Aug 21-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: August: Aug 21-11
Copper Range #29    ...scroll down to share comments
From the Kevin Musser Collection
Today on display    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Dorothy Jamison
All aboard    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Dorothy Jamison
Riding in luxury    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Dorothy Jamison

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 08:46 am:

A double Memory today from the respective Shoeboxes of the late Kevin Musser ( and the current President of Keweenaw County Historical Society, Virginia Jamison... I remember back in '02 reading about Engine #29 of the Copper Range Railroad. The website had the old photo above (it may originally have been from Paul Meier) with the following notes from Kevin:

The Copper Range purchased engines from 1899 until 1917. At this time they were running 23 engines until they started scrapping engines in the later 20's.

Only #29 survives today at Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom Wisconsin. It was used for a short time for the Keweenaw Central, a tourist railroad that ran in the Keweenaw in the 60's and ended in 1971.

... photo (above) taken in August 1946 of #29 in McKeever, shown here at the time of reinstatment of passenger service on the Copper Range, looking a great deal different 39 years later. #29 was retired 7 years later only to return as #29 on the tourist line Keweenaw Central.
Kevin Musser passed away in 2007, but his labor of love is still quite popular as a historical reference of our region. And #29 is still going strong at North Freedom, as I received this note from Ginny Jamison just yesterday:
Dorothy and I went down to New Freedom, WI to ride on the special excursion train consisting of the two Copper Range Coaches pulled by a visiting Steam Engine. These are the coaches that took children to school starting from Atlantic Mine to Painesdale. These are also the coaches that were used to take passengers to Freda Park and which were used on a passenger train to Chicago via Ashland Wisconsin from 1944 to 1946, when gasoline was rationed because of the war.

Many local residents will remember the school train and the train to Chicago because they or their parents rode on them

The Steam Engine 29 was formerly a Copper Range Steam Engine and then served on Clint Jones' Keweenaw Central Excursion Train out of Calumet in the late 70's and early 80's. It is in the process of being cosmetically restored for display purposes only, as it is too complicated and expensive to restore the boiler.
Our thanks to Ginny and Dorothy for the update about this piece of Keweenaw's history. And remember, you are always welcome at to explore the detail of that rich history.

Have a good week :o)
Kevin Musser, aboard the Copper Range

Virginia Jamison speaking at the Sesquicentennial

Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 09:06 am:

Cool stuff...must have been fun taking the train to school.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 09:56 am:

Great photos!

I was lucky enough to be around when 29 was operating on Clint's Keweenaw Central. I went down in the mornings to watch rituals for getting the loco ready to run, also rode in the cab for one trip. That provides another perspective of what it takes to operate steam. It is unlikely that 29 will ever steam again, it is extremely expensive to restore a steam locomotive to service, and people with the skills to do it are few. It is nice to see the cars in operation and 29 looking like she should.

The Copper Country lost a fine attraction when the KC was cut off an had to close.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 10:09 am:

Trains were a big part of my growing-up years. My daddy was chief-electrician for the Pullman Co. at the Union Station in Nashville, TN. He had to be in Louisville, KY every year during "Derby Day", 'cause way back then most folks were ridin' the rails when travelling. I remember we would go to one of the road crossings to watch when one of the 'fast' trains would be due. The most famous ones were the "Dixie Flyer" and the "Hummingbird". Memories! :) I love trains!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 10:59 am:

Nice photos. I love trains!

By Stewart Keskitalo (Skeskitalo) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 11:23 am:

Our Class of "66 at Dollar Bay High School took the train from Houghton all the way to Chicago and back. Along the way I saw my Grandfather's farm. What a memory to have. Probably one of the the last classes to take the train. Our Chaperones included Harvey Filpulla a wonderful teacher and a wonderful oerson to know.

Stewart Keskitalo
Class of 1966
Dollar Bay

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 11:32 am:

Great choo-choo train.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 12:00 pm:

Oh those were the days when train transportation was big! Bob's grandfather and my grandfather both worked for the Milwaukee Road. Must be why I have always lived near train tracks.

By Richard Wieber (Dickingrayling) on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 09:57 pm:

I got my love of trains from my dad. He was a salesman for Swift Meats starting about 1901. He would take a train to the next town, rent a buggy or winter sleigh (with heated rocks under a lap robe to help keep warm) call on stores then get back on the train for the next town. My wife and I toured about 7,000 miles around the U.S. on trains. What a restful way to travel.

By Peter Ouillette (Peterouillette) on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 09:07 am:

Thanks for posting these! Growing up in Ripley I would visit #29 and her companion #175 as they rested next to the former Quincy smelter. #29 was moved out of the Copper Country in 2004. I was happy to know she would be restored, safe, and on display for museum visitors.

By C Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 06:49 pm:

I'm betting that my grandmother Hilma (Tikkanen) Koivu rode those trains to school in Painsedale back in the day. How fun!

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