Jun 28-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: June: Jun 28-04
Mining reflections    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Roger Kangas

By
Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:21 am:

Driving around the area, whether on the waterways or the highways, you'll see many reminders of the rich mining heritage of the region. All which help to explain the nickname given this locality, the Copper Country. Roger Kangas snapped this shot giving us all a chance to reflect on these remnants of our past... realizing what our forefathers worked so hard to build for future generations to reap the benefits. I'm unable to identify this shaft, but I'm sure there's someone out there that can!

Copper Country Homecoming is in full swing this week, with the Old Settler's Ball on Saturday night, and capped off by Pasty Fest 2004 on Sunday. Only 6 more days!!


By upmama, MI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:25 am:

gosh, you're up early! Nice picture.
First Post


By ace,tx on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:25 am:

Good Morning from Tx. everyone have a great day!!!


By Troll in E.H. on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:38 am:

Mornin' all!


By SMN/Clearwater, FL on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:52 am:

Good Morning Everyone. Is it possible to see any old mines? Also, can we get Pasties even if we can't get there for the Fest? Oh yes, I saw lovely watches on Pasty Software. Can they be purchased any place but on the internet? Have a great day!


By Susan, Fl on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:21 am:

SMN Clearwater... McKay's meat market that used to be on Indian Rocks Road just north of Ulmerton (where the Coffee Mill is) used to carry them. He has sold the business to Jim's Meats, but now has a booth out at the Wagon Wheel where he sells Koegels. You may be able to get them through him yet, although I have yet to go out there to check it.


By Jack Russell, Sheperd, MI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:21 am:

To SMN of Florida: There are many old mines to see in the Copper Country, but two places to get a tour of are the Delaware and Quincy mines. If you have never been in one, you may find them very interesting.


By maijaMI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:22 am:

There are excellent tours at both Quincy and Delaware mines. Get pasties from pasty.net! (thru June, then there is a summer break) Watches: contact Christi Lindow, 614-898-7452.


By tc, mich on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:26 am:

Nice photo. When I was a kid we would have pretended that was a giant looking for us, or a dinosaur. Hey, those front end loaders really do look like brontosauri!


By colleen --Nocona Hills, Tx on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:06 am:

Mornin' y'all... Nice reflecting pool,er lake! Clam & tranquil... AH!!!


By Dave, Laurium on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:14 am:

Good Morning all, looks like a beaut of a day starting out. Before I went in the Navy in '67', I worked in this mine for 4 months, I guess I should say "this mine is the reason I went in the Navy". It is the Osceola Mine #13. Here is a different angle on the mine, looks like the abpve pic was taken by the ponds in Swedetown...
Osceola 13


By Dave, Laurium on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:28 am:

http://www.mg.mtu.edu/shaft6.htm

Try this link for some great old photos of the Keweenaw mines.


By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:34 am:

Mornin'


By Mr. Bill on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:51 am:

I concur with Dave, it is Osceola # 13 from a fresh angle.

Dave, what's going in with the shafthouse at Centenial? Is it going for scrap?


By Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge - Cadillac, MI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:12 am:

Good Morning...
Great scenic, serene photo this morning!


By ts on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:14 am:

I was on the crew sinking shaft there n july 1968--getting the shaft deeper so they could put in the pocket for the side dumpng cars-- like the kingston had---that were new and are still sitting outside the shafthouse in the field yet today--sill look good yet with there orange paint


By Mr. Bill on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:25 am:

ts:

Were the cars new, or purchased from another mine?

They do make a great photo op.

ps - The core pile is almost gone in the last two years. Other rockhounds have found it!


By yooper in da keweenaw on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:30 am:

Does anyone know of a URL where I can find the itinerary of
daily events and times for the Settler's Ball? I've been to
http://www.cchomecoming.org/
but there's no daily list of times and events.


By bek, wisconsin on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:37 am:

Good Morning. I'm bringing my family up for the Fourth of July and was wondering if there's going to be any fireworks in Houghton that weekend. I know Bridgfest had fireworks, was that all there's going to be? I appreciate any info : )


By camwatcher on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:41 am:

Fireworks are in Lake Linden or Copper Harbor. The festivities in LL park are great


By Mary Lou on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:10 am:

Lake Linden has a super fireworks..in the Park on Torch Lake.......I understand they will celebrate the 4th on the 3rd.......so much going on in the Copper Country.......Hurrah!!.... for the 4th of July....or in this case.....Hurrah!!! for the 3rd of July!!


By elm on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:30 am:

Beautiful picture Roger. Love the reflection in the pond.


By Ms. Katie on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:07 am:

Thanks, Dave Laurium, I made a copy of your neat photos for my personal Slattery files. :)


By Dee Fulcher ,Columbus,OH on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:15 am:

Dee cols,OH

Love this site brings back many memories of my younger days in the UP ..Also Lovethe pictures..


By Jim Pykonen, Washington on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:06 am:

Nice photo and good morning from Vancouver, Washington where the weather, at times, is similar to the Copper Country and takes me back to days of youthful adventures in the Copper Country.
Anyhow, does anyone out there have or know where I might be able to checkout pictures of past and present Atlantic Mine?

Best wishes to all.


By Deb on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:34 am:

There will be fireworks in South Range on July 4th also at dusk. Parade at 2:30.


By ric, WI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:46 am:

What is going on at Centennial?

Anyone know?


By Marsha, Genesee/Aura on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:50 am:

Does Baraga have fireworks on the 4th? We'll be arriving on the 3rd in time for Pasty Fest. Can't wait! Does anyone know where I can find those sandstone drink coasters that absorb the moisture from your glass? I got some a few years back at a craft shop in L'anse, and would like to find more for gifts. Also my grandsons who live in Florida (ages 4 and 7) would like caps with fish on them. I can't find any like that down here. Has anyone seen them? I know I can always get my questions answered here!


By Dave, Laurium on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:53 am:

ric, WI.....check the link 9 posts above yours...


By Larry K, NH on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:09 pm:

Does anyone have info on the airport that used to be at the Florida location in Laurium?

Took my first plane ride there in 1947.


By w in michigan on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:10 pm:

As we speak the centenial heights school is flat.


