Feb 26-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: February: Feb 26-03
Snow covered cabins at Victoria    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Dan Urbanski

Toivo from Toivola on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 12:31 am:

We seem to be flittin' around da U.P. this week. Ahmeek - Marquette - Tahqhuamenon - - and now back to the west, south of Ontonagon. (Thanks to Dan Urbanski). Somewhere in the archives we have this view in spring or summer.

I would take time to search it out now on Google, but I am worn out from towin' my old Arctic Cat back from the trail, where it quit again. For every hour spent on the trail, there's about 6 hours spent in the shop. Is this fun or what?

Good night and good morning.

By DBrown, Corunna on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:22 am:

I enjoyed seeing the faces of the happy D.I. participants Monday and apoligize for making this late post for that pic. There seems to be a misconception around this state that D.I. replaced Odyssey of the Mind. Nothing could be farther from the truth, The OM program is still going strong in Michigan, the USA, and the rest of the world. Check it out at the addresses below.

By Proud Yooper - MI on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:53 am:

I'm glad to see the photo of the cabins in Victoria. I have never been there, but have heard so much about Victoria. Maybe this summer along with the ride to Taquahmenon Falls (yesterday's pic)we will go there. Living in the U.P., we still have so much to see and with these daily sites it looks like our summer week-ends are going to be busy. Thanks!

By Judy Brown-Kurnik, Chesaning MI on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:59 am:

I would love to be living in one of these cabins right now...far from the crowds and stress! Just a powdering of snow here, but I still hope for a blizzard!!!

By Connie, Midland on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 06:56 am:

I agree with Judy, would love to be in one of those cabins, as long as there's a fireplace burning brightly, a cup of hot cocoa in my hand, looking out at a fantastic view! I'd be in paradise! Wonderful photos!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

By Kathie, SD on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 07:45 am:

Great picture!! Could someone tell me if there is a location called Osceola and if there is a cemetery there? Thanks.

By Darrell, Illinois on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 08:24 am:

I'm not familiar with Victoria what are these cabins? Do you rent them or what?

By M.L., Germany on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 09:19 am:

This is as picturesque a scene as anything I've visited on 5 continents. That blanket of snow just sets it off. I also would like to know more about Victoria, for the next time I'm in the U.P.

By cak on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 09:26 am:

Toivo, I think you need to see John Dee's mechanic Al to fix the ole Artic Cat.

By D from Lake Linden, MI on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 10:41 am:

Victoria is The Little House On The Prairie of the U.P. Consider touring there this summer when the annual fine arts and craft fair is held on the grounds of this beautiful northern location. Visit with the venders selling their wares, coming from local areas and out of state, and don't forget, as you stroll around the back-in-time grounds, to stop at the cabin with the made-from-scratch, cinn.sweet rolls, dripping with icing, coming right out of the old original cookstove's oven, piping hot, and get yourself a cup of coffee. It's a great day spent in a pleasant, old-fashioned atmosphere

By Alicia, Mi. on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:04 am:

Hi Kathie , SD,
Check out the cemeteries at this site for Houghton County ancestry.
You may mean either the Schoolcraft cemetery in Calumet or Lake View. Osceola is a township of Calumet.

By Scott, MI on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:05 am:

Nice shot. Is the guy that started restoring the Victoria cabins still there and continuing progress? I cannot recall his name, but I met him there several years ago and I believe he was living in one of the cabins.....even had the suana going! Must have been early to mid 1990's at the time.

Also my grandfather and his brother worked on the Victoria dam near by. His brother helped build the original dam and my grandfather as a boy ran up and down the wood pipeline looking for leaks.

By Gus L.L. on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:41 am:

Osceola is a small comunity on U S 41 south of Calumet. Cemetery ?.

By Denise, Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:47 am:

This is great. I remember spending time here when I was in the Local History class in 6th grade, and then as a "Big sister" in 7th grade. Old Victoria is a wonderful place to visit. I really do miss it.

By Gus L.L. on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:48 am:

Osceola is a small location on US 41 South of Calumet. Cemetery?

By Mike B, Pittsburgh, wishin I was still in the Yoop on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 12:57 pm:

Please make this a WoW. I've got to have that shot on my desktop.

