May 16-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: May: May 16-06
Cliff Cemetery    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Pointing the way    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller
Fallen memorial    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Bill Haller

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 06:22 am:

Bill Haller passed by this spot hundreds of times and like many of us, had never stopped to visit. He recently fixed that oversight, by pulling up to the sign pictured here and making a short walk through the bush, found a cemetery he describes as "awesome and breathtaking!" It sure looks peaceful and quiet, where you can clear your head, read the epitaph's on the markers and form a picture in your mind of the person who's memorialized below. There seem to be a few unique grave markers, including the one pictured above that has fallen over, but is laid there to lovingly remember it's namesake still. You can check out a few of the other gravestones in this slideshow, from Bill's Guest Gallery. If I'm not mistaken, the leafy ground cover is a perennial flowering plant called phlox, but doesn't seem to be flowering quite yet. Can anyone verify that for sure?

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 06:51 am:

I've never stopped here, but will now put it on my "to do" list next time I'm UP there. The ground cover looks like Periwinkle/Creeping Myrtle to me.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 07:04 am:

How sad to lose all of your boys that way. They were all so young. I don't know that I could survive losses of that nature.

How many times have we gone past this sign. I love to stop at cemeteries and just imagine the stories they have to tell. They're rich with history. With Memorial weekend coming up, it'll be a time for reflection once again, and I will spend some of my time at both the Lake Linden and Houghton cemeteries visiting with my long lost relatives.

Nice shots. Thank you Bill.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 07:48 am:


I miss Memorial Day. Living in Toronto, we
have Victoria Day, which is celebrated with
fireworks and is a long weekend. It honors
Queen Victoria. Our family ,traditionally, has
always high-tailed it to the UP. We visit the
cemeteries on other trips to the UP. We stop
and think about our family members who are
no longer with us.

Once, my daughter and I saw some lupines
growing along the train tracks between
Baraga and L'Anse. All we had was a coffee
can--previously used for, what else, hauling
worms for a fishing trip. So we stopped the
car, picked the flowers (mortified my son who
was just the age to be mortified...), drove on to
the Falls River to collect some water, and
proceeded to the L'Anse cemetery where we
placed them on my Grandpa's grave. It may
not have been elegant, but it had the right
elements for a guy who loved to fish on the
Falls River.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 07:57 am:

Great shots

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 08:08 am:

Just a side note, there are actually two Cliff Cemeteries. There is the one pictured today, which is off US-41, then there is another just north of the Cliff piles off Cliff Drive at the base of the cliff (if that made any sense??). The reason for this, I'm told, is that the one off 41 is the Catholic cemetery and the other is the Protestant cemetery. I have stopped at both several times not only to pay respect to the hard working men who lie there, but also to study weathering rates of the headstones based on rock types used.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 08:10 am:

Oops, I should have said hard working men, women, AND children who lie there ;-)

By Kate Cuneo (Raventroll) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 08:19 am:

Not phlox, think it's Mayapple

By P&G,TN (Gormfrog) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:11 am:

Beware, least your footprints on the sands of time leave only the marks of a greatest fear in life was that no one would remember me after I'm gone..
(some dead person, otherwise unmarked tombstone)

By Yooper in MN (Yooper_in_mn) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:16 am:

I've stopped there before but I must not have walked far enough because I couldn't find the cemetery. Next time I'm in the Keweenaw I'll have to stop again to look.

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:17 am:

I always heard this referred to as myrtle. I Googled it today for names and pictures, and it was commonly referred to as myrtle periwinkle, or vinca myrtle. It is also pretty easy to grow from cuttings, as I recall.

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:24 am:

I always find walking through cemetaries as these interesting and feel a sense of calmness with the quietness. With today's medicine breakthroughs just think how many of these people that passed so young in years would have lived so much longer.

By Pete Wilberding (Peshtigopete) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:31 am:

I've been to both of the Cliff cemetaties and it's quite an expeience. Earl Brogan and I spent several evenings checking out old cemetaries. He was doing some research for a class he was teaching.

By jeffryeleconte (Upwannabee) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:46 am:


By Cotton (Cotton) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 09:50 am:

kosk-did the lupines you transplanted at your Grandpa's grave grow? My husband tried transplanting some here at home but they didn't take.
I too, like to wander around cemeteries & look at the grave stones. On Memorial Day I go to the Lake Linden cemetery stop at each relatives grave, bring a flower for each & say a little prayer. I like to take my time to remember the good ole days when they were here.
Hopefully this weekend I can take care of my sister & Mom's grave. It has never really looked nice. Grass is patchy with grass & weeds. I'll put some topsoil & grass seed down & hope grass grows.
Someday if we can ever find the time I'd like to go to the Cliff cemetery. Every time we go up north it's go,go,go. Time flies when you're havin fun!

