Jan 12-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: January: Jan 12-03
Firefighters at work    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Scott Geiger

By Scott Geiger, MI on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:07 am:

Here's one I found in my fathers collection of slides... It was in the winter of 1972 when a fire originated in Millers apartment building (the center) which also housed a couple of business' on the first floor. The business' were J & R TV service ? And Scott Printing. The fire quickly spread to Gately's Department Store to the north, then Pete's Taxi to the south...

Although I was young in 72, I do remember this fire well. My family lived in the building next to Pete's Taxi at the time... Which housed the offices for Peninsular Gas, and The Daily Mining Gazette. It happened on a Friday nite... I remember I was watching "Love, American Style" !!!

By Toivo from Toivola on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:13 am:

Looks like they had about as much snow as we have this year!

By anon on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:36 am:

About the cam image Firefighters at work..so what town and street was this??????

By Kris Cooper Adrian MI on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:48 am:

The builing was on 6th St., in Calumet. My grandma was living in the building at the time of the fire, luckily she was out at the time, but she lost everything.

By Gordy, IL on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:54 am:

This was in Calumet on 6th street. This was where the IGA was built later on. Its the same block as the Calumet Theater, just across the street. J&R TV was owned by my uncle. This was the first time he got burned out. The second time was in Laurium across the intersection from the old Quality food store. The building he was in was attached to the gas station which caught on fire. I happened to be there on vacation when it happened in the early 90's.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 11:23 am:

Man... I am GREEN WITH ENVY. Looking at the forcast up there, I am drooling! I'm sure there will be more WOW snow pix pretty soon! We haven't had a flake fall yet!


By Alex on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 11:25 am:

I've heard NOTHING but AMAZING things about John Dee. Can't he get some of that snow down South?

By Daryl Laitila on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:13 pm:

Just a reminder for all of you browsing the web on a leisure Sunday afternoon or evening... The last day to purchase your tickets for the Heikinpaiva Buffet is this Wednesday, January 15. Tickets are available at the Community Arts Center or Hancock City Hall or online. Take a look at all of the events planned for next week-end in the Copper Country. Dances, Club Finndigo, Parade, Polar Bear Dive, Tori Market and of course wonderful Finnish gourmet food at the banquet. Advanced tickets only. Seating is limited.

By Scott, Wisconsin on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:16 pm:

Love this site! The history is most enjoyable
and then add some great pictures.

Off subject question to anybody:
What is the name of the Bakery in Eagle River?
It seems to be run my Monks? It was a interesting
place and really wonderful goods.


By Greta, Ca on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:26 pm:

Another off the subject question. Charlie, why doesn't this site have a thermometer displaying the current temperature? It used to, and I loved that. Now I always go to Eagle Harbor cam to see the temps. Thanks.

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:26 pm:


It is the Jampot, just north of Eagle River at Jacobs Falls. Their website is hosted here at Pasty Central: SocietyStJohn,com

I sure could go for one of their apricot muffins right now!


You'll find the temp in Calumet over at our ISP site, Pasty.NET, which will be adding other temps and information, as this week we launch dial-in access across the whole U.P. and the entire U.S.

By kb.laurium on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:48 pm:

does anyone out there remember how this fire started and if millers apartments also housed the bowling alleys?thanks...

By William M. Jacka Sr. on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 12:57 pm:

The fire that Scott is referring to was on 6th Street in Calumet. The bowling alley your referring to Millers, is on Hecla Street, Laurium

By Scott, Wisconsin on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 01:47 pm:

Thanks for the info on the Jampot!
I had stopped last summer as I was really
hungrey and it was the only place I saw
nearby. Just love that drive up the western
side of the finger. I came down the east
side but believe the west is the most beautiful.

I think it was called Sand Bay that had
that huge beach with enough pebbles to keep
a geology buff busy for hours.

It was really warm and I enjoyed natures
air conditioning off that lake for hours.

Keep up the wonderful site!

By kb.laurium on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 02:01 pm:

i know the fire is on 6th street in calumet and there is millers in laurium but it seems to me i read or heard about millers alleys in calumet.can anyone confirm that and how the fire started?thanks...

