was born.

By Mary Lou on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 04:21 pm:

Paul in Illinois.....it is certainly not "nit-picking"!!!!... Your information regarding the history of the area is a great gift to those of us who are trying to piece together the history of our families and their lifestyles in the wilderness that was the Copper Country. It is apparent that you care about the area and its history. I really appreciate the information you share with us regarding the mining companies and the railroads.

By walter p tampa on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 04:35 pm:

nice to see pictures of yesteryear as they once were as we will have been once

By Blunderbuss on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 04:39 pm:

It seems like we lack a sense of community wherever we live. I feel that the message boards help, but one never gets to meet the folks behind the names. We don't have gathering places anymore: the village well, the local coffee shop. Where do people gather these days? There are so many people one doesn't know any of them.I don't mean to sound negative. There are more than half a million people in my county.More than in the whole UP. Do you guys feel a sense of community up there?

By Dave of Mohawk on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 05:51 pm:

Blunderbuss: I think that you are right in saying that people just don't gather as much anymore as they did back in the good old days. Even in the years that I was growing up were had at least a half dozen outdoor rinks in the Calumet-Laurium area besides the Armory. In addition to all the public rinks many people made small rinks in their backyards where the neighborhood kids would gather. People back in the old days didn't have home computers with internet service and entertainment centers. Now we have pay-per-view movies on digital cable, just scroll through the movie choices and click on whatever you want to watch so we don't even have to go out to the video store anymore to rent them. I love all this technology but is it a good thing or not?

By Ken and Mimi from da UP on Sunday, February 8, 2004 - 10:17 pm:

I remember skating rinks on the old concrete floors of mining bldgs. in Tamarack. Also there was one 1/2 way up Quincy hill, in Hubbell and Lake Linden, many in back yards, and in the woods behind the Whispering Pines Motel not far from Oneco. The older kids keeping the fire going in the shack and playing pinochle, or canasta or cribbage. Some of the rinks had lights strung out over the ice and some had speakers for music. We ALL had our turns at shoveling the snow off the rink. Used to skate on the lake off Albin Saari's cabins near Dollar Bay, (across from the old Onigaming (sp?) Yacht Club). We'd hold our jackets open like a sail and the wind would really get you going. Sometimes the ice was not very smooth.

By Herb_Wis on Monday, February 9, 2004 - 10:51 am:

Joe, good news about the dredge! It will be great to
preserve it, but it looks GREAT where it is right
now. Quite a landmark that you can't miss when
going past on the highway. Doubly nice with the
ruins on the other side of the highway. Years ago
there was another old boat up on the beach, but
that is gone now....


By Tot , Olympia, WA on Monday, February 9, 2004 - 01:39 pm:

I grew up on First St. in Lake Linden and in the winter our entertainment was sledding down the hill on First St. and skating at the rink on Front St. What great memories!! The old log cabin that was the ice shack was the place to be when you got too cold.

Lake Linden ice rink shack
From the Archives: Feb. 25, 2002

Tot , Olympia, WA on Monday, February 9, 2004 - 03:17 pm:

What a pleasure to see this picture!! It looks as though it has been restored. Is it at the museum site now perhaps? I have not been home since 1992, way too long. It has a different porch now, probably had to be up to code, hm? Thanks to whomever put this pic up and thanks to Pasty.com for this wonderful communication with home.

By Mary Lou on Monday, February 9, 2004 - 07:25 pm:

Tot.......1992 is way too long....This year we're having an all school reunion over the 4th and it would be a great time to get "Home" and to check out Lake Linden....it never seems to change very much but people do....I think we're all so lucky to have Lake Linden (& old friends) to come home to.....

By Kathi, IL on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 11:07 pm:

Anyone ever hear of or see flyers that US
mining companies distributed in England to
recruit miners to work in the US? This is a
shot-in-the-dark search....thanks

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