Sep 06-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: September: Sep 06-06
Water transport - old and new    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Mona Grigg

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 06:17 am:

Drummond Island is just about as far east as you can go in the Upper Peninsula and to do that, most people take the ferry boat that crosses DeTour Passage. For those of you that aren't familiar with that area, this water passage is what lies between DeTour Village and Drummond Island. It's also the passage where the freighters make their way between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. In this picture from Mona Grigg, you can see the John J. Boland making her way through. In the foreground, a paddlewheel thought to be from the car and rail ferry Sainte Marie rests half submerged in the water. From the early part of the 20th century, this paddlewheel helped travelers get across the Straits of Mackinac on a regular basis. I'm sure there must be a story behind the paddlewheel ending up right here. Anyone know it?

By Chuck K (Chuckclarkston) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 06:32 am:

Love those lake boats.

By Dave Zelisse (Davedatroll) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 07:07 am:

The second picture looks like a paddle wheel but it's not from the Sainte Marie... Both the Sainte Marie I and II were propeller boats. If it's from a car ferry, it's probably one of those that plied the Detroit or St. Clair rivers.

By Dave Zelisse (Davedatroll) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 07:09 am:

Whah! Need coffee!!! Second picture???

By maija in Commerce Township (Maija) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 07:54 am:

GREAT picture!

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 08:01 am:

I love those freighter pics! Thankyou!

By Ken Scheibach (Kscheibach) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 08:26 am:

Wow. Great photo. The present, past, and nature all in one photograph. Even has some mystery to it that surely will be solved be the day's end. Looks like the cormorant is doing it's usual fine job of whitewashing it's perch.

By YooperGal (Daryl) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 08:46 am:

For another album of Drummond Island, click on this link. I took them last summer 2005. Lots of photos.

By Bob Gilreath (Bobg) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 10:11 am:

My wife is from DeTour, I have 3,000 slides
from her mother that I am working on scanning
in from the 60's on up.

They lived on Gafney point and the boats had to come
around the point to the old coaling station.

As soon as i get the old boat slides done, I'll
post a link here. Some great old pictures.

this shot in my ablum is from our lot on gafney point
which is on the north end of Detour

The photo today with the paddle wheel is taken
from near (or right at) the Shula Giddens Memorial
gardens. Shula was a doctor, teacher and community leader for many years in DeTour, as well as my Mother-in-law. ;-)

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 12:12 pm:

Bob, I have enjoyed all of your pictures, you do a really good job. Loved the ones about Hubbell.

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 03:10 pm:

Great picture Mona :)

Bobq, I really enjoyed your camping pictures...thanks for sharing. Can't wait until you get your pics from the 1960's scanned and on your photo gallery. Let us know, when you add those pics, please ;) Thanks.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 05:34 pm:

Bob--Thanks for the pictures of Drummond Island. My dad, a
cousin and her husband and I visited there two summers ago. We
were curious about the place because our ancestors had settled
there when they immigrated from Finland. Turned out the streets
weren't paved with gold so they moved on to Covington where my
great grandfather found work in logging camps. The ancestors
were part of Maggie Walz's plan/scam.

By k j (Kathiscc) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 05:35 pm:

All I can say is WOW!!... the pictures today just took my breath away.

By Kathy P. (Katiaire) on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 09:42 pm:

Kosk, please elaborate on Maggie Walz' plan/scam. I love hearing about all the eccentric MI history.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Friday, September 8, 2006 - 06:32 am:


I will send you more info. re: Maggie Walz this weekend. Have to
dig out a few sources.

By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Friday, September 8, 2006 - 12:22 pm:

Wow! My daughter sent me an email that my picture made the "front page", but we've been busy with company from Finland, so I didn't even see it.
I received the info that the paddlewheel was the Sainte Marie from the Detour Passage Historical Museum, so I'll have to tell them that they very probably have it wrong.
Interesting, too, that just last night I was telling my Finnish cousins about Maggie Walz and her connection with Drummond Island. There is a short piece about her and her plan to start a colony or commune on the island in a local book called "Islands of the Manitou", by Kathryne Belden Ashley. She skirts around the issue of Maggie having scammed the Copper Country pioneers, but there are other sources that suggest it more concretely.
In "Women Who Dared - The history of Finnish American Women", an anthology published in 1986, the chapter on Maggie whitewashes her "little fibs" about the richness of the soil, the wealth awaiting them, etc. (Drummond Island is one big rock with a thin layer of soil on top. Farming is iffy, at best. Her main reason for starting the colony, besides making money, was to take the men away from the bars.)
The writers of the chapter give Maggie credit for trying, but blame the Copper Country pioneers for not working hard enough.
Many of them went back or moved on, but in 1913, the year of the great mine strike, 300 people from the Copper Country arrived on Drummond Island. In 1914, they formed a Socialist group and Maggie pretty much gave up on them. She had originally founded the colony on Christian and Temperance principals, and apparently the pioneers weren't buying it.
Her real name was Margareeta Johanna Konttra Niranen, shortened to Kreeta Kontra, and she was born in 1861 in Overtornea in Finnish Lapland.
I think a lot has been written about her. There's no question that she was a very successful businesswoman. Newspapers all over the state picked up her colonization on Drummond Island, so more may be available online somewhere. I'll have to google her and see what's there.
Anyway, nice to see my picture up there. Thanks.

By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Friday, September 8, 2006 - 12:46 pm:

YooperGal, great pictures of Drummond Island and the boats. Loved them all!

Bob, I took the picture from the dock or breakwater in front of the building where fresh fish was processed and sold. I do love those gardens, though. Aren't they beautiful this year?

By Jill Lowe Brumwell (Drummond) on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 01:01 am:

I was born and raised on Drummond Island and have a second home there. My mother was known as the island historian and I have written two books about it. Jill Lowe Brumwell

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions