Jun 25-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: Jun: Jun 25-03
Skypixs view of Quincy    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Rick Anderson
Smelter down the hill     ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Bj Litsenberger

Charlie at Pasty Central on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 08:25 am:

Our high-speed wireless Pasty.NET members in the Houghton/Hancock area experienced a brief outage this morning when an awesome lightning storm rolled through Portage Canal valley. In the first shot above, Rick Anderson recently zoomed in on the back side of Quincy mine, where Pasty.NET's antenna is located. (It's a small white dot on the cat walk between the two top windows.) Also in the photo inbox this morning was a hazy view across the canal, as seen by Bj Litsenberger on her way to work yesterday, which captures the feel of how it was this morning.

Thanks again to all who shower the Pasty Cam with scenes from around the U.P. As you may know, we have added a 'Gallery' feature to Pasty Central, where guest Pasty Camists can upload shots and start their own discussion area. That way we'll be able to bring you more each week. If you are interested in building such an album with your photos, just email me for a username/password/link to get started. Then from the Gallery we will be picking select shots for the photo of the day.

By dh, stambaugh, mi on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 08:54 am:

hey, bj, i knew you were an artist but a photographer as well! excellent picture of history preserved in a relic of a building complex. hope the fog is rising in the keweenaw this morning!

By Marg, Houghton, MI on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 08:57 am:

Rick, Nice aerial view of the Quincy Mine Hoist. I have enjoyed your pictures this week and I have to say the one of the 1000 footer is really cool. Having grown up in Sault Ste. Marie, where my dad worked at the locks and my brother sailed the great lakes I have always enjoyed seeing the magnificent ships going through the locks. All your aerial photos have been great. Look forward to more.

By SDC, Ferndale, MI on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 09:39 am:

The second picture, where was it taken? Kind of looks like the old buildings in Dollar Bay by Sandy Bottom. It is now set as wallpaper on my computer and I can look at it whenever I get homesick.

By pcm on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 09:40 am:

Awesome pictures again today!

By Joe Dase MTU Mining Student Houghton on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 09:44 am:

Nice picture of the Quincy Smelter, hopefully one day it will be restored, along with the two steamers sitting in front of it.

By Becky, Lansing/Tamarack City on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 09:51 am:

Didn't I read that Christman Co. of Lansing was going to restore the Ripley complex? Great picture. Will be driving by there Sunday, finally.

By BT,TC on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:01 am:

SDC, the second pic is Eagle River.....awesome place! My cousin has a gift shop in her house there.

By bt,tc on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:02 am:

SDC, sorry...thought you meant yesterdays pic...

By D from Lake Linden, MI on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:08 am:

The Quincy Smelter has always been a favorite spot for me to visit. In the seventies I wished someone could somehow preserve this historial location so all could enjoy it, by turning it into a mini shopping complex of local artists and craftsmen with a place to sit over a cup of coffee or refreshing summer drink and enjoy the beauty of a warm sunny day on the canal, or a hot cup of cider and a warm slice of pie while taking in the Copper Country's icy Portage waterway. Perfect spot for a family-style restaurant, with cozy winter fireplace to enhance the atmosphere, remembering to restore as well as preserve. I'll be one of the first customers.

By California Suomi Yooper on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:44 am:

What a way to start the day! Terrific shot of Quincy Mine. I was a tour guide there in the late 70's and climbed those steps inside up to the top window to see the whole area (saw the entrance to the Number Two as well, which at the time was a big hole covered by a few timbers. You could hear it actually moaning from all the air going through all those tunnels down there. I think I could still give the tour we had to give ("This hoist was built in 1920 by Bruno Nordberg...")

By Alice, Ventura, CA on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:49 am:

Both pictures are great, but the colors and atmosphere of the second are wonderful! So rich, such depth. Thanks!

By SDC, Ferndale, MI on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:53 am:

D from Lake Linden:
When I win the lotto I will restore the Quincy Smelter as per your suggestion which I love, by the way! Good idea!

By eyes wide shut on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 11:50 am:

Yes, Becky you did read that the Chrisman Co of Lansing is looking into restoring the Smelter. This is a much better use for the site than a restaurant or shopping center. Houghton area has plenty of those. This could be a gem in the Keweenaw National Historic Park Complex if restored to interpret smelting in the mining days. Too many of our historic sites have fallen by the wayside through neglect. I'd rather see an interpretive site, than another eatery.

By the way, I miss Toivo.

By Dave - Colorado on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 12:16 pm:

to D and Eyes wide shut:
Why not do BOTH?? You could restore the old smelter AND develop a nice restaurant on the waterfront adjacent to the smelter, but design the restaurant in the late 1880's style so it would fit in... then, while digesting the information gleaned from your tour of the smelter you could walk over to the restaurant for a glass of wine and a bite to eat... perhaps some really good pasties?? or stew?? or bangers and chips??... (can you tell that I love to eat??)

By Connie - Colorado on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 12:47 pm:

Yes, I agree with Dave, Why decide between two great things? Do Both!!