By Dr. Nat in Texas (Drnat) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 10:07 am:

Nice photos!
I've visited cemeteries of old mining towns all over the world, from the little coal mining town I was born in the a gold mining town in New Zealand. I find them interesting for a few reasons. On the scientific side, studying the weathering in different climates of the different rocks used in headstones is fascinating. On the historic side, there's a lot to learn in an old cemetery. The type of markers used changed with time. (For example, markers shaped like trees were popular all over the U.S. in the late 1800s). There's also the personal history. In some graveyards there's an entire family history preserved in the headstones, the history of the average folks that is forgotten in most history books. Lastly, I like to think that by walking through the old cemeteries, reading the inscriptions that are still legible after the long march of time, the people buried there are still remembered long after their departure from this world. As Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 43:
"When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

By Walter P McNew (Waltermcnew) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 10:12 am:

nice pictures of sadness long ago

By Barbara Nelson (Barb) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 11:21 am:

Fantastic pictures. We have a neat cemetery here in Jacobsville
too. Lots of the inscriptions are in Finnish.

Cotton, when you transplant lupines, you have to dig very
carefully to get the really long, deep root that goes straight
down from the stem. So dig a large hole around it to get as
many of the rest of the roots as possible, and straight down for
a long way, before lifting the transplant. They're very heavy
because of all the dirt. But they do transplant well if you get
the "tap root."

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 11:54 am:

I think you meant epitaph. No epithets unless they were really mad about going! I too have passsed without stopping at this particular cemetery, though I've visited others along the highways I've traveled. Always took comfort in them, strange as that may seem.

Mary says: You're absolutely correct Richard. I wasn't sure of the spelling and did a "Google" search. It gave me this spelling, which I didn't think was quite right, but it was late, so I went with that one, even though the definition didn't fit! That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :->
P.S. I fixed my error above, thanks for not circling it in red with a big check mark!

By Smfwixom (Trollperson) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 12:18 pm:

Yooper in MN - we couldn't find the one off Cliff Drive even after walking back there for awhile - guess we didn't go far enough either. Will have to try both again next time we're UP.

By Charolotte Wiitanen (Snugglesdbnhgts) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 12:45 pm:

Capt. Paul: Thanks for the info. My husband has tried for years to find the Protestant Cliff Cemetery that he remembers visiting as as child, while living in the Keweenaw. With your description, I hope we can find it when we visit in August. I wonder why that cemetery is not marked? Also, does anyone know of an Indian Cemetery near the same area? I was told one is there.

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 12:57 pm:

We believe that the OTHER Cliff cemetery is off Cliff Drive, north up the two track, and across the branch of the (Eagle?)river. It has always been too deep for us to drive through, even in mid-summer. We now understand that there's a logging road off Eagle River road, that goes all the way to the top of the Cliff, from the back.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 01:01 pm:


If you are heading north on cliff drive, park at that clearing with the big rock in it that is just past the piles. Or, if you are heading south on cliff drive from Phoenix, I believe it is the first clearing on your right. Once parked, follow the trail that heads into the woods and bear left on that trail at a "T" just before the cliff; that should put you in the general vacinity.

By tom ghering (Tomgheringtcmi) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 01:21 pm: This website is a good one, and you can add cemeteries as well as people that are buried there.

By anna swiniuchowski (Abswini) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 01:37 pm:

my vote is for Mayapple. It is too tall for periwinkle, which is also myrtle. And phlox has a much shorter growth and different leaf. Better resolution or better eye glasses would help.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 01:46 pm:


Actually, my daughter and I only picked the lupines and
placed them in a coffee can (instead of a vase), cause
that was all we had with us in the car. So there was no

Dr. Nat--I too love the people that history has forgotten.
Puts you in mind of that poem by Thomas Gray about
the old cemetery--the one that talks about "some mute,
inglorious Milton." (Bear in mind that I do not have a
poetry book here with me as I write this between
meetings). These people didn't make the history books,
but they were special to someone. Come to think of it,
they're special to us here at Pasty Cam.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 02:37 pm:

For a current view (from Sunday) of the Eagle River and Jacob's Creek Falls, click on over to the What'sUP page for today!

By Charolotte Wiitanen (Snugglesdbnhgts) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 05:06 pm:

Thanks so much Capt. Paul!

