Apr 21-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: April: Apr 21-03
Fishing the Tobacco River    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Elenore Hopf
Looking inland...    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Elenore Hopf
...and toward the Lake    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Elenore Hopf

Toivo, bedding down in Parkersburg, WV on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 05:05 am:

We have had some nice views of the Tobacco River before, just north of Gay on Lac La Belle Road. But this is the first time anybody has caught fishermen in the act. Looks like a good spot to drop a hook.

I dropped anchor in Dayton, Ohio, for a nice Easter visit with a cousin and his family. Probably should have stayed another day, but headed on east and drove half the night to the cozy hills of West Virginia. It's interesting - - wherever you go, you find people who have some connection with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - - even if the locals don't show it on the map.
Good night from WV and good morning from da U.P. trip notes wv

By Mike-Transplanted Yooper-Redford,Mi on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 06:50 am:

Been there, done that!! Lost a couple of lures in the deep, fast water under the bridge, right about where the gentleman is standing in the "under the bridge" shot. Great fishing spot.

By Jon Cadwell - in Tennessee on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 07:23 am:

Wow, what memories these pictures brought rushing back... especially the first one! My Dad loved to go fishing on the local rivers and streams, especially in the spring and early summer and one of his favorite spots was right there by the bridge on the Tobacco. It's been 6 years now since we lost him on April 16th, b ut he's really still with us, and this picture just served to reinforce that. Thank you!

By John S. - Howell, MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 07:35 am:

Great photos of the Tobacco River - one of my favorite places in the Copper Country.
Nothing like getting out onto the river in the Spring!
Kiits for the nice shots.

By Roy - TN on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 07:43 am:

Great shot. Brings back memories of one of my first fishing expeditions on the Tobacco. I caught a 5 lb rainbow under the bridge and didn't land it until I was almost in the lake. Didn't have a landing net. In those days the road ended at the river. It didn't go to Lac Lac La Belle as it does today.

By Jerry Johnson on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 08:37 am:

I fished that part of the river but never caught anything but suckers, I will be in the UP the end of may hope the fishing will be great then. Caught some nice size trout up the other end of the river.Great pictures.

By Ann, Indianapolis, IN on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 08:55 am:

Toivo, to answer your question from Indiana, on why they call it the brickyard. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally brick. One foot of the original bricks are still part of the famous oval at the start/finish line.

Current Hoosier with 100% Yooper blood

By Stosh , Warsaw, Poland on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:04 am:

That water looks wet. Is it?

By pikkuleipa on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:16 am:

Enjoy WVA, Toivonen... it's my second favorite place.

By S.C. on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:37 am:

Hey ! nice shot of the fisherman. I lived in Lake Linden for 24 years, and each and every year, I have fished them holes there for many years, and off the gay, Lake Linden road."(wildcat river)" There are some really nice holes that produce some excellent Steelies, and Rainbow trout.But if your a little more adventurous, head on out to the mouth of the Montreal River. It will cleanse the soul, well kind sorta. You will catch fish.......Wow!
Thanks, and blessings to you Charlie... ey?
S.C. In the Smokie mountains

By DAN-LL on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 12:14 pm:


By Charlie at Pasty Central on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 12:24 pm:


Thanks for the encouraging words. Credit for the pictures goes to Elenore Hopf, who has sent Pasty Cam shots our way in the past. Thanks to all who contribute to our photo inbox.

By Martha K., Pinckney, MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 01:37 pm:

Boy, you folks sure don't make it easy to pick a new wallpaper!

By Mike Beaverton MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 03:27 pm:

Does anyone know of a website for Spaulding MI, that has to do with some kind of lights around that area? It's around the Watersmeet area. I just heard about it today.

By Lyn on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 03:42 pm:

It is Paulding, Michigan and I have a link below. You can do a google search and see many sites on Paulding, Michigan. It was even on Ripleys Believe It Or Not some time ago. If you ask a local in Paulding if they believe it or not...they will say not!


By MjN03, Arizona on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 03:46 pm:

Mike in Beaverton,

It is actually called the "Paulding Light" near Watersmeet. The link below will take you to info about it. When I lived in Hancock I heard about it but was in disbelief UNTIL I went there one night at 3 am with some friends. I must admit it's a bit creepy. No matter what you do you CAN NOT get closer to it. As of now, the road that runs along to pole line seems blocked by the forest service. When we went we were able to drive down the road so we tried and tried to drive toward the light, but each time it appeared farther off in the distance. I honestly can't explain it but is definitely is something to see if ever near Watersmeet.
Do a google search on "Paulding Lights" for more reading, there are several sites out there.

By MEJ Laurium,MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 03:55 pm:

I think your talking about Paulding. I heard of the mysterious lights too, but have never been there. A lot of the young folks I hear, take a ride there in the summer evenings to check them out. There apparently are some kind of lights out there, according to witnesses.

By Mike Beaverton MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 04:51 pm:

Thanks to Lyn,mjnAZ,and MEJ in Laurium for the information on the Paulding Light. It's greatly appreciated.

