Dec 12-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: December: Dec 12-03
Bustling City Center    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Donn de Yampert

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 09:49 am:

Looks like Donn de Yampert, over in our Guest Gallery, has been busy snapping photos for us all to enjoy. This is a neat shot with the old Daily Mining Gazette building in Houghton. You don't see advertising art painted on buildings around as much as you used to. I remember as a kid going on trips and looking for those signs painted on the sides of barns along the way. They always helped you to find one of those hard colors to spot when playing travel games. That was before the dawn of TV/VCR/DVD's in the vehicle!

This is a good time to remind all the Copper Country folks and visitors, to drive a bit more carefully with the snow falling again, especially on those hills around town!

By Debbie - U.P. on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 09:54 am:

I guess someone woke up Heikki Lunta. Painesdale received 23 inches of snow from this system and still coming down. If the sun would come out, it would be a Currier & Ives moment. Wonder if Donn wants to come and take some winter pics?

By wright mattingly KY. on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 10:00 am:

Hey Mary Drew, Have you ever seen the signs on barns that says SEE ROCK CITY. They were all over KY. Tenn.and other States in the south.

By Bob Brown, Alabama on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 10:03 am:

What a great picture. I covered the local junior hockey games at Dee Stadium for the Gazette about 50 years ago. They were played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I would write the stories on lined paper and after the games (2) would take them to the very top floor where the linotype machines were being used to make up the morning paper. Can remember the noise and smell to this day..Thanks for the memory.

By Peter,Dearborn,MIch on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 10:22 am:

Heikki Lunta must be working over time to
catch up on the snow supply- we had our first
real dusting of snow this morning down state
Detroit area. They say we are behind by a few
Detroit Free Press ran a article this morning
about the pickel barrel in the UP. the city is
trying to raise money to save it.

By D., MI on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 10:26 am:

Many a tasty meals and brews I might add have been served up in the building on the right of the photo. The Library is one of Houghton's finest establishments in my opinion.

By Jim, Lower Mi. on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:04 am:

How do I send you a picture from down state? Just down the road from me is a new barn with a painted ad on the side. Thank You

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:08 am:

Three posts up above, Peter, Dearborn, Mich, mentions the Pickle Barrel House in the U.P. It's in Grand Marais. This photo is in Pat and Glenda Keiran's gallery, along with a shot telling a bit of the history on the house....check it out!

Pickle Barrel House

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:15 am:

Jim, Lower MI,
You can send the picture to

By Stefani, IL on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:27 am:

I am so homesick right now it hurts. My heart is in the U.P. and the rest of me longs to be there.

By Debbie - U.P. on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:30 am:

I just checked out the story of the pickle barrel house, very cool. I will send my contribution to save this unique piece of history as soon as I get home. I hate to see unique pieces of history thrown by the wayside. They are part of how we became the people we are.

By rick, WI on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:06 pm:

Actually in the olden days the Library WAS a great place in Houghton...but now it's just another Yuppie paradise with yet another microbrewery.....

It was it's UNIQUE quality that MADE it so great...hadn't been there since 1992, and was SHOCKED by the change when visiting last year...I guess you CAN'T go home again, to paraphrase....

Fortunately there is enough of the Copper Country left to explore for those of us who remember the way it was! AND the people are STILL the friendliest in the world!

By Deb, Hudsonville, MI on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:18 pm:

Ah, snow, the great equalizer.... In my neighborhood it is now impossible to tell the meticulously manicured lawns from my own less-pampered version of a Yooper yard. : ) Thank you Heikki Lunta!

By John / New Hampshire on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:36 pm:

I agree with Rick, WI about the Library. It was a very unique establishment and home to the Frisbee Hall of Fame. Guess the fire a few years back ended all of that. Tonight I'll hoist a cold one to the memory of the "old" Library and its proprietor, Jon Davis.

By Ginny Jacka Durst on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:42 pm:

Bob Brown, where are you located in Alabama?

By Jack, CA on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:53 pm:

I'll bet dozens of old Daily Mining Gazette paperboys visit
this site and have great stories. In '56 I had a route from
Franklin to 7th St. in Houghton. Lots of good exercise and
nice people. Could get mighty rough in a snowstorm.

By Save the Picklebarrel on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 01:13 pm:

For more Information and where to send donation click below.

By Jim Copper Country on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 01:30 pm:

re signs on buildings and mention of old barns...
the old MAIL POUCH barn ads were quite common in many rural parts of the country at one time; likewise, I wonder how many remember the tall barn silos painted like New Era potato chip cans?
Unfortunately, I don't recall seeing either example of these roadside masterpieces here in the Copper Country...maybe someone can correct me on this....

By Bob Brown, Alabama on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 01:57 pm:

Is the big milk Bottle that was Asselin Dairy offices still near Iron Mountain. I think maybe it was in Kingsford or Norway...

By Big John/traversbay on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 01:57 pm:

I ate at the Library earlier this week and thought the food was great and had a fantastic server by the name of Jenna.

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 02:09 pm:

Does anybody remember running from Dee stadium to the Library between periods of the Tech hockey game for 20 cent draft beer. What do they charge now?

By Dave, Towson, MD on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 02:40 pm:

Does anyone remember the Burma Shave signs along the highways in the 50's & 60's? I remember them from our many trips to the UP as a small boy from A2. I wish they would return and put them on the interstate highways. That would make long trips less boring.

By wayne,Grand Haven on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 02:51 pm:

Dave, Towson, MD, there is a book available, I ordered one through barns & noble, it called "The Verse By The Side of The Road", it has the history of the Burma Shave signs and all, 600+ verses. Its a neat little book.