By Rivera on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:05 pm:

Kathy, indeed there is a small cemetery close to Osceola but it is basically behind Raymbaultown closer to Laurium, not far from the power station in Raymbaultown. It is basically hidden in a small wood.

By Frank C northeastern Illinois on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:40 pm:

For more information on Old Victoria, click here. It's quite a neat place, and the Taylor air compressor there was very cool!

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:48 pm:

Here's Osceola.

Osceola Map

It does appear to have a Cemetery St.
Now perhaps someone can tell us where the cemetery is.
Mary Lou on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 01:53 pm:

I sold our old family place out Bootjack last summer. The property contained a very old log cabin which was about to fall to the ground. It had been thrown up by "Johnny Bootjack", a local lumberjack, for a short-stay. The floor had rotted also the bottom logs and the chimmny had fallen. We had kept it up until we no longer could.....I am so happy the new owners saw the beauty of the old cabin and by fall had the old place winterized.... It's new life will be as a bunkhouse, on the shore of Portage Lake for the sons of the new owners.

By Pete Wi on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 02:19 pm:

D when is the the A&C fair at Victoria????

By bloomquist on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 02:32 pm:

what a thrilling vista,, indeed!

By Alicia , MI. on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 03:18 pm:

The Cemetery by Cemetery Street is called, Hecla Cemetery.There is little left to it, mostly vandalized and over grown. The burial records were lost when the Catholic Church burned down some years ago.What was left was recorded on the Houghton site above.

By Rivera on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 03:30 pm:

If one were to continue SW past the "S" in S Hecla, there is indeed a house in the way. Behind the house is basically the area where the cemetery is.

By pikkuleipa on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 04:29 pm:

So pretty!
I think I'll make gingerbread Victoria cabins next Christmas!

By Bill Jacobs on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 04:42 pm:

Osceola Location. Yes, a wonderful memory of my great Aunt and Uncle, Amanda and Alfred Pietila, parents of Wes who was married to Helen and all lived there across US 41 between the the Copper Kettle and the old museum. Uncle Ukki and Aunt Amanda lived directly across the street from the gas station. Daughter Laverne and her husband Mike Bensich lived there later. I was introduced to Sauna in Uncle Alfred's (Ukki's) backyard and got hooked. Will never forget the stories and hospitality, Finnish style, such good pasties and lunch stuff on the table always. We were a family who moved away to Detroit. Mae and John Sivula(mining accident in Painsdale, killed in 1957)South Range-grandparents, Alice(Sivula)and Wayne Jacobs, my parents. Only got to see the Copper Country for visits whenever we could. Just never enough time to be there. Would love to get back someday but writing now from Germany where I'm working and here with my family. Would love to retire in the good ol' Copper Country some year. The sooner the better. God's Peace to all. I love this Pasty.com! Thanks Charlie. Bill

By Jan, Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 04:51 pm:

The Victoria homes look gorgeous on a snow covered, sunny UP day! It's been years since I've been there to see them myself. Thanks for the nice UP memories again today!

By Anna, Ohio on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 04:51 pm:

Thanks for the winter view of Victoria. My family goes there often (though never in winter) as my great grandparents lived there. Their cabin, the Erickson cabin, is the one that's half rebuilt. It's behind and to the left of the far cabin in the picture. As the story goes, my grandmother and her sister walked to Rockland to attend school. To make sure they were warm, my great grandmother made them full length coats. Can you imagine trudging through the snow in a full length, heavy coat? The individual who obtained funding for restoration is no longer around, and rumor has it, neither are the funds. However, the caretaker is still on the site (can't remember his name) and he's a wealth of information about Victoria. By all means, visit. It's a treasure!

By Caryl, Wisconsin on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 05:44 pm:

The only time I was at Victoria there were docents there--wearing red vests--I think they were volunteers sponsored by the state of Michigan. Still there in summer?