By SDC,Ferndale, MI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:18 pm:

Marsha, Genesee/Aura:
I've seen those sandstone coasters at Kmart in their home interior section. If you have Kmarts in your area, check it out. I was surprised to see they carried them.


By ric, WI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:50 pm:

Too bad about the Centennial Heights school. The Copper Country, except for the National Park, apparently has not enough soul and conscience to care about the history.

Seriously, though...has something happened to the Centennial shafthouse? Haven't been there for a year...sure hope it hasnt gone the way of the "person" who needlessly destoyed the Kinsgton Shafthouse...


By The Dam Guy, Parasite Creek on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:04 pm:

I know of two saunas, one in Ontario, one locally,
that use diamond drill cores in place of rocks on
the sauna stove. They seem to work very well and
are great for heating water in the sauna because
they lay flat and you can put a pan or kettle on
them. And no, I didn't get this from "Hints from Heloise"...


By finlander, painesdale on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:08 pm:

As far as I'm concerned most of the old buildings around here except for the mineshafts and powerhouses can be torn down. Most are a hazard and an eyesore. I think too much emphasis is made on preservation than on development and progress. Just look at he city of Hancock and their constant fighting with national park to get any kind of new buildings or business in the area. We have our own economy and life here and should not be preserved as the country's museum for everyone else.


By Mr. Bill on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:18 pm:

ric, wisc

It appears as though the corrugated clading on the shaft house is being removed. The road in, off 41, was plowed all this winter.

Five shaft houses are all we have left in the Copper Country, and I think that tearing them down as an "eye sores" diminishes the sacrifice that the families endured.

Why not scrap the Liberty Bell? It's cracked.


By SHELLY, MOHAWK on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:21 pm:

PUTTING THE WORD OUT ONCE AGAIN......THERE HAS BEEN AN ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED FOR THE WHITE HOUSE INN FIRE FUND/JIM AND BRENDA. NOT ONLY DID THEY BOTH LOSE A WONDERFUL LANDMARK BUSINESS BUT THEIR INCOMES AS WELL. IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A DEPOSIT TO HELP, YOU CAN DO SO AT ANY OF THE SUPERIOR NATIONAL BANK OFFICES. LET'S SHOW THEM HOW MUCH WE ALL CARE AND HOW MUCH WE MISS THE EXCELLENT FOOD, SERVICE AND THEIR SMILING FACES. THANKS!


By Dave, Laurium on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:21 pm:

Here is the Centennial Mine as of last month...
Old Centennial


By The Dam Guy, Parasite Creek on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:38 pm:

I understand what you're saying, Finlander, but
I'll still take an old shafthouse over a new Burger King any day of the week...


By Kat Timonen, OR on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:01 pm:

I agree, Dam Guy. Living in the suburbs of Portland (OR), everything gets torn down for more cheaply made apartments, more cheaply made houses, and more Starbucks. We've made the yearly trip to Tapiola every summer for the last 23 years and it's great to see vestiges of history remaining. A great history lesson for our kids!


By ts on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:07 pm:

the road in your thinking of goes to n0.6---3 is the one there tearing down--that road goes to hights--no.3 is an eyesore--looked bad when i worked there n 67


By ts on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:15 pm:

THEY used no 3 (single shaft)to ride down and rode over to no.6 to raise up a double shaft in no 6--36 level up to 17th level--then 17th up to 9th level of the old no 6--then made the old no. 6 bigger for a double shaft from 9th level to surface


By Mr. Bill on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:16 pm:

Kat Timonen, OR

Amen on the kids history lesson, Mac Donalds, and Starbucks.

It's bad enough that they all have to move away to find employment; At least they should have some sense of their heritige before they leavve.


By Mr. Bill on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:17 pm:

or leave even.


By finnferrfunn on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:18 pm:

She got the gold mine....I got the shaft.....:)


By ts on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:19 pm:

The reason is that its easier to drill up the hill with a jackleg than down--also scraping the dirt down is easier than scrapping uphill into a ramp and having a puffer boy hoist it in the bucket


By ds, mi on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:43 pm:

ric, WI I think that many, if not most of the people in the Copper Country are very interested in and proud of the history that surrounds them. Perhaps you have not noticed that the average person living in the Copper Country does not make a whole lot of money. And many of us who were born and raised there have had to move away to be able to find suitable employment. Many of the buildings and historical sites there have been in a serious state of decay for all of my lifetime. Many others have been completely torn down. The optimal time to work on preservation and restoration would have been when those sites were first abandoned. I, for one, would love to be able to see what the area was like in its heyday. If you have any suggestions on how to accomplish such a feat, I am sure there are many who are dying to hear them.


By t on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:47 pm:

More--the shaft is 22ft wide--10 ft high--the cement collar at surface is 80 ft down into the bedrock--then timbers---sleepers Like ties---then stringers to set the 90 pound rails (90 pounds per every 3 ft of lenth on--ladder road on the north side--also north side of the shaft was ( the side the men rode the mancar on )was roofbolted with 10 foot long roof bolts --3 feet apart because the conglomerate lode wasnt to good for holding--(caved in)


By Roudy Mi on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:52 pm:

"Such are the experiences of a retrograde civilization" he said quoting a note worthy authority


By finlander, painesdale on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:01 pm:

I appreciate history and all, but there are many who do not even live here to not want anything to ever change so when they come here they can enjoy it for a week. That is fine my only point being that when a business wants to locate and build in the area and they are denied because it "ruins the historical integrity" of the area it burns me up. There are many people who lived here and had to move because the economy is not allowed to grow and the current residents suffer. Spending oodles of money to restore a decrepit old building instead of spending it on business growth and jobs is baffling to me. But what do I know, I'm just a working guy trying to get by.


By BCT,mi on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:31 pm:

Here Here for Painesdale. I expect there's a lot of merit in what he says,but the areas resources are gone. The new resource is people. That's going to generate service related jobs. They don't generate wealth. Are minimum or low scale wages they generate the answer?


