July 02-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: July: July 02-09
Victoria Dam    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh
Victoria Dam 2    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh
Reservoir waters    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Donna MacIntosh

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 05:40 am:

Over in the Ontonagon area, Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) owns and operates the Victoria Dam and Reservoir, where they produce hydroelectricity. This is done by the water that is dammed up in the reservoir, passing through turbines, thus generating power. If you're interested in the history of the Victoria Dam, Keweenwa Video has an award winning DVD available, titled: Build for the Future - A History of Victoria Hydro. It chronicles the Dam's beginning when it was placed into commercial operation in 1931, to provide electricity for the local mining operations and lumber industry in the Ontonagon area.

These photos were provided for our viewing pleasure, by Donna MacIntosh, who has been out and about exploring some of the gems that you'll find around the western end of the U.P. I think we may have to give her a "press" pass and make her our official "roving reporter!"

By Donna (Donna) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 05:58 am:

My friend Oedith and I went to Henry's in Rockland for the Friday night fishfry smorgasboard. WOW...if you haven't been to Henry's to eat...you "ain't seen nothing yet"...Friday is fish fry, Saturdays are an Italian nite, and Wednesday is build your own pizza.

After we ate, Oedith said "Let's go on an adventure" and we did...this was a part of it!

I'll take the press pass...heehee. Thanks Mary!

By Helen in the U. P.! (Lahelo) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 06:27 am:

Thursday is build your own pizza nite. Thanks for plugging Henry's Never Inn, its the best restaurant around!

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 06:53 am:

The Victoria flooding covers the site of the first European copper mining effort in the 1760's. It was put together by Alexander Henry. The tunnel was in the clay hillside. It was abandoned when it collapsed with the spring thaw.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 07:22 am:

Nice shots!

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 08:05 am:

Biography information from my brother Don, a mining expert no retired and enjoying life in sunny California.

HENRY, ALEXANDER Henry was one of the most interesting personalities in the early history of Lake Superior. He was born in New Jersey in 1739, but went to Montreal with British forces in 1760. The following year he had British permission to trade in the Straits of Mackinac region. He survived the massacre at Fort Michilimackinac in 1763, then traded around there and at Detroit until 1765. In that year he and Jean-Baptiste Cadotte were given exclusive trade rights to Lake Superior, and in 1767-68 he wintered at Michipicoten. In that same period he put up a post on the Apostle Islands and explored around the modern Duluth area.
As early as 1765, Henry had explored in the Ontonagon area, and mentioned that a few miles up the river there was an “abundance of virgin copper.” In the following year, with a Chippewa guide, he view the large “mass of copper,” the famous Ontonagon Boulder now resting in the Smithsonian Institution. In 1770, with Cadotte and others, including Sir William Johnson, Henry formed a company to mine the copper of the Lake Superior region. They worked hard, put up a few buildings, chipped away as some of the surface copper, but the enterprise failed in 1774. This was the precise location where Louis Denys, Sieur de La Ronde, had tried to mine for copper decades earlier.
The remainder of Henry’s career was just as unusual. He explored further to the north and west, settled in Montreal, where he was a successful merchant, a justice of the peace, and a militia captain. He died in April of 1824.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 08:25 am:

We have pictures of the water running over the dam. It was beautiful.

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 08:48 am:

Hey, we ate at HENRY's the Friday before you did! Like you said, great food, better atmosphere! Be sure to tour the old log houses too if you go to the dam. Some of my long lost great grand parents worked the Rockland copper mines too, great history.

By Theresa R. Brunk (Trb0013) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 09:45 am:

I was at a restaurant in 1992 (I think in Ontonagon) that had fresh trout served on a plank with very large carrots sliced and raw as an appetizer. We had to cross over some railroad tracks to reach it and it had the view from a porch of the river water while we ate. Gee, I wish someone could help me recall this place and is it still there?

By Donald R. Elzinga (Donagain) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 11:44 am:

The story about Victoria Dam mentions the Teylor Air Compressor. You might want to look at
which gives its history at Victoria. It was an ingenious way to provide air power to run everything including the mine hoist. The expanding air made the hoist room bitter cold.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 11:51 am:

The other year one of my cousins and I toured that area, and of
course ate at Henry's. I think I'll take some of our summer visitors
there in August. So many places to see, too little time to see it all.

