Apr 22-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: April: Apr 22-07
Altadoc Revisited    ...scroll down to share comments
Public Domain

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 07:28 am:

A couple of shipwrecks near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula share a connection which we've never made before here on our daily trek through the U.P. The notorius City of Bangor disaster in 1926 resulted in those memorable icy images of new automobiles streaming ashore. But another shipwreck occured just 1,000 feet from the City of Bangor's point of impact, and that's the subject of today's Shoebox Memory.

The Altadoc's journey began in 1901 at the American Shipbuilding Company drydock in Lorain, Ohio. That's when the Lakeshore was built, which appeared on a postcard printed in Germany in 1912...
Courtesy of Center for Policy Studies

The Lakeshore traveled the Great Lakes for a dozen years before being renamed the Indus in 1913. Another dozen years passed before the vessel's name would change again. A 1926 sale to a Canadian concern saw the boat re-christened as the Altadoc.

In December of 1927 - almost to the day, one year after the City of Bangor went down - the Altadoc found itself in trouble off the Keweenaw Coast. The captain ran out of Lake less than a quarter mile from the spot where the cars had been unloaded. The only memorable part of the Altadoc's cargo to come ashore was the pilot house itself, which became a summer cottage, and later the souvenir shop in Copper Harbor.

The other day driving past Ripley on the way to Dollar Bay, I seem to recall another pilot house that looks a lot like the one on the old postcard. Can anyone shed some light on that possible link?

Have a good week :o)
David S. (Yooperdfs) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 09:09 am:

I have to wonder, is that pilot house/souvenir shop still in Copper Harbor and which one (name) is it?

By s. dearing (Geebeed) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 09:13 am:

How very interesting. I appreciate and enjoy learning new things about the Keeweenaw Peninsula..especially its history.

By John W Anderson (Wd8rth) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 09:46 am:

If I remember right, 15 or 20 years ago maybe longer there was a fire in the pilot house and it was torn down. I remember as a kid in the 60's playing on the building when are family took your summer vaction in Copper Harbor.

As a summer guest at the Fanny Hooe resort said every morning from the porch of his cabin. "It's a beautiful day in the Copper Country"

73 John

By Sharon I. Smith (Sharons) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 10:12 am:

The Pilot House burned sometime in the late '80s and was razed. It stood in the yard of the King Copper Motel. Prior to its burning, the Pilot House had been closed for some years, I think. There is a large round bed of wildflowers where it stood.

I showed this picture to my friend Shirley Kauppi, who owned the Pilot House, and who passed away last summer, and she was pretty sure the pair of legs in peddle pushers were hers.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 11:13 am:

I don't recall seeing any pilothouses in the UP but I know the pilot house of the S.S William Clay Ford is on Belle Isle at the Dossin Museum in Detroit.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 11:19 am:

Good morning all. In answer to Hellen in Hubble's query yesterday...Al Johnson Resturant is in Sister Bay in the middle of town on the right as you travel north. It's very noticeable and has wonderful food. They are known for their Loganberry syrup which goes nicely with their pancakes. If I remember correctly they serve great crepes too. A very popular place. And the goats are quite a sensation. Take some good pictures. I use to travel to Door Co. a lot years back. If you are there on Sunday check out The Clearing on the edge of Ellison Bay. Very unique learning place, everything from Shaekspere(?) to mushroom I.D. to art classes. Enjoy your trip Helen.

By Judy Kinnunen (Finngal) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 11:43 am:

Morning! I have a picture of me standing by the Pilot Gift Shop from back in the 60's.
mskatie...would that be lingonberry syrup...

By Sunrise Side MI (Ilovelucy2) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 11:44 am:

I just Love the old history of the U.P. My brother and his lady friend are planning a trip to Alaska and come back via da U.P. She is a retired school teacher and has never been up here, Hope they will enjoy all that Copper Country has to offer! Just Beautiful!!!!!

By Koke (Pjk3000) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 01:03 pm:

Charlie; I belive the pilot house in Riply belonges to Lawrence Julio owner of Julio Contracting. It is all that is left of their tug boat they had used for work done on Isle Royale. My late fatherinlaw Pete Ebert worked for Julio for many years and worked on the tug. Two of his sons still work there, Don and Allen.

