Sep 14-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: September: Sep 14-03
Albion Location Trestle    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by R.C. Wetton

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 09:59 am:

On it's way to Mohawk from Calumet...

Can you imagine the infrastructure investment of the trolley system back at the beginning of the 20th century? I wonder just how much per ride the actual cost was during the life of the system. When they built it, they probably thought it would last forever. Wonder how many things we are building today which will someday go the way of the trolley?

Happy Grandparent's Day !

By Jeff Hammond on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 10:22 am:

The interesting thing is how many cities are
going back and installing light rail (trolley)
systems today. It's as if history is repeating itself. For those of us below the bridge in the Detrotit area there are a great series of books about the trolley systems in eastern Michigan. They are titled "When Eastern Michigan Rode The Rails" I believe that there are four volumes in the set.
For those industrial archaeologists there are places in downtown Detroit where you can still find the rails in the street.

By Richard, Indiana-but-soon-heading-home to the UP, eh. on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 10:53 am:

If I recall correctly, there were two types of electric trolly's in Detroit--don't know what this has to do with the beautiful UP, but...--the first type was as shown in the shoebox photo that rode the rails, another was attached to a power grid by a swivelling device and rode on regular tires. It could move freely about the street while attached to the electric supply.

By Jim Copper Country on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 01:52 pm:

What goes around....comes around! Yes, streetcars are making a comeback in some of the country's urban areas; the more trendy name is "light rail"...apparently urban planners and politicians consider "streetcar" too archaic a term. For what it's worth, even Detroit has considered putting streetcars back on Woodward and Gratiot (the last two DSR carlines, abandoned in 1956).....but after twenty years of studies and delays, it just isn't happening.

The Houghton County Traction Co operated from 1900 to 1932, with lines from East Houghton to
Calumet/Laurium, and connecting lines to Wolverine,Mohawk, and Lake Linden. The main carbarn was in Hancock, a smaller carbarn in Laurium, and the power plant down on Portage Lake in west Hancock (carbarn and power plant bldg in Hancock are still existant). The line had several big trestles, as the steam railroads had influenced the Michigan legislature to not allow interurbans to cross regular railroads at grade.
Many car riders, in reminscing, would always mention the rather abrupt swooping up and down as the streetcar clattered over these trestles.
Electric Park could also be mentioned...but that's a whole 'nother story; maybe somebody can post a pix of this sooner or later.

Detroit's TROLLEY BUSES were also briefly referred to in a recent posting.....Detroit had electric trolley buses on Plymouth Road in the 1930s, and on Grand River and the Crosstown line
thru the 1950s and into the early 1960s. At their zenith, trolley buses ran in more than 50 US cities....including Flint; Chicago and Milwaukee had large tb systems and even Duluth had a couple of tb, only five US cities still have 'em

By Not one yet, CA on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 02:19 pm:


Grandparent's Day was last Sunday, Sept. 7, but your sentiment is wonderful!

By former Yooper on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 02:32 pm:

Here are two old postcards from the Electric Park

By WHT - NJ on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 03:43 pm:

My aunts and uncles told me about riding the
trolley to Electric Park. I always wondered
what it looked like. Thanks for the Postcards.

By Marvin, Bumbletown on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 04:38 pm:

There is still a part of the street car tracks behind Bumbletown Hill that you can get use. It is really a great place to take in part of the old Copper Country and enjoy the woods. We used it this summer on our berry picking trips. There were lots of berris this summmer. We made lots of jam to enjoy on our homemade bread this winter. We moved back home in May of this year. Kathleen and I have enjoy one of the best summers of our life

By Mary Lou on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 04:56 pm:

Hi Marvin..It is good to know that you and your bride, Kathleen, are happy in your new life "back home" on Bumbletown Hill. I guess you are not missing Florida......hope you both have a good winter on the hill......nice story.