By Paul in Illinois on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 06:17 pm:

Osceola took its name from the Osceola Mine and at one time had its own railroad depot. Clark and Bigelow set out to find a southwest extension of the Calumet Conglomerate with the money they made from their interests in C&H. The Calumet Conglomerate was poorly mineralized through the Osceola property and the venture was a bust. They did find the Osceola Amygdaloid Lode which was a very good producer. The Osceola lode extended northeast into C&H lands and C&H opened a mine on it, the shafts are just east of Calumet Avenue and the 1950's era surface plant at 13 still remains. Tit for tat, Clark & Bigelow took the profits from Osceola and opened the Tamarack Mine which mined the Calumet Lode via vertical shafts beyond C&H's property lines. With the combined profits of Osceola and Tamarack, Clark, Bigelow, and a NYC investor named Lewisohn built an empire that rivaled C&H. They had interests in the H&C and Mineral Range Railroads, Ahmeek, Allouez, North Kearsarge, and South Kearsarge mines; mills, a smelter, rolling and wire mills at Dollar Bay, and a Dynamite plant. The showdown with C&H came in the teens with C&H prevailing while the Osceola/Tamarack group taking their money and going west. Not much left of "Osceola" now but the old C&H surface plant and a memorial to the people killed in a mine fire. Other names in that end of what we now call Calumet are Opeechee and Raymbaultown. My mother was born on "A" Street in 1919 and at that time the area was called Raymbaultown, Opeechee was southwest of there and Osceola little bit farther southwest. In the boom years they all ran together - hard to believe there were over 30,000 living there once.

By P.K., Nashville, TN on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 06:31 pm:

I think a small house has been built in the front of the cemetery. I used to live right across the street. I lived on Hecla street. As kids, we played softball in the field in front of the cemetery, where the house now sits. I don't know the condition. heard that the Catholic Church cleaned it up after I left home. I don't know if the headstones were destroyed. It was always an interesting place to walk through as a kid.

By Katherine D. in G.R. on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 06:47 pm:

Thanks again Dan U. Your pics are unsurpassed for true color and clarity. Have any tips an a nice camera not too pricey ???

By D. Lake Linden, Mi on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 06:58 pm:

Pete, Wis. the A&C is in either July or Aug. Sorry for not being more exact, too many A&C's that I attend during the summer. I always rely on our local newpaper to keep me informed.

By Gus in Chicagoland on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:20 pm:

Toivo, you got gars, you got druks, dey plow da
roads, what da heck you need a snowmobile for?

By Catherine--Holland, MI on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 03:41 am:

I think the "Old Victoria" fair is the 2nd or 3rd weekend in Aug. I think the caretaker/rebuilder is named Chris. Living there would be OK if you don't mind hauling your drinking water up the hill from the spring. He does it in 5 or 10 G containers strapped to a 4 wheeler. He systematically pulls apart one cabin at a time and then completely rebuilds it.

The North Conrtry Trail runs through there to overlook the resevoir and continues on to the Porkies. A portion even runs along his sauna trail! Look for the blue diamonds nailed to trees.

The most striking story: A family moves there and the wife (and daughters) is strong-armed into running a "warm bunk" boarding house for miners. Three (or maybe 2) shifts of men to care for, all taking turns sleeping in the upstairs. All of that cooking and washing! The wife finally hung herself in the stairwell of the cabin.

By Kathie, SD on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 09:40 am:

Thank you so much for all the feedback on the Osceola location. It was appreciated and very interesting.

By Missing the snow, CO on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 10:35 am:

The cemetary was there in 2000 the last time I was there. It was in a state of disrepair if I remember correctly.

By Ned, Kingsford. on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 10:39 am:

As a kid living on South Pewabic street in Laurium in the late 40's and early 50's, I remember playing in the old cemetary being discussed. However, it was very close to what we called Raymbaultown and we were deathly afraid of the kids that lived there, they were reputed to be very "tough". The cemetary was abandoned and very run down at that time.

My wife and I were out snow shoeing at the Fumee Lake Natural Area here in Dickinson County yesterday. It was a beautiful day with bright sun, 20's temps, and enough snow so the trails are in good shape. Believe it or not, we saw a robin! I have never seen a robin in this area in February before. It was very fat, but I wonder how long it will stay that way or if it will be able to survive at all.