By Donna (Donna) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 12:15 pm:

The only thing about Henry's...the gal brought our slips and asked "Was everything ok?" and I told her "we need a wheelbarrow to haul us out"...LOL!! Seriously..the food/service/workers are absolutely phenomenal...That was one of the best smorgasboards on the planet!

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 01:12 pm:

If you want some fun, head up to that area in the winter and take your trusty sled (not snowmobile, but real sled) and take it down the road to Victoria. What a ride!! The walk back up is tough, but worth it. If you can't wait to order a pasty from Pasty Central, I hear Henry's has really good pasties too.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 01:16 pm:

Little did Alexander Henry realize that the Ontonagon Boulder was a piece of float copper, most likely from further up the Peninsula. He would have had to go much further up the river to even have a remote chance of striking a copper deposit.....

Copper Boulder

Sheri (Sheri) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 01:32 pm:

Monday is $1 burger night at Henry's (only in the summer), Wednesday is make-your-own pizza night, Thursday is pasty day, Friday is fish fry night and Saturday is Italian night. All at Henry's in Rockland.

By Doug (Greenhermit) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 02:33 pm:

Well, not that much farther Capt... the modestly productive Forest copper mine (name later changed to the Victoria) was located only about 1.5 miles north and up the hill from the Ontonagon Boulder and Henry's diggings. The old Glen mine was even closer. Incidently, the boulder was almost always refered to as simply the Copper Rock around the time of its removal, journey to Washington D.C., and for several years thereafter.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 02:59 pm:

This photo and note just arrived in my Inbox, from James Alain...

You missed the best part...Victoria Falls, Michigan's equivalent to Niagara; they only are running in the spring with all the runoff water bypassing the dam.
Victoria Falls

mickill mouse (Ram4) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 03:50 pm:

It is beautiful to see the water run over. We had fun that day. ;O)

I have to get a scanner/copier. It just never interested me to get one. That is bad to say having the computer, but, it just never interested me to get one. (strange)

By Helen in the U. P.! (Lahelo) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 05:31 pm:

Donna (Donna)
I am sorry I was wrong you are right! I didn't read the day right, too early in the am for me!

By Therese (Therese) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 07:19 pm:

Is that copper boulder the same as the copper mass in the Smithsonian in DC?

By J T (Jtinchicago) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 07:58 pm:

Anyone recall when Lake Victoria (backwater) was drained in the 1970s to repair the Victoria Dam?


By Donna (Donna) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 08:09 pm:

Therese...I believe that is the same boulder. And Helen..no biggy...sounds like there's eats there anytime you go!

It's amazing to watch all the employees when you are there. They run that place like a well oiled machine. We got there, and folks were lined up outside!!! It wasn't that long, and we were sitting and wow...what a meal. Fabulous place. The ride after was pretty phenomenal too!

We do live in some SUPERIOR country here! I don't care what direction you go in...the U.P. IS God's Country!

By James Alain (Charlevoix) on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 08:10 pm:

Yes, JT.....I recall when they built the new dam; the old one was much more ornate and remains in place yet, underwater just behind the newer dam.

By Theresa R. Brunk (Trb0013) on Friday, July 3, 2009 - 04:16 pm:

I guess no one know about the restaurant I was asking about

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Saturday, July 4, 2009 - 09:05 am:

I like the Victoria Falls pic, especially. If only more places could utilize water 2 generate electricity (BTW, Happy 4th of July, U.S.A.).

By Catherine Ristola--Holland MI (Catherine) on Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 05:18 pm:

I didn't know about the backwaters getting drained in the 1970s,
but they built the new dam in the early 1990s. They put the new
one just a little in front and then blew just the very top off of the
old one so the water could spill over and fill the gap.

I recall climbing up on the old water pipe of wood planks and
running down it. There were lots of little leaks springing
everywhere. There is a nice historical display about the building of
the old dam (CCC project?) in the Rockland schoolyard.

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