Aug 14-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: August: Aug 14-11
Wooden Pipeline Construction    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Bruce Watters
From the UPPCO display    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Bruce Watters
Winter 1940's    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Bruce Watters
Maintaining the operation    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Bruce Watters

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 09:10 am:

Yesterday Bruce Watters gave us a virtual tour of the McClure Hydroelectric plant near Marquette, and today he returns with some more shots from his Shoebox, the building of the pipeline in 1918, with the following note:

I've spent a lot of time in and around the Hoist plant because my grandfather ran it for over 40 years, but I had never been to the Forestville plant or seen the wood pipe carrying the water to the plant, so my objective this summer was to visit this area. I was amazed to see the leaks in the pipe.

The guys in the winter shot are Hydroelectric Plant Operators Russell Watters and Carl Jackson, the picture probably taken in the late 1930's or 40's. Now I'd really like to see the pipe in the winter!
When we started the Pasty Cam some 14 years ago, our original purpose was to share daily scenes from the U.P. that we would like to see, if we weren't fortunate enough to live here. Well, we've lived here year-round for almost a quarter century, and just haven't been able ourselves to see everything there is to see. Our thanks to friends like Bruce for transporting us to places and times that otherwise we would have missed, if not for the Pasty Cam.

Have a good week :o)
Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 09:31 am:

This is amazing! I had never heard of 'wooden pipes' before (except maybe on farms, etc), but some this large and carrying that much water is, like I said, amazing! Thanks Charlie and Mr. Watters, for the interesting info.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 09:42 am:

I see part of the wooden pipe off to the north of Wright Street in Marquette on the way to visit my mom near Big Bay. Always figured it was on private land and wondered what it fed but never pushed the issue so a big thanks for the pictures and explanations.

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 10:04 am:


If you're from Ohio, you may be interested in knowing that wooden water mains, solid logs drilled out from end to end, are still being un-earthed in downtown Cincinnati. They were generally taper-fitted and sealed with tar at both ends.

Chicago too, used them early on as I believe was common practice.

By Donald R. Elzinga (Donagain) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 11:20 am:

There was a tap off the Forestville pipe that led down to the small hydro plant at Collinsville at the end of Wright St. It was also wood and clear red wood at that, 2 x 5 center match! We were able to salvage some of it when it was taken down about 20 years ago. Seth Johnson and I resawed it at the Jacobetti Center and used it for siding on the lantern room of the East Chanel Light House on Grand Island when it was refurbished. It should last for another 100 years?

By Erik Nordberg, MTU Archives (Techarchives) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 11:35 am:

Great pics!

Until just a few years ago there was a similar wooden hydro pipeline at Victoria which carried water from Victoria dam down to the hydro plant.

I can remember visiting Victoria in the 1990s and walking this pipeline. It was still being maintained as a working delivery pipe and, with the water under such tremedous pressure, there were leak points where water shot out in small geysers. You could see where wooden shims had been driven into leak points.

The pipe was replaced sometime in the last decade, replaced with a big green plastic thing. Looks like a giant catepillar wriggling along the valley.

UPPCO actually preserved a couple of sections of the old wooden pipeline. One is on the grounds of the Rockland museum. The other is at the dam site.

Here's a historic photo of the Victoria hydro plant, with the old wooden pipe coming in from the right:

Here's a pic of the dam, with the section on display:

By J T (Jtinchicago) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 01:37 pm:

This photo was send by separate e-mail. The photo was taken in Sept 2008 looking from the Victoria Dam down river to the power house, and shows the section of old verses the new pipe.

At the turn of the last century wood was chosen over iron to reduce the boundary friction where the fluid meets the piping wall. Over the total pipe length from the Victoria Dam to powerhouse the resistance can be significant and would reduce the available power to the turbines.

Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 05:23 pm:

Thanks, Mr. Bill, I didn't know that....'course I live about 30 miles east of Cincinnati and never go downtown. Plus I'm not a native Ohioan. I'll ask my son-in-law, he grew up here. Thanks again.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 08:10 pm:

When I started working at Chrysler in 1964, the water main running into the Plymouth plant was wood. Spent the first summer replacing it.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 10:55 pm:

The village of Roscommon in Lower Michigan, up until recently, had mostly wooden water pipes in the downtown area. Since then they have been all replaced but as a kid I remember when some of them froze and it was big news in the local paper when it was discovered they were the original wooden pipes from the logging days.

But, this is enough history for today; I just completed an around 800 mile drive and am dead tired. Time for shut-eye.....

By Josiah Hanna (Josiahhanna) on Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 07:59 pm:

I've been fascinated by all the hydroelectric plants in the Marquette area. Does anyone remember the old plant on the carp river south of town? It was at the end of Cliff Power Rd. I think it's been gone since the 80's.
It was built by CCI in 1912. The dam still exists up off of Co Rd 480 but the powerhouse is gone. The pipe or penstock ran 4 miles and fell 620 feet down to the powerhouse near the state prison. There was a 125 foot tall surge tank on top of Mt. Marquette that could be seen from downtown.
The place has probably been gone longer than I've been alive so if anybody remembers it or has any photos, I'd love to see!

Donald, I've read a tad bit about that old powerhouse at Collinsville but never knew what it looked like or when it was torn down. Thanks for the recollection! So it was torn down in the early 90's I'm guessing. If you have any photos I'd be interested in seeing them.

By Josiah Hanna (Josiahhanna) on Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 08:04 pm:

Hmm, The hoist powerhouse must've been added on to at one time. It's longer now:

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