By Dave, Laurium on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:00 pm:

I agree with 'finlander from Painesdale'. It is very easy to live somewhere else making better money than the average person in this area,to make suggestions on how we residents should spend our money. The economy and opportunities in this area are very limited, so rehabbing all of the historical properties they would like done becomes a problem. There is only so much grant money and federal and state resources available to pay for these, and even then they want some kind of matching funds to come from the local communities. AND guess what that means....raise the taxes so we can pay for the improvements. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes, but property taxes in this area, especially if you also live in the village and pay an extra tax, are already high as far as I am concerned. I have owned homes around the country, and the taxes is this area are not very proportional compared to areas of similar economic values. If we had a larger population, more jobs available along with higher income levels, then we might be able to more afford fixing more of the historic properties, until then, it really has to be pick and choose. Sadly, there are a lot of other things that need fixing in this area rather than spending it on the 'past'.


By ds, mi on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:04 pm:

Very well said, Dave from Laurium.


By Sad. . .and sorta mad. . but mostly sad. . .and bummed out the school is gone too... on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:14 pm:

The Copper Country Speaks quoted five out of five people saying "PRESERVE OUR HERITAGE". A towhship official said: "One day with a 'BIG MACHINE' is all it will take" to tear it down!",

Tell me, what difference does it make what people want? People can't battle with a BIG MACHINE. Welcome, my PASTY Friends. . . to THE MACHINE. . .


By uper1 on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:16 pm:

Sad....But Glad...


By Anon on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:24 pm:

Logistically speaking alone, we're out of it. Our trucks bringing goods, "dead head" back empty, and our inbound freight costs reflect this.Heavy manufacturing here will not survive.

The midwestern "rust belts" of Chicago / Gary / Cleveland / Pittsburg are deemed so, because heavy manufacturing has gone overseas where there is no Workmans Comp,EPA, OSHA, and or minimum wage; We just realized this decades earlier when our only resource was no longer competitive in the marketplace.

Tourist dollars are too fickle with regards to the availability of "disposable income" and weather uncertainties.

Likewise, excelling in athletic's won't help the masses, just individually the million dollar super star.

We have the work ethic, what we need is Technology. Computer advances can be transmited from anywhere on the globe at almost the speed of light. Since MTU has since recognized that Mining Engineers were no longer in demand, lets shift gears here to leading edge Technology, be it laser, microwave, computer, whatever.

Industry will interview and court students in these fields, wherever they're located , and once Technology see's what a viable location this can be, with both an educated job pool and inexpensive real estate, they'll come.

I say this as a mini-entrepreneur who started a manufacturing business in a one car garage that grew to annual sales in the millions.

Sincerely,


By uper1 on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:30 pm:

anon.....then bring a little more of your energy up here and spread the wealth


By bsb, sr on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:33 pm:

I can find five people to say whatever I want to hear. Are these five people willing to pay for the restoration? I would bet not. Life goes on, and although we don't need to forget about the past, we should let it go.


By skeptical on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:37 pm:

No anon, that would be the Democrat plan, spread it around to the "less fortunate" so it would be "fair". We just need to be fiscally responsible and dedicated.


By BCT,mi on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:37 pm:

I have a people business that will work up there.Could employ many or little obviously dependent on the success in selling it. Involves technology as well as 'northwoods'living. I've already seen signs of it working in other parts of the UP. Had the idea a long time ago.15 yrs? I think I need a business development oriented lawyer first. Any volunteers?


By finnish girlie on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:54 pm:

Interesting conversations today.

I have a question for ric in wi.... have you ever lived in the Copper Country? I seriously doubt it, cause if you had, you would know that the residents are lacking neither soul or conscience. Or anything else for that matter. ;)


By Anon on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:59 pm:

BCT,

I'd be wary of a "business development oriented lawyer", consultants, and the like. You may as well post it here for all they'l do for (to) you.

If it's already in other parts, it's probably not patentable.

Make up a business plan, converse with Bankers, and contact the Small Business Administration.

ps: Uper1

I am here, and have invested, oh have I invested ....


By sg//Milford, MI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:04 pm:

I surely hope you all have a better day tomorrow; it appears that no one has all the answers and some don't have any! It's a shame we all can't compromise.


By uper1 on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:18 pm:

Anon...I didn't mean it as a slam, I am glad to hear that you have invested it this area and its future. There are just not enough people out there that seem to be interested in taking a chance on investing in our area, and to be fair, some of our communities seem to be happy to stay as they are and not bring in outside interests to stimulate the economy, they would rather maintain the 'status quo'. Sadly, one thing that has not changed for decades is that we continue to export one of our the most valuable assets that we have in this area, and that is the graduating seniors of our local schools. There is really nothing here to give these young people the motivation to come home after getting their educations. We do not have the job opportunities available to make it worthwhile to them, this is really sad...


By Anon on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:41 pm:

uper1

It breaks my heart to see our friends sons and daughters forced to leave.

Who'll be left here to keep the infrastructure going and take care of us? We'd better invent cat food lids that are arthritis friendly. darn, there's that technology thing again .....


By walter mp tampa on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:56 pm:

the baraga area has fireworks /there is no place like da up


By joeyooper on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:57 pm:

I was born and raised in the U.P. and lived in the C/C. Now can comment.
I feel REAL BAD when they tear down our heritage. But, I do not have the answers. But, I have seen in France and England, they have buildings and houses 400 years old. In the good old USA if the stucture is twenty years old, tear it down and build a tax payer supported baseball stadium.


By former local on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:59 pm:

I knew many grads from the traprock valley- torch lake towns {late 1970's}. they all graduated,and moved away.. Many tried to come "home" with kids to have them grow up in the same safe environs that they knew.
some are people you know .they owned the same shops and restaraunts we see closing today.they were bought cheaply with a lot of hope and little cash from the previous generations that had been there to supplement the extractive industries of mining and lumbering ETC at their peak. I thank those who tried to make a go of it no matter which generation..


By ric, WI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:00 pm:

Just my 2 cents...lived there for 16 years on and off...6 years in a row once (owned a house in Mohawk)....

It is just sad to see the LOCALS wanting the history to be gone....


By ric, WI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:02 pm:

And one more thing, SHAME on ya, finnish girlie for assuming I never lived there...

I DATED a finnish girlie for years!