By BT, TC on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 01:00 pm:

I agree too.....make it an area where people want to spend some time and walk about...then have a snack...while enjoying the Houghton skyline! I would love that myself! Sitting amongst history! Especially Copper Country history!!!

By ck, chassell on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 02:30 pm:

Beautiful photos!

By Lowell MO. on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 02:49 pm:

This has nothing to do with the above Pics which are really great.
This is a web site I found and thought Yoopers might be interested in it to fight off your mosquitos,black flies, etc.
Its a "Deet"
free product to fight those bugs with.

By Cranky from the Heat on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 04:07 pm:

Hey, Lowell MO. Thanks for the SPAM. It was yummy!

By Missin the UP from NJ on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 04:25 pm:

Awesome shots!
Missin' the UP more than ever. Since everyone is sharing ideas today, and they sound like great ones, I wanted to add my two cents. Hope you could find a time in the future to post a Sky Pix of each of the UP counties. Many of us finding this site are drawn to it cause we miss the UP so much and it doesn't matter where in the UP we grew up, we're all Yoopers!
Love your site, keep up the great work.

By Paul in Illinois on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 06:30 pm:

Great photos! Glad to hear that there is some movement towards preserving the smelter. It looks like most of the machinery is still intact. The last pour was in 1967 or '68 so it hasn't sat idle as long as the surface plant on the hill. Removal of the slag plie would improve the site and provide parking space. A restaurant etc. could be built dockside.
The down-on shot of the #2 shafthouse (shaft-rockhouse to the MTU guys)is neat. Now that Charlie has pointed it out, I know the platform he was talking about last week. There are two changes at the very top since it was last working in 1931. There was yet one more level, a small cupola with windows sat astride the peak directly behind the flagpole. A some point this cupola either was damaged or was too costly to maintain and was removed. The flat section to the rear of the peak used to be open when the mine was working. #2 was an upcast shaft, that is, the mine exhaled through #2. Warm damp air was expelled from the collar and had to get out of the building. Conversly, a downcast shaft is one through which a mine inhales. Before 1908 when the present shafthouse was built, #2 was equiped with a wooden building that was a mirror image of the famous #6. The moisture from the shaft is said to have prematurely rotted the timbers in the building. The present steel building was state of the art. Quincy invested alot of capital in #2, it was obvious they intended it to be the main production shaft. Unfortunately, once the money was spent, #2 seemed to have a jinx. The hoist was delayed by WWI. Once the hoist was installed troubles increased underground. It took decades for local management to convince the New York office to let them start retreat mining. Once they did it was too late for #2. Air blasts plagued it and there was a very serious fire in the late twenties. They repaired the damge from that just in time for the Depression. Local sources say the shaft pinched in again in 1931 at about 4500 ft. down, that caught an upbound skip and did the damage you can still see on the remaining pulley stands. This last incident coupled with the Depression was the coup de grace for #2. She was mothballed waiting for better times that never came. The great hoist was only used intermittantly for 11 years. She is virtually brand new!

By Fran,Ga on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 06:44 pm:

Both pictures are nice but I have a thing for the Smelter. I'm for restoring it.The restaurant by the water sounds great.Would love to see what it all looked like and to have a bite to eat. All we ever saw was the side by the road as we drove by.I wish I had paid more attention when I was a kid. It has been there a LONG time and I think it should stay!!

By j, chassell on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 07:49 pm:

I must agree with the restoring idea. I work in downtown Houghton and in the summer I often have my lunch sitting by the water directly across from the above "ruins". Many times I have thought how cool it would be to restore and have shops and a restaurant there. I see tourists pull up and take pictures of that area across the canal and I think how lucky I am to be able to just step out of my office and enjoy the canal and scenery whenever I want! Even with all of our bugs, snow and cold, I wouldn't trade it for anywhere.

By DJB-MI. on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 09:15 pm:


By The Trolls on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:19 pm:

Kudos to Pasty.net ...
Yesterday, a neighbor was over for a chat and mentioned that he had a Marine buddy that was from Mohawk, but hadn't talked to him in many years. He wondered how his friend was doing.
So I came in here to the computer and asked you people if anyone knew his friend. A kind soul named Robert answered and helped locate the Marine. Today, he sent contact information for our neighbor.
And so you have done it again...you have brought people together. What a great service you provide - in addition to daily entertainment and WONDERFUL photos.
We can't wait to get up there next week to see our cousins and visit The Copper Country - God's Country!
The Trolls

By Paul Meier on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:29 pm:

DJB, Yes, it is not practical or economical to save all the ruins. And only a few should be restored. But there are now only a few left. The Copper Country has taken a course towards tourism. There is a National Park (albeit under funded)dedicated to preserve the local mining hertitage. The other smelters are gone and so are the mills. The Quincy is the last of them and it has all the machinery left in it. There are no others to preserve. Preservation is a means to bring dollars into the Copper Country and thus a means to build a better tomorrow. We do the next generation a grave mis-service if we do not provide points of reference as to where we have been. The machines and buildings in and of them selves are not the point, it is the people the designed, built, and worked with those machines and in and around the buildings. We cannot move forward without knowing where we have been. We need to find a balence, preservation and progress can coexist - other countries have been doing for centuries. Tear it all down and you loose the unique character of the Copper Country leaving you with the Wisconsin Dells and a longer drive. Don't do anything and you have the economic depression of the Copper Country in the '70's. Balence is the key. Preserve the character and build on it.

