June 04-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: June: June 04-06
Douglass Houghton buried here    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Elaine Buchbinder
The rest of the story    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Elaine Buchbinder
Marker    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Elaine Buchbinder

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 07:22 am:

This morning as I look out our window here in Eagle River it is a very calm Lake Superior, on a sunny, windless day. I can only imagine the night when Michigan's first Geologist and his assistants fought the fierce waves, attempting to make it back from Seven Mile Point, caught in a sudden storm. Douglass Houghton lost that battle - alone in one boat, except for his dog.

When I walk past the monument down the street (as I did this morning with my dog) it's a reminder of that brilliant young life. He had such an impact on the history of this rugged peninsula, which was dubbed the "Copper Country" sometime after his death at the age of 36. That's how old I was when we moved here 18 years ago.

Elaine Buchbinder recently visited the final resting place of Douglass Houghton, and sent me this note after I saw her slideshow:


I'm happy to see the interest, it was a surprise to me to see Douglas's name on the plaque. I was driving an elderly friend around to tour some places, as he doesn't drive more than a few miles from his residence. The cemetery is in Detroit, and my friend told me you've got to see this place, it's hilly and the crypts are very old and are built into the sides of the hills, and the Gothic design. Also saw a pheasant on the grounds, close to downtown Detroit???? I happened to be at a Little Brothers presentation of what the genealogical group is doing now with the cemetery's in the Keewenaw. There was interest in the photo's I took, so sent to the people who showed interest, and thought I'd send the link to you,too.
Our thanks to Elaine for the firsthand report. Rarely do we feature pictures outside of the Upper Peninsula, but Douglass Houghton's life and work were important to the entire state of Michigan, and we appreciate knowing more of the story.

Remember to email your 4 favorite Pasty Cam shots of all time - one from each of the four seasons - as your votes for the 2007 Pasty Cam Color Calendar, which we are preparing well in advance this year. Browse through the Archives and the Guest Gallery and tell us which 4 pictures you have enjoyed the most.

Have a good week :o)
Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 08:19 am:

Charlie, That is so interesting. What a remarkable young man he was. Thank you!

By Dean Woodbeck (Dwoodbeck) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 08:21 am:

On Friday, lz (Llamamama) posted this message:

Charlie: pardon me for being so "nosey", but I am a MTU Alum and graduated with Dean Woodbeck. Has Dean come home to the UP or is he working with Pasty Cam from afar! Whatever the means welcome back Dean!

Unfortunately, I didn't see this until Sunday. So I'll give you an update. Some of you may know that I was at Michigan Tech for 20 years, then moved to upstate NY last fall. But I'm back in the Keweenaw, thanks to a fortuitous phone call from Charlie back in April when he found out I was interested in moving back. So I'm working for PastyNET from the comfort of my home office in Hancock and looking forward to making this an even better organization. -- Dean

By lz (Llamamama) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 08:39 am:

Charlie, thanks for this walk through history! I foolishly pride myself on UP history, but this was a great fill in the blanks!

Dean, great to hear you are back! Enjoy that beautiful CC for all us displaced souls.

Sur5er, I know what you mean about this site helping. I check in all the time for a light moment, a soul sharing, or a cyber hug. Thanks all you cammers for the respite from the day to day. Got me through the last week when my Mama Llama was so sick. Looks like she is going to be O.K. and I and her little boy are so happy.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 09:12 am:

Great stuff! It was young people that made the UP.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 09:28 am:

I have always heard about this cementery and now I will make a point to go there this week.

By Douginwi (Douginwi) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 10:18 am:

Douglass Houghton must have had a big impact on people at that time. My Grandfather, Douglas Houghton Trangmar, was named after the first Douglass. With me being named after my Grandfather, I am indirectly named after the original Douglass also. I am honored by both of the above.

By Helen (Heleninhubbel) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 12:00 pm:

Does anyone know exactly where this is in Detroit?????? I was born and raised in Detroit...been here about 11 years....I don't remember ever seeing this church???? I would like to visit when I go home again to see family...

God Bless

Isn't it a beautiful day ????

By Jeff Johnston (Jeff_johnston) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 01:25 pm:

Is the bridgecam stuck?

Am I the only one still seeing the bridge cam image from 5/
29? It sort of froze there ... For the record, the rest of my
computer stuff works fine, I'm not quite a Luddite.

Jeff Johnston

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Sunday, June 4, 2006 - 03:36 pm:


This is inner-city, off Mound Avenue. The hardest part is finding the Houghton family plot within the cemetery. The Michigan Basin Geological Society, amongst others, visits every year and pauses in silence.

By james f. haven (Technoido) on Monday, June 5, 2006 - 01:28 am:

Question for Charlie: Could you tell me the source of your info
regarding D. Houghtons death? I have a facsimile copy of John R.
St. Johns book in which he says that he (John R.) was to meet
Houghton in E.R., but was held up by storm of Oct. 13, and
stayed in Eagle Harbor 'ti the next morning, when he walked to
E.R. through several inches of fresh snow. Upon discovering
Houghton's death, his Indian companion went into an extreme
grief, as the paddler of Houghton's canoe was his brother.
Supposedly there were 5? people in the conoe, only the Indian
and Houghton died. Rumors of the 2nd report being in his
(Houghton's) pocket. The 1st report is what started the copper
rush. Houghton's body washed up on shore some 9 months
later. I believe that Houghton had gone to 7 mile point to meet
w/ Sam W. Hill. Please could some knowledgable historians help
me out here. I've read and heard several different versions of
this tale. Would like to know more. Hope to go see this gravesite
someday. Thanx so much for the pic.

By Richard A. Fields (Cherokeeyooper) on Monday, June 5, 2006 - 02:29 am:


I do not have my books with me in Oregon, but here are some I remember (with the help of Google) that address Houghton's demise.

Alvah Bradish, Memoir of Douglass Houghton, First State Geologist of Michigan (1889)

This is a great read. It is a bit different than today's historical writings, but Bradford knew him, and covered the life well.

David J. Krause, The Making of a Mining District: Keweenaw Native Copper 1500-1870

Great book and he looks at Houghton in a critical light

I believe Larry Lankton covered this in Cradle to Grave, but am not sure, and of course my all time favorite, Angus Murdoch's Boom Copper might have something also. But the Bradish and Krause books are good starts.

I do seem to remember that if it hadn't been for another group having made it earlier, Houghton would have probably turned back. It seems his pride got the best of him, and he paid dearly.

By Thomas C. Phillips (Tcp1) on Monday, June 5, 2006 - 06:32 am:

To Heleninhubbel:

I have taken the liberty of attaching a link to Google Maps, with Elmwood Cemetery marked on it.


Also, here is the Elmwood Cemetery web site:


To find Douglass Houghton's marker, one can either stop at the office and inquire, or if preferring the more exploratory approach, it is essentially the geographic center of Elmwood Cemetery.

Also, as an added point of interest, Mt. Elliott Cemetery sharea a fence with Elmwood. Mt. Elliott is the final resting place of a number of prominent Detroiters as well.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Monday, June 5, 2006 - 12:08 pm:

If you look at the Google™ map at the link posted above by Thomas C. Phillips (Tcp1), be sure to click on the Hybrid button on the face of the map then zoom in and navigate around the cemetery -- at full magnification you can almost see the tombstones. (Well at least you can count the trees! J )

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