By Dave, Laurium on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:19 pm:

ric....you know, it's pretty easy for you to sit down there and say how we 'locals' want to see our history gone. Apparently you didn't live here long enough to really get a good appreciation of how economically tough it is on most of the people up here to survive and get by if they choose to live here. Maybe you never had to struggle through economic hardship, or wonder where the tax money for your house is going to come from when you are on a fixed income like so many of the 'locals' as you call them are. Why did you leave this area when you did, did it have something to do with finding good employment or just finding employment period!!?? I don't care for the way you phrased 'locals' in your statement, it sounded like an insult when you wrote it. I am a local, I left and came back, I live on a fixed income, I pay my taxes, I dig myself out of snow in the winter, I enjoy the snow, well..most of the time, I love the summers, blackflies and all, I was a part of the history of this area and still am, I was born here, and I will die here....so don't you presume to know how "us locals" feel about the history of this great community.


By sr/Tampa, Florida on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:19 pm:

Please fill me in: What does Yooper mean and how is it pronounced? Do the ladies do any quilting up in your neck of the woods? Do you have any quilt stores near by?


By John, CA on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:33 pm:

What are the demographics, age-wise, of people moving into the C/C? Do they have jobs when they arrive? What percentage of them are retirees, who stimulate the local service sector, but don't directly increase the economic/industrial base because they aren't exporting any goods and services out of the area?


By Bthecute1, San Jose on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:42 pm:

Without risk, there is no gain. Felix qui portuit rerum cognoscere causas: "Fortunate is he who has been able to learn the causes of things".


By u'per too. on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:43 pm:

yooper is derived from UPPER- as in Upper Michigan or Upper peninsula of Michigan. thus we are yoopers all and when we get together we do the yooper call...YOOP YOOP YOOP!


By BT,TC on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 06:46 pm:

The people of the Copper Country...are some of the finest I have ever known. I would consider it an honor to be a "local". I spent my summers as a kid in Bootjack...and have wonderful fond memories of the area...the history....in fact I have all those little books the guy in LL wrote...I love them. Try to keep what history alive that you can...but if it's gotta go so people can live and enjoy it there then let it be.


By Yooper on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:15 pm:

sr Tampa, If you cant pronounce Yooper, Thats OK too.


By finnish girlie on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:21 pm:

ric in wi,

I should not have assumed -- I apologize. I took exception to your comment about a lack of soul and conscience in the Copper Country, and tried to respond in a light-hearted way. Generations of both sides of my family and friends' families have lived there, and continue to live there. No matter where I have been, I have never found a more decent, hard-working, or resilient people. Yes, there are exceptions, but the same could be said of anywhere.


By yooper on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:25 pm:

sr/Tampa, We YOOPERS dont use Quilts, we are tuff. If its real cold we sleep in our longjons.


By sr /Tampa, Florida on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:27 pm:

'Didn't know if it was Yooooper or Yupper! A double OO is pronounced OOOOOO, when I went to school! That's why I asked. Now I know. Appreciate the heads up.


By Pete, Illinois on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:31 pm:

Born/raised in the UP. Own and maintain a home in the area. Left 50 years ago, come back a number of times each year. Was wondering, how many people does this so called historical park employ from the area.? Except for the Quincy Hill area, have not noticed any changes. O yes, 5th street in Calumet. What a rip off off tax payers.


By uper1 on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:32 pm:

sr /Tampa....."U-PER" or 'YOU-PER'...


By uper1 on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:36 pm:

Pete, Illinois ...you are right, what they paid to have 5th Street done, they should have been gold plated bricks. They could have paved every street in Calumet for what that street job cost, and believe me, every street needed paving....


By Joe Dase MTU Mining Engineer on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:51 pm:

Anon- The statement you made about the Michigan Tech Mining program should be researched before you mime misinformation. Mining Engineering is in HIGH demand at this time, incase you havenít noticed metal prices are up, aggregate demand is up and therefore the demand for Mining Engineers is up. Next year about 100 Mining Engineers will graduate nationally and Phelps Dodge alone plans on hiring 70 new engineers... thatís just one company. Our graduates have been receiving multiple job offers with starting salaries equal to and sometimes exceeding Chemical Engineers and our internships are generally the highest paid internships of all the Engineers at MTU. The decision to eliminate mining at MTU was not one about demand, it was political... if you want more examples of the resurgence in the mining industry look in the UP, there are around 5 (I cant remember the exact number but I honestly think its 5, and I personally KNOW thereís more than 3) companies exploring currently in the UP (6 counties), and one has a proven reserve already. I don't mean to preach but don't believe everything that MTU says.


By sr/Tampa, FL on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:08 pm:

Thanks, uper1 and u'per too. Have a great evening. Talk tomorrow.......


By Lansing,michigan on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:55 pm:

Those books are Clarence monettes book as i have all of them to
Therese Dimet


By J, chassell on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:18 pm:

To sr in Tampa, yes some of the ladies here are quilters and there are quilt stores. We have some long cold winters so quilting is a great way to pass the time. We also ski, skate, snowshoe etc. etc. Come and enjoy!


By Paul in Illinois on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:24 pm:

Interesting discussion. We have been over this many times before.
Mining is what built the Copper Country and there should be a reasonable effort to preserve some of what little is left - SOME not all. Reason is the key. For various reasons, tourism is maybe the Copper Country's biggest industry so preservation makes sense. Tourism begets jobs, unfortunately not high paying jobs.
The prime mover of the Copper Country economy has always been its natural resources. 100,000 people didn't live up there to hunt, fish, and enjoy the sunsets, they lived there because of the mines. My Great-grandfather took the family out of the Copper Country in 1920 because he saw the end comming. He worked underground for over 30 years , he could see no lasting future for his sons. So they moved to Kenosha and those of us in the following generations have acheived more than he probably ever dreamed of. But our foundation and "home" is still up there. Like many thousands like us, those old mines are a monument to the previous generations who lived, worked, and sometimes died there.
The end of the mines was inevitable. The economic decline that followed could have been mitigated. Mismangement by Copper Range and C&H/UOP was a factor. Houghton's shortsighted ignoring of the state's rail bank system has had a long term effect on any developement of primary industries. The NIMBY movement is also alive and thriving in the UP. The mention of any industrial developement will bring out angry hordes with picket signs and letters to congress.
Same for manufacturing - high transportation costs, ify labor, and a high NIMBY factor.
Right now the Copper Country has lemons and is making tourism its lemonade. With its location and dependance on highway transportation, tourism may not be a long term solution. We are depending on folks that hate us to supply our fuel - OPEC could shut down Copper Country tourism in an eye blink. The Copper Country needs some enterpreneur's like ANON who are willing to buck the trend. About a decade ago MTU's Ventures had promise but that was squandered by a pair of criminals.
Who knows what the future holds. I hope that there is a rebirth of industry in the Copper Country so its youth have a future at home. Be it, mining, forests, or manufacturing, the area needs a better prime mover than tourist's.
PS. We still pay taxes in the CC and donate time and money to area endevores, that may give us some right to comment, but is the right and responsibility of the full time residents to determine what happens in the Copper Country.


