July 23-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: July: July 23-06
Shack in the woods    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper
Peeking inside    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper
Ancient generator    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 08:00 am:

This was some pretty advanced technology in its day. Wouldn't surprise me if Thomas Edison himself turned the handle at one time. It's the old backup generator at Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.

Maybe we shouldn't reveal the exact location, so people don't start beating a path to its door - but it's not too far from the cabins. Years ago this structure was abandoned, replaced by a much larger generator next to the Lodge building. Recently Edie, Jonathan and I hiked down through the woods to get these shots. It occured to us that perhaps some local group like the Society for Industrial Archeology should take steps to preserve this bit of history, which is owned - along with the rest of the complex - by Keweenaw County.

It just so happens that the Lodge is the subject of an upcoming magazine article, as revealed in a note I received this week:

Hello Charlie,

I am writing a feature for Marquette Monthly (due August 14) about fabulous Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, and would appreciate hearing tales from PastyCammers involving the lodge, cabins, golf course, bears and other wildlife, parties, events (remember when they staged the play “Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris?”). Stories could be romantic, humorous, nostalgic, sad, dramatic, historical or amazing!!

Thank you.
Larry Chabot
Feel free to share your memories on this page or email Larry directly. I'd really be curious to know if anyone ever worked with the old generator... or if Thomas Edison ever vacationed there...

Have a good week :o)
Pete Wilberding (Peshtigopete) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 08:10 am:

It's even a hand cranker eh.

By Toivo from Toivola (Toivo) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 08:23 am:

The Pasty Cam Archives have several recollections about KML, including this one from a gentleman who used to post a lot on these pages, the late Bill Penprase:

old tractor
You certainly know how to revive old memories and fortunately there is a statute-of-limitations in effect.

That Toro tractor was used to mow the grass on the fairways as well as other odd jobs. I caddied there when in high school. Many Keweenaw boys had that job. We stayed in caddie cabins for a week at a time.

We always wanted to drive that tractor as all boys would. The day-workers must have realized that and would hide the ignition keys when they went home. We watched them returning in the morning and soon discovered the hiding place. From then on it was fun driving up and down the fairways in the dark. Our only concern was the fear of hitting a bear in the dark.

Well, one night we decided to take the tractor to Copper Harbor. It was fun but we had to hide in the bush every time a car came by.

Now that tractor had sharp spikes on those wide rear wheels so the wheels wouldn't slip on the fairway hills. Everything came to an end when one night we ran over a coiled water hose near one of the greens. In the morning when they tried to water the green water shot out of that hose about every two feet and by tracking they discovered our trail. We did not plead guilty but were given a stern warning.

Bill Penprase, 10/6/02

james f. haven (Technoido) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 10:37 am:

The hand crank was to start the engine, not turn the gennie. Just in
case people are wondering. My folks had a 2 cylinder John Deere
that was hand crank start. I quickly learned that one keeps one's
thumb on the finger side of one's cranking hand, not around the
handle. When it backfires (which it will do), the backwards jerk can
sprain or break the thumb real good.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 11:57 am:

Since there is no evidence of a muffler on that 4 cylinder beast, I bet everyone could hear where she was. She must have barked a little louder as each additional lightbulb was switched on. Once the generator was fully loaded, that water pipe exhaust stack probabaly sounded like a never ending volley of shotguns.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 01:53 pm:

My sons grew up without a tv in the house so their view of the world came from radio and books that I read to them. Walking past a bowling alley on the way back from the library one remarked, "Dad, dad, I can hear the bowls!" As we passed the golf course in late summer at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge on another occasion one commented "there were golfers on the browns" that he could see. I like the stone walls and log work on the site.

By RD, Iowa (Rdiowa) on Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 09:31 pm:

The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is the subject of many memories for our family, especially on the golf course. The view toward Brockway Mountain on the first tee is magnificent. The dog-leg (right) hole number 2 seems to go on forever, but you are rewarded with a short hole number 3, the scene of my first ever birdie. For the fourth hole, strap on the climbing gear and hiking boots, for what has to be the looongest green in the history of golf. If you're still standing at the fifth tee, be advised that the dog-leg to the left is even more grueling than #2 After 5 you will pass the Toro tractor on your way to the dreaded water hazzard (#6) where many of my best balls are asleep in the deep. Hole number 7 is pleasant enough, if you have your second wind and stay out of the woods. I would love to see someone make a hole-in-one on #8, because it would have to fly over a couple of acres of pines and oaks, or curve like a boomerang. Then - mercifully - hole number 9 is just for fun, with a green that says "lay it right up here", although more of mine have ended up on the roof of the equipment building next door.

All in all the course at Keweenaw is challenging and rewarding. Not the best fairways in the world, but certainly the greatest views and the "purest, most vitalizing air on earth".

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Monday, July 24, 2006 - 06:41 am:

I don't golf, but your description of this course is a fun read! Thanks!

By Brad Hewlett (Hewlettb) on Monday, July 31, 2006 - 10:41 am:

Last year my cousins and I went back into the woods at the Mountain Lodge and found this old buliding. We didn't know what it was. I'm glad somebody knows it's there.

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