By Liz Benson, Pocatello ID on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 02:45 pm:

To Paul in Illinois and all the history buffs:
One of my coworkers asked me if a street name in Butte MT was mispelled: Lewisohn. Now I make the connection because Butte is/was the copper mining mecca in the west. The N.Y. investor Lewisohn must have had some significant influence in Butte's
Copper industry. Thanks for inadvertenly cleaning up a spelling question!

By jack pine u.p. on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 04:52 pm:

The old cemetary is still there. there is about a dozen or so head stones that are still in good shape. Of course there is just as many that have fallen down or have been vandalized. A few years ago someone cleaned it up alittle. It wasn't as bad as I remember it in the late 60's, early 70's.

By Paul in Illinois on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 06:13 pm:

The Osceola/Tamarack group did have extensive investment in Butte and other camps in the west. Lewisohn was better known out there than he was in the Copper Country. C&H on the other hand was not inclined to invest out west as a corporate entity. Some of its major shareholds did take their C&H profits and reinvest in western mining. One of these was Thomas Livermore. His daughter married a colorful western character named Bulkelly Wells who was a somewhat shadey mine manager in Telluride Colorado. He was such a nice guy that the Western Federation of Miners tried to do him in. It also happens that Bulkelly was a friend of Jim MacNaughton of C&H and it is the assination attempt on Mr. Wells that made MacNaughton so vehemently opposed to the Union in 1913. Being a friend of Bulkelly does not reflect well on MacNaughton, Wells got into many unsavory situations, dumped Livermore's daughter, and finally did himself in before justice caught up with him. So went some of the "behind the scenes" action among the Copper Country "elite".

By World-Yooper on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 07:54 pm:

Just some info for people asking about the cabins...hope you find it useful.

How would you like to travel back 100 years to a mining boom town in the rugged hills of Ontonagon County? No time machine is required for this journey... just the family car and an active imagination. From the village of Rockland, the Victoria Dam road winds five miles through some beautiful rolling woodland to Old Victoria and a window into the past.

In 1846 the Forrest Mining Company began exploring the basalt trap along a ridge just up from the Ontonagon River. This was near the site where the famous Ontonagon copper boulder was located. Thick veins of native copper were found in and around prehistoric diggings of aboriginal origin. Soon the canvas tents of the exploratory crews were replaced by snug hand hewn log cabins. By 1859, the town site of Victoria consisted of 10 cabins in two neat rows. A saw mill was operating just up the hill from the mine shafts. With the onset of the Civil War, the small community continued to expand as demand for copper grew.
Miners were needed to supply the boom copper market. The mining companies sent representatives to Europe as well as the ports of entry for immigrants to the United States to recruit workers for the northern Michigan copper range. These miners and their families traveled north on paid vouchers from the mine company officials. This debt plus the supplies they would draw from the company store would be worked off in the stopes and drifts hundreds of feet underground. By 1900 the population had grown to over 2,000. The influx of single men to work the mines caused a housing shortage. Families were situated on the ground floor of these two story houses with up to a dozen men sleeping upstairs in two shifts. The women of the household cleaned and prepared meals for the entire group. One assumes there was some form of compensation for the extra work of feeding and cleaning up after a houseful of men who worked long shifts underground.

Through the early years of this century improvements to the village and the neighboring mines kept up with each other. The most interesting of the technological developments was the Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressor. Designed by C. H. Taylor of Montreal, Canada, this amazing system had no moving parts and was one of only four ever constructed. It was basically a thirty foot high chamber drilled out of solid rock under the Ontonagon River. Water from the river filled the chamber compressing air vented from above ground. A venturi effect pressurized this air to 117 P.S.I which was adequate to drive the rock drills, pumps, stamp mill, and even a small locomotive used to move ore. The Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressor was non-polluting, extremely low maintenance, and 82% efficient!

Today, the Society for the Restoration of Old Victoria has made this fascinating mine town come to life. Restoration of these original buildings has taken a great effort by local people and has been almost entirely funded by private subscription. The cabins are furnished with period antiques and personal memorabilia of the people who once lived here. Guides take you through the village explaining the technology and lifestyle of the hardy people who mined copper over a century ago.

Old Victoria is open daily through the summer and admission is free.

