July 03-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: July: July 03-08
Historic marker    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul Roberts
Houghton Township Hall    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul Roberts
View from M-26    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul Roberts

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 04:20 pm:

As many times as I've passed through Eagle River, when the first photo arrived from Paul Roberts, I had no clue where or what it was. The plaque embedded in that large boulder, was erected in 1938 and is in memory of Joseph Blight, Sr., who was the founder of the Lake Superior Safety Fuse Company that was established in 1862 at Eagle River, MI. The actual plant was destroyed by fire on May 1, 1957. In case you're wondering what a "safety fuse" is, simplified, it's similar to what you light to set off a firecracker. There's another type of electrical safety fuse also, so I'm not certain which type this company produced, but perhaps someone more historically knowledgeable can help me out here. In the meantime, you can read a more detailed explanation of the different types, by clicking HERE. Paul told me this marker is located near the Eagle River Falls, across the road from the old schoolhouse, which is now the Houghton Township Community Center (pictured in the second photo). Check out that view from the old schoolhouse grounds. I don't imagine I'd be able to get much schoolwork done with an inviting vista like that outside the windows. The third shot is the more common view (the backside) of the Community Center that you see as you're driving along M-26. So next time you're heading north to Eagle Harbor or Copper Harbor, it's worth a stop there in our webmaster's hometown, to take in the sights you can't see just passing through.

The Pasty Cam has had a couple of days in a row getting a late start, due to the damage in Eagle River from Tuesday night's hail and lightning storm. Hopefully life will get back to normal, as Pasty.NET broadband is flowing once again.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 05:07 pm:

I still say the problems with the servers have to do with making the Early Bird harder to get. You've upset the natural balance in the universe!!!! ;-)

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 05:57 pm:

The Bickford safety fuse technology was closely held in England; no single employee was allowed to see the entire process.

Basically they adapted rope braiding machines to allow black powder to flow through a funnel and into the rope core during the weaving process. Fuses were later wax or asphalt coated for water resistance in the mines.

Accidents were common, but none are known to have occured here.

By Tom (Tom) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 06:59 pm:

What a wait today!! All day I checked Pasty Central to no avail. Glad you are back. The T-storms must have been pretty rough.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 07:47 pm:

I know, Tom, me too. I was starting to get carpal tunnel doing the same thing over and over...

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 08:08 pm:

I'm with Capt. Paul!

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 08:16 pm:

Safety fuse had to be water resistant and it was a calibrated item. The miners would cut the fuses to specific lengths to control the timing of the charges in a set. The idea was that the center charge would detonate first, followed by the others radiating out from the center. The burn time of the fuses had to be predictable.
The fact the fuse factory lasted nearly 100 years is testimony of the quality of the product.
Aside from the 1957 fire, the only other major accident related to the fuse factory occurred when two sleigh loads of black powder detonated on the road between Eagle River and Phoenix. This would have been between 1906 and 1918 since the railroad is mentioned in the accounts of the accident.
The fuse factory built the Eagle River dam, since water power was the source of energy used in the beginning.
Frank Long, of Eagle River,worked at the fuse factory and essentially May 1, 1957 was his retirement.
I can remember seeing the place, but since I was only 10 when it burnt, I can't remember any details.

By sharon gregorich (Sharong) on Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 10:36 pm:

My husband went to first-8th grade in the Eagle River School. His Family lived in Phoenix (The Cliff View).

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