June 01-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: June: June 01-05
Going UP    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Kevin Peltola
Going down    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Kevin Peltola
The story    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Kevin Peltola

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 06:01 am:

The East Hancock Stairway Park is quite unobtrusive to the thousands of vehicles crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge each day. But, it definitely is a unique park to be sure. Thanks to Kevin Peltola we don't have to cause a traffic jam to get a first hand look at the quaint little park. First you look up the stairs towards East Hancock, then you look down the stairs towards the Bridge and Houghton. Next he gives us a glimpse of the plaque, which gives visitors some background information telling about its beginnings and the restoration project undertaken in 1983, by the American Society of Civil Engineers over at Michigan Tech. There's even a comfy looking stone bench to rest your weary legs after climbing all those stairs!

By Charlie Hopper, Eagle River, MI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 06:15 am:

...And if you climb those stairs and keep walking to the north-east up the Keweenaw Peninsula, you will eventually reach Calumet, home of Pasty Central. Make sure you leave in plenty of time for Pasty Fest 2005, which is only a month away. Saturday, July 2, with a parade beginning at 10am through the streets of Calumet, ending up at Agassiz Park for some serious Pasty competition... and a free pasty to the first 400 people who bring the Mining Gazette coupon.

You can read about Pasty Fest 2004 in the Pasty Cam Archives, and find the entry blank for the pasty competition at Main Street Calumet

By smf in troll land on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 06:23 am:

Thanks for the interesting info & pics!

By Howard, New York on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 06:24 am:

Good morning! I finally get to post the first message. A big achievement of mine :)

Thanks for the good pictures everyday.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 06:42 am:

Very nice greeting this morning.

By Pete on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 07:25 am:

Sorry Howard

By Kris, White Lake, MI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 08:22 am:

Good Morning - great pictures. I now have the one of the Portage and MTU as my desktop background from Kevin's album. In the four years I was at Tech I never knew this park existed. I'll definitely check it out the next time I'm in the area. I just missed helping with the restoration since I graduated BSCE in 1981 - what a great project. Thanks for the history lesson Mary.

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 08:35 am:


By rob in dc on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 08:48 am:

When, as a Tech student, I lived on Water Street in Hancock in 1968-69, I often climbed these stairs and sat down near the top to take in the view. I'm sure it's one reason why I so enjoy the Bridge Cam. The stairs had an air of neglect and abandonment, though; I wondered why they were there at all. So, I am very glad to see that a later generation of Toots did something about it.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 09:23 am:

Awesome pix and more history! Next time I go over that bridge, I'll have to park, go up those stairs, and sit down for a while!

I wish I could be there for The Pasty Fest... ... Maybe someday soon!

By Yooper in MN on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 09:56 am:

Wonderful pictures! Sure brings back memories of running up those stairs with the girls! I would love to make it to Pasty Fest, but that so happens to be the day I'm getting married to my wonderful fiance!

Have a great day everyone!

By shell on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 10:17 am:

Wow, how cool.

By Brian Juntikka on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 10:20 am:

Those steps on the Hancock side of the bridge are a local landmark, that's for sure. Glad they were repaired and restored. For many years, the first three things motorists driving north on the Portage Lake Bridge saw were the steps, a gas station - and a signboard located just left of them that read: "Welcome to Hancock - the home of Vollwerth Sausage."

By RayE GR, MI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 11:16 am:

That's what makes Pasty Cam what it is, the means of bringing out the unique and interesting features of the UP. Your efforts are much appreciated.

By R.Ball on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 11:27 am:

The summer of 1972 I worked for the City,waiting for School to start at Suomi,and I mowed the parks with several other college bound students.
We would tie rope to the mower on this one ,and ease it down the slope,and then pull it back up.Worked well enough for government work....lol.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 11:48 am:

Poor Howard... If I had a dime for every time that happened to me, I could buy a few pasties! (Smirk).

I think the contest page should have 6 pasties as a prize!!!

By Chris, Illinois on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 02:56 pm:

I remember those stairs!! I was an MTU student from fall '65 to mid-'70 (BSEE). I think I climbed them only a couple of times, but I'm glad they are in good shape and being kept that way.

By Russ E. St. Clair county MI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 04:17 pm:

My brother, cousins and I spent many hours playing on those steps and sitting on the bench(s)back in the 40s!! We lived just a few houses behind and to the west of them in a big house on 316 Cooper Street! I remember real well as Brian J. says. The gas station was a Shell.
Thanks for the photos and the memories!!

By Jim in Houghton on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 04:55 pm:


I was just at the top of those stairs on Monday. Was showing some relatives the tour of Hancock, including East Hancock and the wonderful homes there. The folks commented that the neighborhood up behind the Hancock Middle School (old Hancock Central High) reminded them of mountain communities in the Smokies.

Our son Josh is now a graduate of Houghton High School and is headed for Tech in the Fall. I don't know whether to feel elated or elderly... maybe eldated?


By AJ - WI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 07:09 pm:

Omigosh! The stone steps! Thank you, Kevin, for the pics. They look better now than they did in the 50s and early 60s. Brings back such memories. Wish I had a quarter for each time I went up and down those steps to the bridge! Hope you are having a great day!

By FLYIN da MOONEY on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 07:51 pm:

I think I fell down those steps on night in the late 60's.......but if you can remember the 60's, you probably weren't there.........Some doctor owned a house close by and he always invited Toots to partake with he and the ladies...

By Paul on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 08:32 pm:

DEM steps are meant to look at not climb , the timing is way off , looks to me that they are open all winter , not bad for bikes, up or down, should be part of the chain drive.

By Therese Dulong Dimet on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 08:34 pm:

I Know that Doctor Janis lived there and I was up those stairs in the 1945 amd have a picture some where here of it we have fun
also pictures in the Catholic Cemetery

By Fran,Ga on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 09:02 pm:

The bridge was dedicated before Hal and I were married and we decided to go to the dedication. The closest we could park was Ripley so we walked to the bridge then over and back. To end the day we climbed the stairs and then back down. He said I was trying to kill him! I was used to walking and he wasn't. It was a really pleasant day tho. We got a copper token about the size of a half dollar commemorating the day.I think I gave mine to my grandson.

By Dick/Grayling, MI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 11:07 pm:

Wish I had a dollar for every time I've been on those steps. We lived in east Houghton in the early 40s and went to the movie in Hancock every Saturday afternoon. Being twelve or so and not knowing any better, we would run (not walk) all the way to the movie near the High School and back. On the way over we ran up those stairs but on the way back we ran by way of the Brass Duck to the old bridge and on to Tech. Today I couldn't walk that far. Sure glad they fixed the steps even though they were poorly timed.

By Russ E. St. Clair county MI on Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 11:38 pm:

I think the big old Victorian house we lived in was torn down after we left and Dr. Janis built a big new one which I think is still there(?) Anyhow that was a LONG time ago but I do remember it was 316 Cooper Street! Sure wish I had a photo of the old house! It was on a corner. Could the one in the upper left corner of the first pic be the "new" one we are talking about??

By AJ - WI on Thursday, June 2, 2005 - 09:14 pm:

No, that's not Dr. Janis' house. The white house on the left side of the picture is on "A" Street, which is a block south of Copper Avenue.

By AJ - WI on Thursday, June 2, 2005 - 10:42 pm:

Typo. Should have read "Cooper Avenue."

By Bob on Monday, June 6, 2005 - 03:57 pm:

I remember these stairs. I would walk them when I lived on Pine and Elevation st. The stairs where in rough shape but I enjoyed the climb and view. I do not remeber the rouund bench on the top. Was this done during the renovation?

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