By Nita , Northern California on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 02:17 pm:


We received our pasty order exactly 2 days after you shipped it. We promptly ate one for dinner(supper) that night and I felt I had to share one with a good friend who had heard of pasties but had never eaten one. I must say they still are top quality and remind me of the ones my mother baked in a pie tin. She used to bake 6 (3 pans) at a time for our family of 6.

My Dad, although French, loved his pasties. He did work in the mines in the early 1920s. We left the UP during the Great Depression for the West.

Beautiful calendar of God's Country. We thank you for the wonderful contribution your site provides for all of us

By CSH Texas on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 02:34 pm:

Does anyone have a picture of the fire on the corner of Fifth and Pine in Calumet? It happened about 10, maybe 15 years ago.

By Remember these ?? on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 02:58 pm:

Couple days ago someone said, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"!

Remember these?

Birds of a feather flock together.
Don't bite off more than you can chew.
When it rains, it pours.
Stand for something or you will fall for anything.
It's as scarce as hen's teeth.
Don't wear your heart on your sleeve.
It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
Cat got your tongue?
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

// This is fun!! Webster won't record 'em, but I'm sure we ingenious Yoopers can think of some more old sayings!!! The first one is the hardest -- then they come to you!! //

By Greta, Ca on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 03:11 pm:

Thank you Charlie. :)

By mike,calumet on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 03:15 pm:

i remember this night well. we were living on ash street, in tamarack loc. my father worked at gately's then. my uncle was on duty that night and came out to our house to give my dad the news. we all went outside and looked towards calumet. the sky was glowing a bright orange red. something that i'll never forget.

By Julie S, WI on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 05:24 pm:

Is the fire at Fifth and Pine the one where it jumped the street? My step father's office was one of the buildings. If this is the fire you are refering to, I can ask if they have pictures. The Red Garter fire was something else too. I used to work there and it was so sad to see such a wonderful place go up in flames...

By CSH Texas on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 06:21 pm:

Yes, Julie, that's the one. It did jump to the Pasich Tavern building across the street. I'd love to see pictures. Thanks.

By JJ, Iowa on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 07:17 pm:

This is for Ken from the UP:
XMAS - Good or Bad?


Origins: The abbreviation of 'Xmas' for 'Christmas' was not originally meant to be disrespectful nor is it "modern." The notion that it is a new and vulgar representation of the word 'Christmas' seems to stem from the erroneous belief that the letter 'X' is used to stand for the word 'Christ' because of its resemblance to a cross, or that the abbreviation was deliberately concocted "to take the 'Christ' out of Christmas." Actually, this usage is nearly as old as Christianity itself, and its origins lie in the fact that the first letter in the Greek word for 'Christ' is 'chi,' and the Greek letter 'chi' is represented by a symbol similar to the letter 'X' in the modern Roman alphabet. Hence 'Xmas' is indeed perfectly legitimate abbreviation for the word 'Christmas' (just as 'Xian' is also sometimes used as an abbreviation of the word 'Christian').

None of this means that Christians (and others) aren't justified in feeling slighted when people write 'Xmas' rather than 'Christmas,' but the point is that the abbreviation was not created specifically for the purpose of demeaning Christ, Christians, Christianity, or Christmas -- it's a very old artifact of a very different language.

By R Somero CA on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:01 pm:

The night of the Gateley's fire Paul Tatrow and I put out burning embers that landed on the roof of Thurner's Bakery for many hours. There was enough snow up there that we could keep up with it. May's Lunch , across the street, caught fire from some of these embers, but the fire department was able to put it out. That's one night I'll never forget.

By Roger on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 10:04 pm:

Scott: You spoke of Taxi Pete does anyone know what happened to his son Ohan (spelling might be incorrect)?

By Ken from da UP on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 11:20 pm:

to JJ/Iowa, I learned something today! Thank you for taking the time to inform me. But I 'll still rather "Christmas" than "xmas". Hope it's a Happy New Year for you! :o)

By Denise on Sunday, January 12, 2003 - 11:36 pm:

I lived away from the area for years but I am back and you know to everyone there is no place like home ! I love this place. The CC stands out all by itself!!! Pasty.com kept me going!

By Jean, Devon, England on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 04:33 am:

Could someone let me know what a Polar Bear dive is please? It sounds as though it involves people dressing up in white furry suits diving into freezing water!!! If so, I hope the temperature rises by next weekend.