By tc, mich on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:45 pm:

Serious discussion today! How about a little joke?

George and Laura Bush were touring the battlefield at Runnymede with Tony Blair and Ms. Blair. Tony pulled George aside and said "Now Mr. President, you should be particularly interested that here, on this field --that would have been 1215 -- the Magna Carta was signed, which of course was one of the bases of your Constitution".

George turns to Laura and says "Did you hear that Laura? 1215! If we'd have been here 45 minutes ago, we'd have seen the whole thing!"

My brother assures me that this one is making the rounds at the CIA. My apologies to Republicans.


By ywb/yooperwannabe/richmond on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:45 pm:

Dave from Laurium,
Well said. Kudos to you. I can only count the years, 5 now, to when I can move up to the Yoop.
I've spent much time up in northern Marquette County. I can't explain the feeling, but I know I belong in the Yoop. The true local people are very proud. When I do move north, I don't want to change a thing, I'll just blend into the fabric of life in da Yoop!


By did it happen on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:48 pm:

Some years ago. maybe even before Tech-Ventures there was talk of using the mining black sands as a spun glass type isulation.. like fiberglass..I assume nothing came of it?


By Kate, CA on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:03 pm:

Ok youse mini-entrepreneurs, no fair stealin' my "Pasty Huts" across the nation idea!!

;-)

But, I'm game if you've got some capital!


By John-Canton Mi on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:04 pm:

...
The only thing to say about todays subject
is that the local residents only should decide.
such things. Very nice pic as usual.


By Billy Bob on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:05 pm:

Don't be so quick to dismiss tourism as a means to prosper. It is perhaps the least "fickle" means to this end. You have got to look at what makes this area unique, sets it apart from anywhere else in the world. As far as the computer and IT fields being the U.P's saviour.......forget it. While everyone was watching some 200,000 manufacturing jobs exit the state and wringing their hands over it, they failed to take note that the high tech stuff was going overseas as well. Next time you call a help line for high tech help, or need help with billing info, catalogue sales,etc., take note of the people on the other end of the line. You are most likely talking to someone fron India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. At 80 cents per hour, it is hard for ANYONE, in ANY part of this country to compete. Be thankfull for what you've got,and build on it.


By ric, WI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:21 pm:

Well, Dave:

THIS local spent 3 years trying to get the GLM Mine approved back near Gratiot Lake to get some jobs into the area. I struggled against the Gratiot Lake crowd...and they lawsuited us to death. They successfully (sp?) kept jobs out of the Keweenaw. My entire point is: We will NEVER have real industry in the Copper Country again, so why destroy the heritage which may lead to historic tourism?

Did not mean to demean anyone. My years in Keweenaw were the best in my life...and I hate to see it going the way of the wrecking ball...


By ric, WI on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:34 pm:

And yes, Dave:

I left to find employment....that is the main reason everyone leaves the Copper Country. I am PROUD to have called myself a Yooper and there will always be some of Keweenaw in my blood and soul.

It pains me, though to see the progressive closures of land and the accelerating destruction of the area's unique character. The Tower at Bohemia is gone, the Kingston shafthouse is gone,
The Board of Trade in Laurium is gone(may be a good thing-lol) the Bucket is gone...Malnars is gone. The beautiful mine buildings where the mini-mall in Calumet now is are gone, Electric Park is gone, Phoenix Farms is gone, and so on and so on.

It is hard to see one's best memories be destroyed by neglect, apathy and the creeping encroachment of "Door-County Syndrome."

Keweenaw is unique. The people, including YOU, are among the friendliest in the world. I am PROUD to have lived there, and no one can put me down for feeling that way.


By lk on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:34 pm:

Does anyone remember the Americal Cafe? Can't remember if they were in Calumet or Laurium, but they had GOOD pasties.


By ywb/yooperwannabe/richmond on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:42 pm:

Just another thought,
When I do move north, I won't be bringing buckets of money with me. I'll find a job that will keep me going. My children are almost raised!!! I've lived paycheck to paycheck for as long as I can remember. I might as well be doing it in the place I feel at home in! Please don't anyone tell me about the schools up there. I know you have great schools with fine athletic programs. It is very hard to move 2 girls who are entering 8th and 12th grade. My boys are both in college. The oldest goes to CMU, the other one at NMU. With no influence from Mom!!! He chose it on his own! Smart kid!


By T. J. somewhere west of Calumet on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:53 pm:

Ya; I remember the Americal Cafe. My parents ran it. It was located at the spot that is now the Ace hardware parking lot. I have some pics. of the inside. I don't remember the pasties tho. I was about 3 years old at the time. I believe the building was torn down in the late 50s or early 60's


By Ericka Willea, Michigan on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:57 pm:

We are restoring a house in Republic, Michigan. I am down here in Grandhaven working my butt off and my husband and son are in the UP doing the same with the house. It is a huge undertaking and will probably be expensive, but worth it. All the good folks of Republic have been absolutely fabulous, the well wishes, and all the help in looking into our future homes past. Its been great all of you! I just want to say thank you to some of the greatest folks on earth!


By another yooper on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:02 pm:

The reason there is anything to restore here is because of "the yoopers" pride of their heritage. We can all accept changes and we have have to, otherwise we have no history to pass on.


By Bthecute1, San Jose on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:05 pm:

I don't think long johns keep you warm on a cold winter night. (Do people still wear long johns)


By skeptical GOP supporter on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:09 pm:

... I agree what happens to the area should be determined by the people that live and breathe here. Is it too much to ask for some of the conveniences that many people take for granted without destroying the character and integrity of the area? I believe not. My $0.02, goodnight all.


