Oct 23-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: October: Oct 23-11
Mystery School    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Ray Steinnerd
Postcard side    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Ray Steinnerd

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 07:53 am:

Through the years the Pasty Cam has accumulated an archive of U.P. and Great Lakes history and trivia, which has become a reference for seeking answers about the Upper Peninsula and its people. In 2004 we had a Shoebox Memory mentioning Jim and Zenda Fish, which caught the attention of one seeker this week, who sent the following:


I recently acquired an old postcard addressed to Fred Fish in Ironwood, Michigan in 1913. Attached to the post card were some grade reports for Zenda Fish from Ironwood High School 1921-1922. There is a picture of a high school on the post card front but it is unidentified. I thought at first it was the Ironwood High School but I don't think so because the postmark on the card is from somewhere in Minnesota (can't read it). The message says: this is the high school, Jim. In trying to find information, I ran across your information on James & Zenda Fish at Ironwood. Do you have any idea what high school this is? Would there be any interest at Ironwood High School in the grade reports for Zenda? Thanks for your help.

Ray Steinnerd
St. Louis, MO

The first thing I did was to enhance some faint printing on the card for any clues. This revealed "L.L. Wright High School Ironwood, Michigan."
My wife Edie and I have been to Luther Wright High School in Ironwood on several occasions, to present ROTC medals, so I'm somewhat familiar with the building. It has too many differences to possibly be a match:
LL Wright
Furthermore, it wouldn't make much sense for a postcard of Luther Wright to be mailed to someone living in Ironwood, telling them 'this is the High School'.

Why did someone jot the Ironwood School's name on the card? Is the school perhaps in Minnesota, where Jim might have attended for awhile? (As mentioned in the 2004 discussion, Jim was the one who died in WWI). Anybody have any ideas?

Have a good week :o)
jbuck (Jbuck) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 08:49 am:

Good morning Charlie ~

After searching several vintage postcard sites for Minnesota schools such as: http://www.cardcow.com/search4.php?substring=Minnesota+school&section=all&page=1
i haven't found a match yet.

Maybe there's a more effecient way of doing the search!

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 09:16 am:

Thank you 4 sharing this vintage post card. Also, here's a postcard of the Keweenaw Peninsula:

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 09:40 am:

The mystery school is certainly elegantly built, with a beautiful terraced front lawn. Sorta looks like European gothic!

By Mary Long (Meeawice) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 11:46 am:

This intrigued me so I went looking at post cards on
E Bay. I think it is the Martin Hughes High School
in Buhl Minnesota.


By Donald R. Elzinga (Donagain) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 12:14 pm:

Charlie - I Google Earthed Buhl MN amd found the school. It is now called Kids Peace Mesabi Academy which is a Juvenile Correction Facility! It is amazing what you can find out from an old post card.

By Clyde Elmblad (Clyde) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 12:17 pm:

I think Mary got it right. The link below shows the same school just after it was built in 1910.

By Diana P. (Diana) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:09 pm:

Wow, if you keep scrolling down on that link from Clyde, there is another postcard, 1943, showing that the building was expanded on each end!

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:31 pm:

Thanks to everyone who helped solve the mystery. We have verified it is the former Buhl Minnesota High School, built in 1910, expanded in the 40's and used today as KidsPeace Mesabi Academy. With thanks to Minnesota Historical Society, LakesnWoods Community Guide, and KidsPeace respectively:





Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 01:44 pm:

One postscript about the writer of the postcard, Jim Fish: In 2004 on the Pasty Cam, James appeared in that photo of the Class of 1910 at Ironwood High. I'm wondering if perhaps he had earned a teaching certificate by 1913 and maybe was seeking a teaching job at Buhl? As we mentioned, a few years later Jim died in WWI. His younger brother Zenda Fish eventually moved to Eagle River (in the house right across the street from ours) and became a legendary Keweenaw County Road Commissioner.

Go Ironwood!

jbuck (Jbuck) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 03:58 pm:

Can imagine that the years took their toll, and probably the fact that it's now a correctional facility has some impact, BUT what a shame to cover all the unique features of the old school!

Great job on the part of everyone who contributed to ferret out the rest of the story!

By dane l. christensen (Danech55) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 09:02 pm:

good job Mary! Dane and Jill.

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 09:38 pm:

Huh... that's just up the road from me. I'll have to take a quick detour off US-169 next time I'm up that way to find the school.

By Julie H (Upmiju) on Friday, December 9, 2016 - 08:31 am:

Hello, that is very interesting. Zenda Fish is a relative of
mine. I would love any information anyone can share about
Zenda and the family. Thanks!

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