By Karen P, MN on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 08:04 am:

To Jean, Devon, England: A polar bear dive is when you cut a hole through the ice and take the plunge, usually in your bathing suit. This is usually done with a group of people since the task of cutting a large enough hole in ice that is at least 4inches thick (safe thickness for walking on the ice)is best shared. Often now, it is associated with a festival or New Years and people pay to do this as a fund raiser.

By Mike B, Pittsburgh, wishin I was still in the Yoop on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 08:09 am:

To Jean, Devon, England
You have to freezing water part right. It is ritual dating back as far as I can remember. Every year(winter), groups of folks get together, cut a whole in the ice(if necessary), and take a quick plunge. Very invigorating I imagine.

It is not exclusive to the U.P. either. Down here in Pittsburgh, the local Polar Bear club goes out on Jan 1st every year and they all jump into one of the rivers at the confluence. It seems to be growing in popularity as every year the crowd grows significantly.

P.S. In case anybody doesn't know. The Confluence is where the Loyalhannah and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio river. Maybe Toivo could find a map of it somewhere

By Mike Mehrman, MI. on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 08:54 am:

Nita of Northern California, I came from a large family and when we would get together it was nothing for my Aunt and my Gramma to crank out 25 to 30 of these platter size pasties. As a kid at the time I never realized how much work was envolved with cutting up the potatoes, rudabagas, onions, and round steak. Not to mention two different crust mixtures. (lard and suet) Now grown, I still have my Aunt Helen make them up when I come to visit, only now I offer to do the cutting up of the ingredients.

By jack, coeur d alene id on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 09:50 am:

speaking of calumet fires, how about the one with terchas music where someone was killed, I think it was mr tercha himself, please correct me if im wrong

By Alice, Ventura, CA on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 11:07 am:

Interesting bit on phrases above. Today, on the site Wordsmith: http://wordsmith.org they had a reference to a new board game, Derivation, invented by Brad Chase. The game is about where words and phrases come from. It talks about how the game came to be and the research that Brad Chase put into it. There is a link to tell where you can get the game. Wordsmith can also be reached at: www.wordsmith.org I think.

By Gus in Chicago/Iowa on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 11:21 am:

Techa's fire was on a Sunday during a REAL Copper Country storm. Yes it was the owner Jim Tercha,who died in the fire. He was also a fireman and got trapped in the basement. I was in the excavating business at the time and we had to dig in the alley to locate the gas line, to be able to pinch it off, as it kept on buning after the building was completely gone. Gas lines only have shut off valves at the meter which of course was completely gone. The most gruesome task, I have ever undertaken, no pun, in my entire life was the next morning. They knew approximately where his body was so I used my backhoe to uncover it. Digging very gingerly, under the direction of some fellows in the hole, hoping that I would not hook into the body was really freaky.
Charlie your site is the greatest invention since pasties.

By Roger St. Paul,MN on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 11:41 am:

Anyone recall the fire at Oak and Eighth Street Calumet where Joe Migglio (probably incorrect spelling) was killed and Mr Ryan the funeral director lost his leg or legs?roger

By Jean, Devon, England on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 12:39 pm:

Thanks Karen and Mike for explaining about Polar bear diving. The nearest we get to that over here is crowds of people swimming in the sea on Christmas Day. No ice to be broken first as the water temperature is about 50 deg so its a bit tame compared to what you get up to over there. They must raise 'em tough in the U.P. Although I live in Devon all my ancestors are Cornish and I found out about this pasty web site through an article in a Cornwall Family History Society journal. I was brought up on pasties.

By Phil, Manton, MI on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 01:21 pm:

To kb and all interested, there was a bowling alley on 5th street in Calumet between Turners and Red Garter, correct me if i'm wrong but I beleive it was Superior Bowling Alley, had manual pin setters, no automatic setters or ball returns. I don't remember when it closed but I seem to remember it being for sale at one time.

To Julie S, It was sad to see Red Garter go, Remember when that was? I used to dine there from time to time and always enjoyed eating there. Hardly ever went in there without seeing someone you know.