By dfs on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:43 pm:

very good pic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


By Swine's wife, Keweenaw on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:30 am:

I have to admit. I don't like the idea of alot of things being torn down, but most of the buildings are such a danger right now. Kingston mine had to be torn down because OUT OF TOWNERS would trespass on the land all the time. If out of towners don't want people to tear everything down, then help pay for the expensive insurance and up keep of the places.
And Ric of Wi, the PEOPLE that kept the so called Gratiot Lake mine from working were ALL TRANSPLANTS from else where. The Gratiot Lake residents that are originally (NEVER MOVE FROM THE KEWEENAW) from the area were not against it. It was also only based on the assumption that WHITE PINE mine would let them use their smelter.
And yes we do wear long underwear, duofolds to be exact. If you don't like what we do up here, then maybe you should buy some land, let the tourist tell YOU what to do with it, all the while you pay higher and higher taxes.


By Dave, Laurium on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:40 am:

niteynite


By Charlie at Pasty Central on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:45 am:

Interesting discussion today, though we do apologize to a number of grade school teachers who use Pasty Central for their students to learn navigation of the Internet. Economic development may not be as interesting to fourth graders as a bear in your back yard or snowmobiling on Brockway. There is something for everyone here on the Pasty Cam, but some days do tend to have grown-up topics.

One example of blending technology and historical culture is in the web community you are now visiting. In the last 8 years Pasty Central and Pasty.NET have grown into 12 full time equivalent jobs. We export pasties and import bandwidth. We're home to almost 300 websites, businesses of all sizes, historical and non-profit organizations. Like the trucks 'Anon' mentioned above, Vollwerth's sends an empty refrigerator truck to Minneapolis twice a week to haul meat back to the Copper Country. Over the next couple of months we will provide something to fill those trucks on the out-bound journey: thousands of pasties for the Minnesota State Fair.

There are opportunities all around us - here in the Keweenaw or where you live - to pursue dreams and provide meaningful employment to support families along the way. It's not always easy, but it's not impossible either. This evening I've been working on the follow-up report for the grant Keweenaw County and Pasty.NET received to bring high-speed wireless Internet to Copper Harbor (with a solar powered relay on Brockway Mountain). We have almost brought enough new businesses and residents online to support another full time job in the area. (Know of someone in the area interested in doing tech-support for Eagle Harbor - Agate Harbor - Copper Harbor - Lac La Belle - and Gay ?) Side note to those on the waiting list: we're installing the service as quickly as we can, and thank you for your patience.

Pasty.NET grew out of the technical needs for processing pasty orders. The Pasty Central kitchen would not have been possible without the Internet... a blend of technology and traditional food service. Surely there are many other dreams like this waiting to be born. As a side benefit of this enterprise, we get to do what we love the most - bring you a daily glimpse of life from the U.P., and provide a place to exchange ideas about the region - past, present, and future.

skyway
{big guy

By Jo Ann, Hancock on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:30 am:

Bthecute 1...you betcha we wear long johns...my poor husband works outside a lot in the winter...he wears his all the time...as a volunteer fireman he also wears them to bed, "just in case". Not my favorite thing. But he is in and outdoors so much all day that he must always have his long johns on. Buurrr!


By Mary Lou on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:30 am:

Charlie....Bravo!!....I think I remember that you first came to the Keweenaw as a...... tourist....at the Bible Camp...and apparently, fell in love with the area. It really was a blessing that you and Edie decided to make the Copper Country your home. Maybe Tourisum is the answer when it brings farsighted, honest individuals to the area. The Copper Country has been abused by generations of corporate misdeeds and criminals both individual and political ( many were locals)....it only takes a few good men to make a difference. You have........


By Joe Dase MTU Mining Engineer on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:28 am:

Swines wife- The Kingston was torn down not due to out of towners but due to local kids mainly. Do you have any idea what the insurance on a liablitlty such as a head frame costs? If you want more examples look no further than Centennial. The kids have been spray painting graphiti all over the property, when we were working at the Key mill last summer, we couldn't keep the kids out, they kept breaking in and destroying anything that they could easliy destroy. Its sad but the truth.


By Joe Dase on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:32 am:

Also the GLM was going to use the White Pine mill as well, they had a contract but what ultimatly killed it was the shut down of White Pine, and the owner of the Key mill wanting too much in royalties to make it feasible. The mine was permited and development had started in the decline. IP is still trying to sell this deposit along with all of the other deposits they own in the area, G-2, G-3, St. Louis, etc. to mining companies, no luck but small lowtonnage, high grade deposits are the attractive deposit type now, so keep your fingers crossed, maybe some day we will see the development again.


By DJB on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:09 am:

A RECENT GEOLOGIST BELIEVED THERE WAS A LOT OF COPPER UNDER GROUND IN THIS AREA. I AGREE WITH HIM. ALSO AS LAB TECHNICIAN , I TESTED A LOT OF OLD SANDS; FOUND THEM RICH IN COPPER , INCLUDING ALLOUZ MILL, WHICH THEY HAULED FOR 2 YEARS.


By Lori, Commerce Twp, Mi on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:08 am:

to bthecute1 SanJose... yes we yoopers still wear our long johns. both my 86 year old parents have theirs on today! heeheehee :)


By PFD, MI on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:43 am:

sr, Tampa. Yes, we have ladies up here who do quilting. Yes, we have an excellent quilt shop in-between Chassell and Houghton along with a great fabric and craft shop at the Copper Country Mall in Houghton. There is also a small craft shop in Laurium and another craft store in Calumet....


By ts on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 10:38 am:

Work for somone in the copper country now = min wage or a little over--no benifits or pension plan--look to a future of meager social security--if the rep dont cut that out


By Dave, Laurium on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:01 am:

Hey, neither the rep's or dem's have done a lot for us lately up here....


By finlander in Mohawk on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:35 am:

finlander in painesdale--
I totally agree with you. Why does everything have to be saved around here--who really wants to look at the old Centennial School that was a major eye sore and very dangerous to the public--floors were caving in etc.--If anyone wants to see and read about the history of the copper country look on the internet or in history books--why should the citizens of the U.P. have to be punished by looking at all these eye sores.


By ric, WI on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:54 am:

We really should tear down those old Monuments in DC too then...let people read about em in a book...right?