By chfinn (Chfinn) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 03:36 pm:

What a tug at my memory's heart strings to see this photo posted today! I'm pretty sure that is Shirley Kauppi, nee Christensen, sitting in the deck chair up top. There were a few postcards from back in the late 30's/early 40's providing her as a rather striking model for the Pilot House! The Pilot House was hers from her early childhood until it burned down in the late 80's. That loss really broke her heart. I remember many nights spent in the pilot house fighting off the spiders. Never could seem to win that battle! I still have some copper items from the gift shop there on the lower deck.

Sometime back in the 30's, the Pilot House was written up in the National Geographic as the "World's Smallest Resort". It was a bit of a bed-n-breakfast before there were such things. Cabins were later built for the resort, and can still be found scattered about the Keweenaw. I remember seeing a letter from someone on the coast of South Africa who wanted to build a home modeled after the Pilot House, after they had read the NG article, and were hoping to get a copy of the plans. I wonder if they understood that it actually was cut off of a wrecked ship.

Shirley's parents, Gil and Valerie Christensen of Laurium, bought the Pilot House when Shirley was avery young girl, believing summers in Copper Harbor would be good for her health. Any time in Copper Harbor is good for one's health!! Gil was a violinist and the Orchestra Director for Calumet High School. Valerie was a pianist who played for the radio and was principle organist at several area churches, including the historic St. Anne's in Calumet.
Shirley lived in Copper Harbor her entire life, building and operating the King Copper Motel with her husband, Sully, a Finnish fisherman, whose father, Charlie, also a fisherman, ran the first ferry service to Isle Royale. We miss them all dearly!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 04:52 pm:

Yes, Shirley Kauppi was indeed a very dear lady! Her and her kitty-cats always made us feel so welcomed to stay at the King Copper. When she passed on, a part of Copper Harbor went with her.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 05:32 pm:

You're right it's lingonberry. It just didn't think I had written it correctly. Thanks. I've never tried it myself, have you?

By Beverly, San Jose (Beverly) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 05:48 pm:

I go to Belle Isle too enjoy the splendor of the historic island everytime I go to the city of Detroit. I spent a lot of time there with a friend of mine and we walked the nature trails. There is the only beach on the island in the city of Detroit. Belle Isle also has the oldest Conservatory in the nation. The Conservatory site contains rare orchids saved from Great Britain during WWII bombing and transplanted at the conservatory, along with a collection of 600 orchids donated by Anna Whitcomb. The Botanical Gardens are beautiful as is the entire park.

By Judy Kinnunen (Finngal) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 06:36 pm:

Yes, I have tried lingonberry jam. They have kind of a tart taste. The Ikea stores sell lingonberry jam and I buy it there whenever I get a chance.

By Suzy Lofquist (Suzymn41) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 08:54 pm:

Having Swedish roots lingonberries are somewhat of a staple here in Mpls. Without a doubt the fresh berries which are available around here at Christmas season are the best. They come in large wooden pails from Sweden. I cook them with sugar and water with a spice bag of stick cinnamon, allspice and cloves. It is our tradition to make crepes on Christmas morning and load them with lingonberry sauce. Yum!

By Catherine Ristola--Holland MI (Catherine) on Sunday, April 22, 2007 - 09:52 pm:

I like lingonberry jam.

We have a picture book, _Even The Devil Is Afraid Of A Shrew_, based on a Lapp folktale and they go on and on about the wonderful cloudberries. Well I finally found some cloudberry jam and it tastes exactly like dirt! I guess it is good only if you lives above the Arctic Circle and the only other thing to eat is reindeer fat!

I threw the whole jar out and it cost something like $6. Terrible.

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 09:06 pm:

I like to go to Belle Isle too, Beverly. The work has started on the redevelopment of the riverfront from the McCarthur (Belle Isle) Bridge west, and it sounds like it's going to be a real gem when it's completed. The riverwalk down by Joe Louis arena is going to extend all the way to the Island.

By Diane Miller Wallace (Sage) on Saturday, March 15, 2008 - 01:24 pm:

I just stumbled across this picture, and although these posts are old, I just wanted to add that I played on the Pilot House too as a child. I played with Shirley's daughters, Mary and Sherry. I was very sad to learn it had burned down.

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