By Candy, reminiscing in CA on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 02:24 pm:

The bowling alley on Fifth Street was affectionally known as Sac's. It was owned by Socrates Antioho, my first landlord (he also owned other buildings in Calumet). When I was in high school (long ago), the Town House restaurant was very near there, and groups of us girls would go there to "check out" the guys outside at Sac's. Girls DID NOT go into the bowling alley then. Miller's was for bowling dates; Sac's was a true guys' hangout. There were also pool tables there, making for a truly masculine experience (spitting and swearing included, I'm sure).

There were a lot of tragic fires in the Calumet/Laurium area that claimed the lives of the business owners. Mr. Tercha allegedly went back into the building to save his dog; Mrs. Mohar went back into her store building on the corner of 3rd and Osceola in Laurium to get her purse. Thankfully no one was injured in the blaze that leveled Sacred Heart Church.

By William Hatcher on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 03:34 pm:

I remember that fire. I was at the Calumet Theater
with my brother Todd and they stopped the moive and got us out. We went out the front of the theater and the heat was intense. The next day there was over a foot of ice on the street. I was ten at the time and only lived in Calumet for a short time.

By Willliam M. Jacka Sr. on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 03:45 pm:

Roger, the Ballman Block fire. I was there and my dad and I who was then President of Laurium at the time had been standing talking to both about ten minutes prior to tha wall coming down faceing the French Church. It wasn't but a few minutes to get to Miglio who was the lone fatallity and will never forget the sight -it was recalled on 9/11/01 when Father Judd was carried out in NY. Almost the same scene. The biggest fire was probably the Armory, then the Bon Ton, Congretationalist Church and the Metodist Church both on Calumet Ave. The Sacred Heart church fire was one that I missed but all in the 40's and early 50's were there. Hellva history for historians who woulkd about the "FIRES IN THE CC" statring with the ITalian Hall Fire. The Laurium Pumper 1932 0r 33 Ameriacn La France saved the town and probably today could still out pump some of these newer trucks. It still runs and is in the Museum in Calumet -worth seeing.

By Roger St. Paul,MN on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 04:28 pm:

Wm. Sr.
I recall the Congregational church fire but not the Methodist I think that was after we left the CC. As Kids we knew where each fire box was and what the audible horn (Used to call the firefighters) number was for each 4-2 was close to our house one direction and 4-4 the other. We would listen to the horn and then if it was nearby we would bike or run to see. The most spectacular fire I recall was when the ice house that was located near the old Pine Street ice rink burned. The planer chips used for insulation went a couple hundred feet into the air still burning. From the west it looked just like a sunrise until you got a little closer.

By Scott, Atlanta, GA on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 05:35 pm:

Here is one for you. I lived in Hancock when I was very young. I remember a big (to a 5 yr old) fire at Joffies shoe store. Sorry, I don't remember the spelling. Is that correct, does anyone have a picture of that ?

By dm on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 07:27 pm:

the fire that was on pine street with the ice house,was that demarios,he also had the junk yard.

By R Somero on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 08:28 pm:

Scott, I remember the fire you are talking about. I think Northwoods sporting goods store burned in that one. I can't remember the shoe store going but, there may have been a restaurant lost also.

By Fran,Ga on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 10:35 pm:

We were home on vacation and went to see the burned out Sacred Heart Church. There was something that really gave us goosebumps! There was a little grotto there with a statue of Mary surrounded by some bushes or small trees.The amazing thing was, EVERYTHING all around there was burned. This area was completely untouched.I have a photo somewhere! It was quite a sight to see.

By bkm on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 02:10 am:

Scott, you are right about the shoe store fire, Joffee's, in Hancock. That was in the early 70's, don't remember which year exactly. Luckily, the upstairs residents were warned by some passers-by and got out safely. The building was a total loss. I remember how strange it was to see the big hole that was left for so long. There was a much bigger fire, I think after Christmas '78, that destroyed nearly an entire block on the other side of Quincy Ave.

By bj-milford on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 09:48 am:

I remember the Hancock fire. Wasn't it the Economy Shoe Store and Joffee's Men's Store??
We bought our school shoes there, "Buster Brown's". Does anyone remember the box you could stand in....you looked in a viewer and could see the bones of your feet. (Mom could tell if you had enough room to 'grow into them'.)

How about the fire at the Hancock Teen Center...that was a big one. Was it the late 60's??