By Mr. Wheatman, South end on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 04:56 pm:

Ahhh the elusive steelhead indeed. A wily creature that has earned the respect of every seasoned angler, not only for their aquatic battles but also for their pleasure to the palate when served fresh from the frying pan. Kudos on the fine shot.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 05:47 pm:

Middle Picture WOW! It's MY WOW! :)

By Elenore Hopf, MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 08:04 pm:


My husband, Marv, snapped those photos. I just sent them. Sorry, I should have added that note when I sent them. Afraid my chair would have rolled into the drink for that under the bridge photo :o)

Thanks for bringing this site into existance & for keeping it going. Just love the photos as well as all the interesting facts & history brought out in the comments.
Ellie Hopf

By LE, Montague, MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 08:08 pm:

Having spent all my summers as a kid at Big Traverse Bay, the Tobacco was always one of the spots my family and I would "go for a ride" to many times during the summer. My dad has many stores about the "Wildcat" and other spots on this river. I've dropped a line or two myself in it over the years. It's a beautiful spot and brings back fond memories. Now as an adult when I visit the "camp" at Big Traverse, it's always a place to revisit. Right JS?

By JS, Chassell, MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 08:43 pm:

I too have many fond memories of the Tobacco. I now fish there with my husband and my son also shot his first partridge in this area! My dad first fished the Wildcat as a boy along with his dad and brothers. I've heard many stories of the Wildcat so of course had to even try it myself. The Tobacco is a beautiful place. I was just there last week and the water was rushing wildly as in the pictures above. Yes, LE, these photos brought a smile to my face too. Aren't childhood memories great?

By Julie, MI on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:26 pm:

Is it true that a girl can't get pregnant when she can see the Paulding light?

By Mommy of 7 that saw the 'light' on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:35 pm:


It's not true at least for me. I have had 7 kids since I saw 'the light' many moons ago. So, what you hear is wrong. Every little town needs there tourist attraction, if you catch my drift.

By TOM michigan on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 11:46 pm:

speaking of the paulding light, go to google and ask for the gurdon light. Very interesting parable

By Maki, Korea on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 04:09 am:

Nice shot of the the river...if folks would like to see more...hers are some pics I took while on leave in the UP back in Feb/Mar...I had sent alot of the Bond falls pic's to charlie, but I think he was having a hard time getting them downloaded...click on the following site or cut and paste this web address to your browser and it should take you to my web photo album.


It also has some good pics from the Porkies ski hill and views of the "big lake"


Maki in Korea

By P.K., Nashville, TN on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 11:37 am:

My dad was from Gay. We spent quite a few Saturdays and Sunday afternoons on Tobacco River with a picnic basket. I hope to take my own pics in July and enlarge them and hang them on my walls.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 12:15 pm:

PK... Who is your dad from Gay. My dad was from Gay too!

By Paul Schuster on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 02:15 pm:

That's one of my good customers Stan F., under the bridge, at one of his secret spots. The cat's out of the bag I guess.

By Jay, Menomonee Falls, WI on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 12:14 am:

I recognized that Tiensivu name ... well, my
mom (Eleanor Besonen ... she passed away
in 1997) was from Gay also ... my sister's
family now lives in that house. Other relatives
of mine from Gay (many years ago) include
the Lantto's, Ruonavaara's and Isaacson's. I'll
be visiting my father this weekend in Calumet.
I think I also have some good "shoebox
memories" to share from the family archives
down the road a bit.

By Bonnie Hartman, FL on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 06:17 pm:

How could a girl from Gay not respond to those pictures! The mouth of the Tobacco was a favorite spot to swim. Had many a weiner roast there with hot dogs from my Aunt Elma Campeau's store. Still a favorite spot of my family when we make our annual trip North to visit my parents who still live in Gay. Bonnie Erkkila Hartman

By Nancy Erkkila Sanderson on Saturday, October 18, 2003 - 10:14 pm:

Great shots of the Tobacco. I remember going smelting there while in high school and then going to my parents and cooking smelt for the group. Remember that we froze.

By JJJ on Sunday, November 2, 2003 - 03:56 am:


THE DOG MEADOW LIGHTS off hwy 45, north of hwy 2. On hwy 45 going north
3.5 miles north of American Motel-Casino is on the right on hwy 45
5.4 miles north of hwy 2 on hwy 45
Turn left (north on compass) you will drive down a dead end road less than a half-mile
A sign about THE DOG MEADOW LIGHTS is on the left. There may be several other cars. Turn headlights off use parking lights? They might not plow the snow on the dead end road in the winter? They can get 300 inches of snow in the winter. The snow might not be melted till after the end of April? I have been there in December and could drive down the road. I do not think the snow was plowed but just packed down from all the cars that go down there to see THE DOG MEADOW LIGHTS at night.
You can walk north toward the light down a path leaving your car at the end of the dead end road. You
Can’t walk to far before you come to a small creek. It was only a foot deep in the summer. If you could find some long logs you might be able to cross it. It might be frozen in the winter. If you can get across the creek the trail starts to go up the railroad grade. (I would like to go further up the railroad grade next time I go. If I could get across the creek.) I would bring water proof boots in the summer, cross country skies, snow shoes or a snowmobile in the winter if the creek was frozen, a compass, GPS, flash light, binoculars, Waki Talkies, spotlight, maybe a road map to see if the light is coming off of hwy 45 since you see white lights and red lights, which I think, are head lights and tail lights? But here is the story that was copied out of a ghost book. They call it the THE DOG MEADOW LIGHTS from the book, which has about 15 ghost stories. Some one found the book in the library several years ago and made copies. Here is the story from the book.

