July 01-12

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2012: July: July 01-12
Colby Mine 1888    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from loc.gov
Part of bird's eye view    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from loc.gov
Colby Mine Monument    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Charlie Hopper
Inscription    ...scroll down to share comments
 Photos by Charlie Hopper
Strike up the band    ...scroll down to share comments
 Photos by Charlie Hopper

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 11:20 am:

A lovely, sunny afternoon on the final day of June found us in Bessemer yesterday, in the western U.P. near Ironwood. (The folks there say it: "Bezz-mer"). It was the re-dedication of the Colby Mine Memorial by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Along with the Bessemer Area Historical Society, the mayor, and other dignitaries, we were treated to the music of the Gogebic Range Concert Band.

It was my privilege to give a brief overview of why this monument resides in Michigan, and not Wisconsin. We have a series of July "Day in History" minutes that tell about the Toledo War, and how Michigan ended up with the U.P.:

7/12 - Arrest warrant issued
7/13 - Background of the conflict
7/14 - Marching Militias
7/15 - The War's only injury
After the re-dedication we enjoyed refreshment at Heritage Center downtown. Among the artifacts were prints of the 1888 panoramic view above, which comes to us courtesy of the Library of Congress. If you have a broadband connection, here are a couple of high resolution scenes to explore:
Bird's Eye View of Bessemer
Closeup of Colby Mine area
Our thanks to all the folks in Bessemer for their hospitality. It was quite a celebration, as they even rang in the "half-new-year" before midnight. If you're passing though the U.P. this summer, take a drive by that grassy spot just south of town where the monument stands, and touch a piece of history of the U.P. mining era. Be sure to stop by the Bessemer Heritage Center downtown, near City Hall.

Have a good week :o)
Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 11:59 am:

Some info on the Colby Mine.
It appears the Colby and Peterson are the same mine; anyone else want to chime in??

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 12:05 pm:

The Toledo war was not the only reduction of the Wisconsin territory to suit the southern tier of states formed from the Northwest Territories. While the western UP was the consolation prize for Toledo, the future state of Wisconsin also lost a strip of land to Illinois. The new state of Illinois wanted Galena and its mines and so convinced Congress to include the town while drawing up the boundaries; the territory of Wisconsin could only protest. By being late in achieving statehood Wisconsin lost considerable land. Michigan gained the riches of the western UP and Illinois gained the Galena lead mines and a swampy village on Lake Michigan called Chicago. In the long run, giving up Chicago was a far better deal than giving up the Western UP. Those of us in the rest of Illinois would gladly give the 4 counties including and surrounding Chicago back to Wisconsin - better yet: CHICAGO THE 51ST STATE!

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 12:16 pm:

Nice set of photos, today.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 01:02 pm:

Galena, IL was where U.S. Grant made his home, after he was ridiculed out of Ohio. However, Ohioans still claim him as a 'native son'.
Interesting pictures, interesting info, Charlie!
There's also a Bessemer, Alabama, where many years ago they erected a statue to 'Vulcan'.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 01:06 pm:

So much history up there that many of us are totally unaware of . Thanks for the information!

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 04:14 pm:

The Heritage Center in Bessemer has so many old photos from the mining era. Here are a few of the Colby Mine operation:

open pit
from the shaft
Men of Colby

Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 05:34 pm:

Those pics depict a busy place and manned by some stouthearted men. Wonder how many of those lunchpails contained pasties?
Thanks, Charlie.

By Pat & Glenda (Gormfrog) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 09:08 pm:

Bessemer is really a favorite. We almost located a few miles North of the town, bid on a place along the scenic route to Black River Harbor. The history and stories, and people along that road from Bessemer to the Harbor are haunting,some decedents are still around, and the others are still around also, can feel their presence..

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 10:05 pm:

Shirley, I live just down about 30 miles south east from Galena. Not much of the hoards of tourists come there to learn about it's lead mining history. Mostly tourist shops and B&Bs. Big Chicago hangout.The stories about Galena and UP's state lines reminds one of how the early politians finalgled to get Isle Royal in the Michigan/U.S. territory.

By kitty fisher (Bessemergirl) on Monday, July 2, 2012 - 07:38 am:

Thanks, Charlie for including these pictures. The event was a
success because of all the volunteer support from Bessemer
residents...the Gogebic Range Concert Band, Girl Scouts, Color
Guard, Bessemer Historical Society, Bessemer DDA, Spartan Group
and Onagomingkway Chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution. The ceremony was a tribute to the hard work and
sacrifice of the pioneer miners and their families. I think many
Bessemer residents still have that pioneer spirit in their DNA.
Check out all the activities that are part of the "Bessemer Blast."

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Monday, July 2, 2012 - 09:35 am:

Kay, isn't it sad how few people care about the history of an area anymore. They don't realize all the interesting things they're missing.

By Vicki Amos Mann (Vickiamosmann) on Monday, July 2, 2012 - 09:42 am:

Yes, I agree with Kitty. Thanks to our guest speakers--Charlie, Dan, John and Sue; Joe and his guys for their flag services; the young Girl Scouts for leading the Michigan Pledge; the Gogebic Range Concert Band under Larry and Maggie's direction; Denise, Ed and Ed for everything that each did to help with our ceremony remembering the Colby Mine and the significance that it had in Bessemer's history. A very special thank you goes to Kitty Johnson Fisher for organizing the recognition ceremony for Onagomingkway.

By Polly Friend (Pollyfriend) on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - 02:17 pm:

It had been 72 years since the Colby Mine monument
had been honored. Thank you, Charlie, for the
perfect description of a perfect ceremony. One of the 100 plus people who attended told me he"just walked over the hill," while pointing behind the monument to the Colby Mine site, where he lives today. On this day with such blue skies, it felt like we were giving the miners their day in the sun. Kitty (Johnson) Fisher, who grew up in Bessemer, was inspired to make this day happen, while researching her grandfather, J. R. Johnson, who worked in the Colby Mine in 1886. Please stop by this easily overlooked monument, and even better, stop by the Bessemer Heritage Center and meet a Colby Mine miner--Ed Sandene--and watch the Colby Mine video.

By Ed Sandene (Esandene) on Saturday, July 7, 2012 - 08:43 pm:

Thanks to all who helped put this event together.I worked at the Heritage Center all week and kept hearing nice remarks about the program. As a former underground miner and now President of the Bessemer Area Historical Society this event was especially meaningful to me.

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