By Carl, yooper on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:34 pm:

ric, WI

You wrote that you left "to find employment....that is the main reason everyone leaves the Copper Country".

We pretty much agree on that. The "hey-day" of copper mining is long over and thus far there is no industry which can take it's place at providing a living for so many families, albeit a meager living as it was for many.

Working age people here are looking at finding or holding on to some kind of employment which will support them and their families. They don't want to see their tax dollars spent on "restoring" what many consider hazards/eyesores (as evidenced by many remarks about the Centennial Hts. school).

I am hard placed to "appreciate" the tax dollars spent by the "National Park". For example, the make over to the old C&H office building. I don't see any benefit that this will provide to the people living here. To me, the millions of dollars spent by the government in this "Park", including administative costs etc. would be more well spent in assisting with economic developement, maybe low cost loans or tax incentives to companies to move up here or start up here. These are tax dollars, yours and mine. Having a restored mine building, old school or church may be a noble thing, but maybe the local people should have a say about what their so called "returned" tax dollars are spent on.

Comparing Monuments in DC with things like the old school building in Centennial Hts....Does anybody really believe that tourists will flock to the copper country to see some buildings whose place in history is lost except for a relatively very few people who are interested in that particular field? I think not.


By Carl, yooper on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:46 pm:

DJB

You said "A RECENT GEOLOGIST BELIEVED THERE WAS A LOT OF COPPER UNDER GROUND IN THIS AREA. I AGREE WITH HIM."

I think the experts would agree with you. For the readers here who are unfamiliar with the copper mining process, the minerial is found in deep underground "veins". Some mine shafts were a mile deep. The area is a peninsula almost surrounded by Lake Superior, which is a constant source of water seeping into mining operations. A closed mine will fill up with water in short order. In short, the price of copper on the market following WWII has made it impossible to continue to mine copper in this way.


By Carl, yooper on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:58 pm:

ric, WI

Just a comment on your other post:

"THIS local spent 3 years trying to get the GLM Mine approved back near Gratiot Lake to get some jobs into the area. I struggled against the Gratiot Lake crowd...and they lawsuited us to death. They successfully (sp?) kept jobs out of the Keweenaw.


I appreciate your efforts ref the GLM project although I don't know much about it.

But then you went on to write:

"My entire point is: We will NEVER have real industry in the Copper Country again, so why destroy the heritage which may lead to historic tourism?"

Do you really expect the locals who hold near minimum wage jobs or who are unemployed to help pay to restore some old building with the idea that it someday "may" lead to historic tourism?


By Jim/Washington on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:56 pm:

Speaking of historical sites torn down, does anyone know of data or pictures of Atlantic Mine I can view?
Forever a Finn and Copper Country reside at heart.


By Bthecute1, San Jose on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 03:04 pm:

A few months back I said there was no industry other than MTU Soumi college, and tourism. And yes, I did question your "doufolds" if that is what you want to call them. I asked because it is the end of June and could not imagine it still being so cold there.


By ric, WI on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:30 pm:

I truly wish some sort of industry would come in, but I've seen time and time again folks for whatever reason successfully take steps to keep it out.

Unfortunately, since no one seems much to care about restoration, what we end up with are vacant lots, strip malls, yuppie type establishments and land closures.

Like I say, I LOVE the Copper Country...I just hate to see it going slowly away. If I WANT Door County, I would go to Door County, but the Copper Country had/has(?) a spirit that was indomitable and a friendliness that was unbelievable. Tis sad that it is vanishing.


By Joe Dase MTU Mining Engineer on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:45 pm:

Carl- Most of the Lodes in the area are steep dipping, but think of this... how far does the Calumet Conglomerate extend, or the Osceola, or the Kearsarge??? The length of the Keweenaw, and therefore it is possible that there are undiscovered deposits, i.e.-St. Louis. The problem is not depth, underground mining costs for some underground mining methods are under $12/ton, the problem is information. Too little was preserved, all the old exploration data gone, and remember that the price of copper is not the only thing that dictates the income of an operation, but silver as well, as silver is found in high grades in some areas. Also Lake Superior plays no role in water levels in the mines, the water table is independent of lake levels, and a mine will fill to the surface usually unless it has a spot to drain from, besides inflow in many of the mines is almost non existent realistically, it all occurs shallow in the weathered bed rock and in the spring time, remember how long it took Quincy to fill to the adit level? That mine has LOTS of openings, and it took over 50 years to fill. There is a company doing exploration work in Houghton County currently, south of the portage, keep our eyes open and you might see the airplane doing recon, but if I had to bet I would say any deposits developed in the future will be sulfides and not native formations.


By Carl on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:58 pm:

Joe Dase

I bow to your knowledge, but I have a hard time accepting that the depth man must go to physically remove the ore isn't a major cost factor in the operation. Unless there is some other method of getting the mineral to the surface?


By DJB on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:22 pm:

IS ALL THE OIL GONE TOO.? YOU KNOW WHY THEY DIAMOND DRILL TOO. IS ANYBODY DRILLING FOR COPPER?
I'M TALKING ABOUT NEW AREAS. I BELIEVE WERE STANDING ON AS MUCH COPPER AS WAS TAKEN OUT. YOU GOT TO HAVE FAITH OR YOU WONT LOOK FOR COPPER. THOSE SANDS AT CENTRAL ARE WORTH MILLIONS. RUN A TEST ON IT. A SIMPLE COLOR GREEN SHOWS UP WITH NITRIC ACID.


By keep hope alive EH on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:46 pm:

http://www.somero.com/ourCompany.htm Here is one company keeping the faith in the keweenaw..at least some do try still..a long way to go..