Vacationers to the Eagle River area of Wisconsin find peace and relaxation in the northern playground of lakes and woods. But now they’re finding something else… mysterious lights that linger in the skies about thirty miles north of Eagle River (five miles north of Watersmeet, Michigan).
Although some local people claim to have seen the strange lights over a long period of time, the first reported sighting was in 1966. A carload of teen-agers had stopped one clear evening along a swampy area of the old Military Road called Dog Meadow. Suddenly brilliance filled the car’s interior and lit the power lines paralleling the road. The frightened young people fled to report their experience to the local Sheriff. Since that time many have witnessed the phenomenon, but none can explain it.
Local lore spins haunting legends. Some say that one night, about forty years ago, a railroad switchman, lantern in hand, was crushed to death between two cars while attempting to signal the train’s engineer. Others say that an engineer was murdered along the railroad grade where the lights appear. A third story tells of a mail carrier and his sled dogs who were mysteriously slain a hundred years ago at Dog Meadow. The lights appear near the scenes of these various alleged tragedies and are thought to be connected with them. The lights can be seen on almost every clear night in all seasons of the year.
One motorist, coming over the crest of the gravel road that runs parallel to the old abandoned track bed, faced a golden bull’s eye and thinking it to be a one-eyed car, pulled off the road to avoid a head-on collision. There was no car.
On a frigid winter evening, a group of snowmobiles came upon the light. Not knowing what to make of it and badly frightened, they tried to surround it, to no avail. It vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
On another night, a drunken fellow from Eagle River shot at the light but it disappeared first. The light is usually the size of a weather balloon, appearing on the northwest horizon and seeming to move toward the northeast.
On a hot June evening in 1977, Elmer Lenz and Harold Nowak of Wisconsin decide to check out the phenomenon. A newspaper account said that no sooner had they parked their car on the gravel road than the light appeared-a bright spotlight shinning directly at them. It moved closer, backed away, appeared at an angle from time to time. To lenz, who grew up in the shadow of a railroad yard, it looked like the headlight of a train.
Suddenly a smaller light appeared below the large light and slightly to the right. Lenz recalled that “the two, at times, seemed to move together, then apart, one or the other disappearing, then showing again.“ The movements, he reasoned, were those of a switchman would make in signaling with a lantern. Sometimes the light changed color from white to red and occasionally a dim green. Lenz judged the light to be “two or three blocks away.”
After watching for an hour, Lenz, still skeptical of any supernatural basis for the phenomenon, determined to catch the pranksters responsible. He approached, the lights seemed to disappear down over the next rise but cast a bright glow in the sky.
A half mile later, finding nothing that might explain the mystery, the pair turned around and the lights reappeared over the rise. When they reached their car, other observers said that, in the man’s absence, they’d seen a large red light above a small white one in the middle of the road a block ahead of them. These lights would have been between the men and their car.
Two hours later, the men drove ahead for some distance, parked, and shut off the headlights. The lights reappeared, the large headlight and the smaller one beneath it beaming down the middle of the road. A minute later, the headlight vanished, and the smaller light, Lenz said, “seemed to touch down and burst into three.” The outer two lights disappeared, but the third remained, about two hundred feet away. Nowak snapped on the headlights but the light in the road didn’t move. Then, several minutes later, it rose slowly to a height of four or five feet and vanished.
Of his experience, Lenz, still perplexed, said, “No teen-agers, no flashlights, no strings attached.”
Charlie Gumm disagreed. His search led him to a secluded but well-used side road leading up to a plateau. He suspected that teen-agers manipulated the lights from there. Nightly? In temperatures of
Twenty degrees below zero? At five o’clock in the morning? It seems unlikely.
Yet, if the light show is not the work of pranksters, what is it? Similar lights along railroad tracks have been observed in other parts of the country, notably at Maco Station near Wilmington, North Carolina. Could they be caused by a luminous gas of some seismologists theorize that the weight of glacial ice in the area has created conditions favorable to future earthquakes, that the earth’s crust, compressed eons ago by massive ice sheets, is now trying to expand to its original contour and, in the process, causing luminous gases to escape through faults in the crust. Although anomalous lights are frequently associated with earthquakes, their presence does not necessarily predict quakes. So far, the study of the earthquake lights raises many questions but offers few answers.
Meanwhile, curious sightseers throng the Dog Meadow area. They watch the lights. They listen to the legends. And they wonder.

By Lefty lu ,wi on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 03:04 pm:

I have seen the paulding light to it is real

By cale lyttinen, Tapiola Michigan on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 10:24 am:

how come people dont have any pictures of the paulding light. i need some pictures for a presentation. i have been searching far and wide for one picture. please send me a picture

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