By Sue, Illinois by birth, yooper by choice on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 09:59 pm:

And if your on your way to Victoria, (this is a unpaid plug), stop in Rockland at the local, (I think there is only one) bar. They have excellent food, and I know later in the day or evenings they have a killer pizza. If I remember right there jumbo pizza is 36" x 36" or bigger. And you load the toppings on yourself.
So yeah the trip up is worth it. Oh, and you will pass the guys house who sells U.P. honey on the roadside. Only in Michigan!

By DB_TC Area grad. on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 01:30 pm:

Osceola is NOT a township of Calumet. Osceola IS a township in it's own right. Osceola location is next to Calumet. Osceola location is in Osceola Township. The reason kids from Osceola location go to school in Calumet instead of DollarBay (Osceola Township Schools) is that they were annexed to Calumet many many years ago because of transportation costs.
By the way kudo's to Robert Barrette for offering to eliminate his own position to save teachers positions and keep the school operating. Now thats what I call a dedicated educator. The Story made front page of the Dubuque IA, Telegraph Herald.

By Bee, Sarasota, FL on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 10:19 pm:

Bee- Sarasota, FL Visited Victoria for their FANTASTIC FAIR about 8 or 9 years ago...It was wonderful. Very busy, lots of crafts and venders, quite a crowd and wonderful goodies...especially the cinnamon buns. Just told my hubby we must visit it again, this August ... quite a treat. Check with any of the Chamber of Commerce people...Houghton/ Hancock or Calumet for excat dates. AND ENJOY

By Catherine--Holland, MI on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 11:05 pm:

The bar is "Henry's Never Inn." Henry worked too much, so his wife opened the place.

By EM,MI on Sunday, March 2, 2003 - 08:34 am:

Henry's also had a great fish fry on Friday night.

By some one michigan on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 03:27 pm:

i live right in front of the cemetery

By Kathy Jackman, MN north of Duluth on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - 10:50 am:

My mother was one lady who fought to have us attend school in Calumet as opposed to Dollar Bay. My brother had to go to Dollar Bay and we lived in Tamarack Location. I went to the elementary school next to Calumet High, then got bounced to Osceola school until my Mom really put up a fight for us kids. I do not know who else was involved but it obviously worked as we got to attend the schools we should have all along. I believe that was in or around 1962. We only lived a few miles from Calumet Ave. and to have to get on the bus and ride the backroads early in the morning to go to school for a much later time was unbearable. We had to be crammed into one room with 3 classes and it was back to the old days in Centennial Heights school, three classes to a room. When I left CH, we got our first ink pen, and I was in 3rd grade then, when I got to Lincoln, we were using inkpens and when I got to Osceola, it was back to the sloppy nibs and inkwells. (My sister had long blonde hair and she used to flick her pig tails back and the boy behind her would dip them in the inkwells. (Mom cut her hair, and Dad was not happy.) Mrs. Allaria was my teacher and I can still remember listening to the radio when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the union when I was going to Centennial school. I also remember memorizing rote Hiawatha, the beginning. Thank goodness it was not the whole verse!!! In any event, Osceola has or had trees back where the school was, we planted them when we were kids! Dennis Anderson, Stanley Pelto, Shirley Anderson, those were some of the students I recall, and Judy Johnson and Linda Pietala, Sandy Raisanen and many others. I also found out recently through doing genealogy that my 3 times great grandparents, Edward and Betsy Jackman, who were pioneers of the early mining days coming from Devon, England, lived in Osceola at one time. I wonder where?? Kathy Jackman-Hiltunen

By Sharon Jackman, Millington, MI. on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 - 01:02 pm:

to:Kathy Jackman-Hiltunen
I have been a daily visitor to pasty.com for quite sometime now, and really enjoy the pictures, and local history... I was born in Laurium, but was raised in lower MI. If your parent's names were Jackie and Evelyn, we are 2nd cousins... This is the first time I have a seen a name of someone who may be related to me. I am the youngest, (like using youngest, even though going on age 61) daughter of Elsworth Jackman, who was a brother to your grandfather and my Uncle John... Would really like to hear from you... Sharon Jackman (Calcaterra)

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