By ts on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:49 pm:

THE LARGESTSKIPS USED BY c&h WERE 9 TON--YOU go down a mile to get 9 tons of ore at 20 pounds to the ton and 1.20 a pound --takes about 2-3 min for the skip to be loaded by the trammerand make it to surface--thats if theres not a high rock in the skip that has to be broken with a rock hammer--or the rockhouse doesnt have trouble with a larg rock--or piece of mass copper stuck in the crusher--think they hoisted around 180 skips a daysay 1800 ton-trucks now on surface haul 240 ton on a load


By Joe Dase MTU Mining Engineer on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:20 pm:

Carl- Mining Costs include hoisting cost and development costs (such as shaft sinking, drift driving and anything else necessary to put the mine in operation and post mining reclamation); modern development is much different from the old development. Many of the shafts are inclined shafts that chase the ore body; today the shafts would be vertical. It costs around 1200 per foot to sink a shaft, and sinking a vertical shaft means less shaft sinking but more drifting, drifting costs around 500 per foot. This means it costs less to sink shaft and then cross cut and drift to and along an ore body than to sink shaft along the ore body. Everything would be mechanized, with Electric and Diesel rubber tired equipment. Hoisting would be done with either Keope friction drives (which act like a modern elevator) or a balanced double drum. Many mines in the area used double drum but they did so inefficiently, they used each drum independently. With a balanced hoist system you use the weight of the descending skip to pull upwards on the loaded skip, so power is only needed to lift the weight of the ore in the skip, much cheaper. The skips are now fed by feeder systems, which are operated by PLCs so there is no need for a human in the skip compartment, and loading is quicker due to the fact that primary crushing is all underground. So... assuming that total cost is 13 per ton, the production of a mine is 2000 tons per day (Very small), averaging 1.5% Copper and a price of $1.20 per pound of copper you would be earning about 2400 per ton of copper and producing 30 tons of copper per day so your income would be 72,000 per day or about $36 per ton, well over the mining cost. (Now this doesn't factor in milling costs or recovery which is about $8 per ton and 90% respectively). Now letís further assume this deposit is an atypical deposit such as the Caledonia mine, which averaged 31.2 Oz of Silver per ton of copper, your silver (Which would be recovered through electrolytic processing) would bring you another 5616 dollars per day at 6 dollars per ounce. As you can see it is feasible, in theory. In reality thereís much more to consider but it does demonstrate that if the deposit is right it can still be mined, profitably.


By Mary Lou on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 05:50 am:

My cousin, Ray Marcotte was chief metallurgist for Calumet & Hecla in the 60's. He had a project started in one of the old mines...I am not sure which one. They had started to pump water from one of the closed mines after research proved that there was valuable deposits still to be had. The project was well on it's way when the C&H closed in 1967. The mine was again lest to fill with water..........so sad!!


By ts on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 10:03 am:

C&H closed aug 1 1968--strike--No mine was being pumped--they were drifting a cross cut to hills creek--a new load they said--i worked drifting there


By Rich, Wisconsin on Thursday, July 8, 2004 - 12:53 pm:

My mom's family came from the UP and I visited there every year from the time I was 5 until I was 20. I have visited off and on since then and have friends living and working in the area. Here is my input:
- Look to other areas that have had some economic success following a decline in a commodity economy. (British Columbia for instance) See what you can learn from their experience.
- The likely solution will be a mixed economy of businesses that service markets outside the local area. This is how Somero has been sucessful.
- To support this economy will require economic development efforts to improve high-speed internet service and transportation/shipping infrastructure in the area. The internet part is relatively simple to accomplish, shipping will be more difficult, but not insurmountable.
- Shipping is a huge problem in Northern Wisconsin and the UP. During a recent trip to Marquette, I could not even find a Fedex or UPS office open after noon on a Saturday. The rest of the world doesn't do business like this.
- I'm sorry to report this, but the UP has hard sledding ahead from a human resources standpoint. Although people are generally friendly and hard working, the education levels are statistically low (those with advanced education typically leave) and the alcoholism rate is very high. This is understandable, given the current economic situation.
- Regarding tourism, it will certainly continue to be a part of economy, but should not be considered the major driver of the economy. This is because of a combination of factors. One, other areas that are equally scenic and have similar recreational opportunities offer far better amenities and are much easier to get to. Secondly, the tourists currently attracted to the area do not have a demographic profile as high-end spending visitors. Finally, I would say that overall, the UP has never really embraced tourism and so it is not a good fit for the community. Let's be honest, the resentment of outsiders is often pretty obvious, even in comments made on Pasty Central. So, tourism in the UP does not represent a very high-profit economic solution and the local community doesn't really want it that much anyway, so why force yourselves to go after that trade aggressively.
- Regarding historical preservation, although the area has some significance from an industrial history standpoint, this is of interest only to a relatively small number of people. Also, historical restoration and preservation is notoriously expensive with a pretty lousy record on return on investment. I would recommend being brutal in the selection of truly significant sites to preserve and try to place real pressure on the Keewenaw Historical Park to focus more on preservation of their existing properties than acquiring more. They seem to have a reputation for wanting to buy every old outhouse on the market, with little or no budget or plan for maintenance or improvement. They even wanted to buy my uncle's old house in Coburtown as an example of Italian-American history. Please! (By the way, I have a history degree and have served on the board of a not-for-profit historical park, so I am not hostile to historical preservation.)

I love the UP and wish everyone well. I just hope that the community and local leaders can stop rehashing 50 year-old arguments and execute a vision and plan for a sustainable economy that looks at truly fresh opportunities and solutions.

Chris and others here seem to be on the right track, I just hope that the community can put all the pieces together to move forward.


By Brad on Thursday, July 8, 2004 - 04:25 pm:

Very well thought out, Rich.

I agree that transportation is probably the main hurdle with manufacturing in the U.P., particularly the Copper Country. But with the technical age, perhaps some specialized products will be more accomodating to overcome the shipping costs involved. For example, the manufacture of circuit boards by a company already in business in Calumet. Training in specialized areas of production would have to be provided to the local worker, but the local work force I believe would embrace this.

And until a population with steady employment and some sense of job security evolves, the amenities tourists expect will have a difficult time surviving. For an example, look at the number of full service restaurants that are open, and consider that quite a few are and have been listed for sale for quite some time.


By Rich, Wisconsin on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 05:22 pm:

Brad, I think you're exactly right. Products that will work in the UP will need to be relatively high margin, low volume items. Somero builds very high value equipment, so the shipping costs are a relatively small part of the overall cost and the equipment can be shipped by truck. Ironically, the UP economy needs to stay away from such raw products as copper, because the transportation infrastructure (railroads) is no longer in place to ship bulk commodities.

Other possibilities are small businesses that make craft or food items that are somewhat unique to the area and have a reasonable demand outside the area; like ready-to-heat pasties.



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