By Fran,Ga on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 10:55 pm:

I agree Paul.You said it very well. Those building are "our" history and what makes the C.C. the unique place it is.

By Lucy, TX on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 11:47 pm:

Hey, BJ!

What a pleasant surprise to see one of your pics! You ought to submit them more often...you do a great job with picture-taking, capturing the real flavor of the area. I sure miss home, but probably won't make it again this year. Sigh! Thank the Lord for Pasty.com!!

By Ken from da UP on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 12:26 am:

I love the way Bj's pic combines # 2 and the smelter! I remember going past # 2 on the school bus from Paavola in the winter and the steam was always coming out of the vent shaft (?). Just down the hill towards 'Kowsit Lats' from the rockhouse. Is that hole still open or has it been covered? I would like to see the smelter complex restored as it was. Too bad there ain't an OLD freighter to tie up there, too. There would be the restaurant and/or gift shops. Huh?

By past believer on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 02:59 am:

to those who don't think that keeping the past present in todays U.P.environment, an urgent priority. With very little else coming in except of tourism money we need to keep it up so people want to come back because without the past there is no future for U.P.
Lansing Politicians need to be made aware of this. Sorry to all but I'm tired of seeing the U.P. get dumped on or lost because Lansing can't see past the Mac Bridge

By Kevin K, Lodi, Ca on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:25 am:

Great pictures. Watched the storm move thru yesterday from the Mich. Tech web cams, really was an awesome site.

By SDC, Ferndale, MI on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 08:52 am:

Past Believer:
I'm a former Yooper now a transplant Troll(not my choice) and have always said Lansing forgets we have another part of Michigan other than the "mitt"! The U.P. is the beautiful part of Michigan, lets get some funding to preserve our C.C. "ruins".

By Dave - Colorado on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 05:08 pm:

Here in Colorado, about ten or fifteen years ago, the residents of a couple of the old mining towns (Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City) voted to establish special economic zones that allowed limited stakes gambling in the towns. Now I am not a gambler myself, but I know that these towns have become very prosperous as a result of the tourism and tax money generated by the casinos. Recently I read that last year the casinos in Black Hawk did well over one hundred million dollars in business!

Some people (myself included!) were concerned that the gambling would attract an "undesirable element", but that has not happened. All of the towns were designated as National Historic District, so the casinos had to be designed in a late 1800's style to maintain the architectural integrity of the district. All in all it seems that the development of the casinos has been very successful and a huge economic boost to the local economy... I know that some of the local Tribes in Michigan have gambling... is there any way to develop a limited gambling district in the Copper Country? Maybe the special district could be located at or near some of the tailings piles so that as a condition of building the casinos, the developers would also have to reclaim the piles?? People who came for the gambling could also try the skiing at Ripley and snow machine trails and so on...

By pcm on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 10:36 pm:

I don't mind the tribe making money with gambling.
In fact, I think Fred Dakota had very tremendous foresight to claim tribal sovreignty in regards to Indian gaming. But I sure do loath the thought of luring tourist dollars into our area by exploiting the weakness's of others to restore our heritage. We ought to be able to pitch in and pony up to save our heritage. Not rely on the addictions of others to finance our historical preservation.

By ROB on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 09:11 am:

Gambling seems to be the easy answer to every economic ill these days. Be careful. The state lottery never fixed school funding as it was supposed to and the casinos never did anything for Detroit. Detroit is several years into the project and their waterfront is still an eyesore and the schools are in the worst shape ever. Both were supposed to benefit from the casinos. Gambling seems to take alot of money out of the economy without producing much secondary benefit. Large sums of lost money go to a very few owners and management companies with very little service or goods provided. While gambling certainly is profitable for some, I would question the benefit for the surrounding communities. Look at Detroit, Atlanta and other communities before you jump for the quick fix.

By Marc, Tamarack City on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 11:52 pm:

Right on ROB, It's just another way to suck money out of an already depressed area.
By the way, why has everyone talked about doing something about the smelter and ignored the fact that whatever you might do there, it's only several hundred feet from the worst eyesore in the Copper Country and possibly the entire UP-the huge junk pile on the Ripley waterfront? HELLO ???

By Fran,Ga on Sunday, June 29, 2003 - 09:37 pm:

Wonder why the owner isn't made to clean up that Junkyard. I am sure there is all sorts of polutants that has drained into that soil and possibly into the lake.Is it still in operation or not?

By Mark from Texas on Thursday, July 3, 2003 - 08:06 am:

On Wednesday, the 25th, I was in town for a workshop at MTU (what a great school, go Huskies). I went and took the mine tour, but the picture from across the portage looking at the old smelter, that is what I saw every morning from my hotel room and every evening from some vantage point along the Houghton side. TY for a great time. I will never forget it.

By Tyler on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 10:43 pm:

I'd rather see a picture of BJ

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