By Ms. Katie, Ill. on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 05:09 pm:

I remember my mother talking about taking the streetcar to out of town basketball games in the 20's from Lake Linden H.S. Growing up myself in Milwaukee we traveled some times by trolley, which had a "pole" from the roof that ran the trolley electrically. It sparked and flashed when the connecton crossed another line. We also took a street car to the Braves' baseball games in the early 50's. When the streetcar reached the end of the line, the cable-driver walked the lenght of the car flipping the seat backs to face the other direction.. He carried the "gear" thing from one end to the other and then plugged it into what was the back, now the front of the car. (For what it's worth)

By Paul in Illinois on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 05:21 pm:

Not sure about your definition of "behind Bumbletown Hill". The streetcar roadbed is fairly close to M-26/US-41. The roadbed that is near the base of Bumbletown Hill and circles around it is the old Allouez Mining Co. railroad that ran from the conglomerate mine at the base of the hill to the mill at Hills Creek. This ran a awhile and was abandoned. Part of it was reused by the Mineral Range to haul rock from the Wolverine Mine to the mill at Hills Creek, once the Wolverine proved to be a good mine, a mill was built at Gay and the line to Hills Creek was abandoned for the last time. It does make a nice hiking trail.

By D.BELO-LAKE LINDEN on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 06:31 pm:


By Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 06:35 pm:

Thanks, Not one yet, you were correct about the date. I looked to other sources and found in 1978 Jimmy Carter proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day, which was Sep. 7 this year.

The incorrect source of my comments above was our very own 2003 Pasty Cam Calendar! We'll have to double check all of our holidays in the 2004 Calendar, which should go to press by the end of this month. In the meantime, if anybody wants a real collector's item (with the wrong date for Grandparents Day) we still have a few 2003 Pasty Cam Calendars left for only $5 (shipping included), just email Debbie, our new pasty hostess, on the toll-free line M-F 9-5 (1-877-PASTY-11)

By Kevin Musser on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 10:29 pm:

You can read more about the history of the Houghton Country Traction Company at

By ed/mi on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 11:33 pm:

Keweenaw Central Railroad also had a amusement park at CRESTVIEW.

By Mr Bill PA on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 12:29 am:

If I remember right there is an old trolley (or the skeleton of) in the woods between Florida and Traprock.

By Bill P, Ca. on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 12:35 am:

As a young child I always anticipated the streetcar ride over the tressel at Albion when we made the round trip from Ahmeek to Calumet. We used it mostly in the winter whem most of the automobiles were "put up on blocks" for the winter. The mining companies were reported to oppose the building of the streetcar lines because it would make it easier for employees to quit their jobs and go with another company. That was one reason why the railroads opposed the grade crossings --- didn't want to offend their biggest customers. Later, around 1930, the tressels were torn down and grade crossings established. The high school students from Keweenaw rode the street cars to school every day so they experienced that thrill of climbing into the sky twice a day. I can't imagine the government allowing that to happen today.

By John F. Campbell on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 10:25 am:

One of the folks on a related discussion group
recommended this thread
regarding the HCTC... And I've been
appreciating the recollections & related info
shared here... The beginning image "Albion
Trestle" reminds me very much of the Trolley
Trestle which had to be relocated from the
Quincy Mine #8 Shaft-rockhouse site...
Crossing the Franklin Junction Branch Line of
the Mineral Range RR...

I've Linked to another image of the HCTC
showing Trolley Car #22 coming thru a
rock-cut... The destination board being
displayed shows "Calumet"... Does anyone
know the location of this rock-cut and if the
"cut" is still there ?? ... Thanks...

For some reason doesn't accept a
URL from my web site... Anyone interested in
this view can contact me via Email...

By Steve FItzgerald on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 10:06 am:

Readers might be interested to know the old power plant is Hancock now houses Lake Superior Fisheries.

By Liz Idaho on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 - 10:20 am:

My Gram caught to Trolley to Riply to teach school. She lived in Tamarack (Calumet). Before Aunt Isabel died, she and her friend would wheel themselves outside to wait for the Trolley. That is what they told the caregivers in Hubbel.

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