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 05:19 pm:

Jeff, I lost many friends that I served with and also lost a cousin, I know how you feel. I try to remember the way they were not the way I saw them for the last time. My family and I were in the Boston area and hit all of the cementaries. My favorite one is the one by Baraga. This summer I will make the trip up to the Cliff one since it looks interesting. Mary thanks for the waterfall pictures.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 06:28 pm:

Kosk, That's sad about Memorial Day. Hopefully you'll get to go to the UP again. I don't always get there for Memorial Day and when I don't, I really miss visiting the graves. I always go to the cemeteries when I'm UP there even if it's not Memorial Day. It's a great time for reflection, remembering the days when they were around and the things you did with them. There are so many that I miss. I too buy flowers for the relatives graves. They're nothing fancy, but I would want people to remember me and so I remember them. What a nice thought to place the lupines on your dad's grave. We try to plant a live plant on my step-father's grave, but it never lives no matter what we plant. We try to get out there every day to water it but if we take a trip, that's it. Nobody else bothers with it. Makes me so mad. It always feels like disrespect to me. But not everybody feels about the dead the way we do I guess.

I've always meant to ask you how your daughter liked her James Patterson books. I know this should go on "What's UP", but I just thought I'd ask.

Hope you get to come UP North for Memorial Day.

By Downstatedon (Downstatedon) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 06:42 pm:

My Mother, her Sister, and Brother were all born
in Phoenix, Mich. But they are not buried there.
There was a book written about Phoenix a few years
back. This is near the Cliff Cemetary.

By Karen (Kmr5os) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 07:24 pm:

I've been to the cemetary on Cliff Drive a number of times, though the first time was completely by accident. My niece and nephews and I were hiking around the cliffs when we came across the fencing for the cemetary. And then we spotted the headstones. It was quite a surprise to run into a cemetary in all that wilderness. We've gone back quite a few times. It is just a wonderful place to be still and remember all of those who have gone before us.

By Chris Ashley (Cabingirl) on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - 11:30 pm:

Wow ! These pictures are awesome. I love old me there is so much peace and history....also a good place for inspiration and silence to write.I will have to visit this spot someday. Sad but beautiful.
My husband and I moved up to middle northern Michigan about 5 years ago. It's beautiful here but we know it's beautiful UP there too :-) and long to be where there's a little more wild and less noise of recreation from summer visitors. My husband is a carpenter and an avid fly fisherman but these days it's getting harder for him to fish as the streams are becoming crowded (Pere Marquette River) .
We would like to move to the UP but it's just not happened yet. Perhaps someday....until then we can visit ......
Love your photo's.
By the way, hello from Baldwin , Michigan.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 12:25 am:

Back in the 1950's, the Catholic Cemetery at Cliff was unmarked and "lost". I recall being along on several attempts by my Grandmother and Kate Vertin, sisters and Granddaughters of Joseph Long, to find "Mutter" Long's grave. We would start out from Cliff Drive, through the old village site and cross the Keweenaw Central roadbed which still had ties in place. Then things would get rough, the ground was wet and the bush was thick. The searches ended in failure. The two women were little girls when "Mutter" was laid to rest and remembered water coming up around the casket when she was lowered into the grave. This bothered them all their life and was worse after the bush reclaimed the cemetery. So every Summer at least one afternoon was spent on the mission to find "Mutter". As a boy of single digit age who would rather throw rocks into Lake Superior, I did not share their enthusiasm and began to dread the annual event.
Later, Frank Pontello, married to Matillda Long - one of Joseph's Great-granddaughters - rediscovered the Cemetery and marked the short and easy path from Hwy 41. Later the County put the sign up. When Frank found the Cemetary, Joseph Long's headstone had fallen and broke, he fixed it and reset it. About 10 years ago, it fell again and broke. I hauled it home, repaired it, and reset it the following year. Joseph Long was Eagle River's first lawman, and proprietor of the German Hotel. "Mutter" is buried beside him, but has no marker. But I do suspect my Grandmother and "Aunt Kate" would be pleased that we know where she is and keep things patched up.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 12:41 am:

Paul, In the city next to where I live is an old cementery that has a little lamb on a gravesite. Every year someone cleans up the lamb and repaints it. You can see it as you drive by as it is on a corner of the two roads. It takes special people to take care of the graves of people who have no living relatives. There are several soldier graves in the town where I live that the local Legion take care of.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 07:39 am:

Paul and Mikie--

Lovely stories. It takes a special kind of
person to make the loving repairs and a
special kind of person to notice that they've
been made.

By Kaylee Corkins (Kjcmaddy) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 07:36 pm:

Anybody that comes on this site know of any James Lee Orvis that died in feb.of 1991? If you do would you happen to know of any of his family members that are still here today. I have a very sad story and would just like to find at least one of his still surviving family members!

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