By Brion Beauchene, Wi on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 10:15 am:

My grandfather Alfred Beauchene was the cheif of the C&H fire department for many years and for many of the fires mentioned above. I remember him talking about these fires with my dad and uncles and going through his scrapbook. He was quite a guy and I will never forget the fire bell going off in his house. He was over 60 and would still be flying out of the house before anyone else could get themselves up.

By CRJ, LL, MI on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 01:12 pm:

Does anyone have pictures of the above buildings before the fire? I'd love to see what they looked like. It is too bad that our local towns have lost so many of thier downtown buildings over the years.

By Bill H mi. on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 04:29 pm:

Hello Scott Gieger how are things going in the lower half of the state.From one of your painting buddies on the bridge!

By TO bj - milford re: seeing bones on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 06:01 pm:

THEY USED X-RAYS I think, to view your foot in a new shoe. Does anyone still remember what those machines were called? Anyway - too much radiation!

By EMB, Lake Havasu City, AZ on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 05:48 am:

This is quite a site! Thank you so much! My family lived in the building on 5th and Pine in Calumet - my dad had an electronics store there. We moved into that 100-year-old building in 1951 -I left the CC in 1958, but mom and dad and a sister lived in that building until the 1980's - we were so relieved when they moved out. There were so many devastating fires up there. Calumet was a "boom town" at the turn of the century - 1900's.

By RLM on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 02:13 pm:

To EMB, Lake Havasu City, AZ-

I remember your dad and MHM Electronics. I was a young kid buying small electronic components to put together some little project. He would always ask, "What'cha building?" Even though it was only a one or two dollar sale, he would always take time to offer advice or answer questions. BTW, the other place that you could get electronic parts was Northwest Radio in Lauirum. It was run by Mr. Jackson as I recall. One of his descendents runs the cable franchise for Eagle Harbor and has a web cam at:

By Roxanne, Oregon on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 03:52 pm:

I remember that fire. It was on sixth in Calumet. I was on the Osceola end of Calumet in
"Rambletown", on Calumet Ave. I watched that fire from my bedroom window. I had never seen anything like it......I remember...my future father-in-law fought the blaze.

By Karen B, VA on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 09:06 pm:

I am a cousin of Mr. Frank Tercha who died in the fire at Tercha's Music and we understood that he went back into the building to shut off the gas line. His fellow firefighters figured he got lost in the smoke. Unfortunately he had taken his air tanks off to be able to get to the gas line. He was a very dedicated firefighter and we miss him. Seems over the years almost all of the large apartment buildings in Calumet burned down. I remember the siren going off multiple times and you'd wonder which building it was this time. I'll have to check my Dad's "shoebox" slides as I think he got pictures of most of them.

By Todd IL on Friday, January 17, 2003 - 01:30 pm:

Hard to believe that as you look at all the vacant lots/smaller buildings in downtown Calumet, that it was once loaded with these big old buildigns up and down the streets.

Gately's, Red Garter, Tirsha's, old brewery at 5th and Pine, all gone.

By Re: Alice Neilson, CA 1-13-03 on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 03:04 pm:

Thank you for mentioning the "wordsmith" website, etc. Have enjoyed going to it since. Have a nice day.

By Betty, Mn on Saturday, January 18, 2003 - 04:26 pm:

I remember the Miller/Gately's fire well. We lived just three blocks away in an apartment on Elm Street by the old train depot. Having just been married a few months before, we had purchased our "first" furniture from Gately's Department Store. From our third floor apartment it looked like the the whole town of Calumet was going to go up in flames. Quite a sight I won't forget.

By Roger St. Paul,MN on Sunday, January 19, 2003 - 02:10 pm:

THANK YOU to whoever selected the photo. It stimulated a lot of interesting conversation and memories from long ago.

By Eric, Calumet, MI on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 02:38 am:

Someone mentioned May's diner in a message. I am current owner of May's building. Anyone one know dates of May opened /closed. Also date of the above fire helpful. Thanks

By RLM on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - 07:25 am:

To Eric at Calumet Pizza:

Don't know the dates, but the store name was MAE'S. Mae Fobish was the owner, she once worked at the old Oak Room when Ron Bianchi had it. She opened her first restaurant on Scott Street between 5th and 6th near the WHDF studio. She moved to your building sometime in the early 60's as best I recall.

She lived upstairs of the store and later in life lived in the seniors building there behind the Chevrolet garage until she passed away.

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