By Tim , Barstow, Ca on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 02:53 pm:

I used to wait for the press to run so I could deliver my papers. The mailmen would stay indoors but the Gazette was always delivered. Mrs. Clarks cookies on Dodge St. and Mrs. Fingers hot chocolate kept my toes and fingers from freezing in the cold north wind. I also delivered the Downtown route from Isle Royal to Bridge St. All the stairs to the apts. above the downtown businesses. The best was going upstairs of the Ambassador and smelling the great food.

By ed on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 03:01 pm:

By dick, fl on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 03:23 pm:

Here in Florida the state has put up their own version of those signs along the Florida Turnpike. They are ads for "Sun Pass" which is their automated toll payment system. The only trouble with the signs is that the wording is too long and the signs are too close together. One almost gets in an accident trying to read them. :-(

By Helen, MI on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 03:53 pm:

"Donn" I just love your back side shot of the Mining Gazette. The setting is just a beautiful time of the day! I want to wish you and your family Happy Holidays!!

By Michael, Wausau, WI on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 04:35 pm:

I agree about the Library. While I was happy to see it rebuilt, it was disheartening to see it made into a blatant money-maker. I loved that place, and I used to play jazz there in the couple years before it burned down with Mike Irish and others. Those were some good times.

By Fran Carne, New Smyrna Beach FL on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 05:53 pm:

There is a KING MIDAS FLOWER sign on US 41 going toward Quincy from Hancock. I saw it last summer while we were visiting. It's on the right side of the road painted on a garage!

Editor's note: King Midas Flour sign

By Mary Lou on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 07:56 pm:

Bob Brown, Alabama.....I, too, worked for the Mining Gazette in 1953 right out of High School...enjoyed it!!......enjoyed Gulf Shores for the winter a couple years back..lots of Michigan folks there for the winter.

By Ned, Kingsford. on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 08:28 pm:

The old Asselin Dairy milk bottle building was torn down several years ago, alas. It ws located in Norway.

By Downstate Dave on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 09:21 pm:

Re: The Library -- Hey guys, don't knock the "new" Library. Someone had the guts (and money) to rebuild a burned out building and take a chance with one of the riskiest types of business there is, namely a restaurant. I will agree though that it doesn't have the character of the old place. That was always one of my stopping places when I "came north". The atmosphere and the friendly proprieter, Jon Davis.
Used to talk to him at the Library and then one time I ran in to him at a restaurant convention in Detroit! Looked up and there he was. We talked about that chance meeting several times and what a small world it really is sometimes.

By dmahoney, lower MI on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 09:41 pm:

Great picture! Boy, this one makes me homesick in an awful way. You can almost see my old apartment at the top of the hill - my window would be behind the church steeple at the top of Isle Royale. I miss it!! Great view of the Ripley ski hill across the canal.

Too bad I moved down to the L.P. to take a job... I miss the snow! We haven't got any here in SE Mich!

By Ellie on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 10:05 pm:

I dated a guy in the 60's who worked at the Library. What awesome pizza they had then. REAL
cheeze. Not low fat-part skim that you get now.
Gimmie real pizza anyday.I miss the OLD Library.
Life goes on.

By Steve the flying troll on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 11:59 pm:

The original Library was purchased by Jon in 1967 as Christy's Board and Trade. I, along with lots of other Toots, worked there sporadically for a couple of bucks an hour. The first library had almost 300 mugs on hooks on the ceiling with the partrons "street name" and a number. You got a dime off or something. My mug was #9 and my name was "Skyflake" (skydiver) Even in the few years we were there, the Library grew and changed weekly. There was once dancing upstairs. Awsome place and I ate there over the 4th of July, but things change, like people. Enjoy

By Sam, Used to in Alabama, Now in the U.P. on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 12:49 am:

Good reading tonight, Lot's of Good post that I remember and relate too !

By ShawnR, GR MI on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 08:30 pm:

I agree with the others on the Library - it used to be such a neat place. Lots of character and reasonably-priced good food. Remember the spiral stairs? Remember the shag carpeting on the walls upstairs? The cool menu's? My husband and I, when we were dating, would get a couple of drinks and a basket of cheese and crackers ($1.50 for cheese and crackers in 1981) and sit for hours talking upstairs. Ahhh - the good old days!
I have no complaints about the food or service now - its top-notch. Its just that it used to be a great place for students to hang out. Now it is a nice, proper place - clean and polished and upscale.

By Alan, Missouri on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 09:17 am:

I used to live above the LakeView lounge, on the North side of Sheldon Ave. Walked past the Gazette building, the Library, Central Foods, Suomi Bakery, etc. Liked the pizza at the Library. Didn't know it burned down. Is Central Foods still on Sheldon?

By Connie - Colorado on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 04:18 pm:

I loved the Library as it was, too. As teenagers, we would go there to scope out and be scoped out by the tech students. The tech students would tell their teachers, "I don't understand my bad score on the test... I spent all last night at the library!". Jon Davis was a great owner, he also ran the Consumer's Advocate, where a kid could get a good ice cream cone for a reasonable price and a short walk! Those were the days when downtown Houghton was somewhere to me. You could smell the sweetness of the Crown/Parkside bakery walking in this area! Plus, they had open skating at the DEE!

By Dave K, Wi. on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 08:38 pm:

Helping Jon open the original Library Bar was one of my greatest life memories. Winter of 1967/68 as I remember. Never was anyone as well suited for such a profession as was Jon Davis. I bartended during many hockey games at the Dee and remember the period break "herds" well. Jon was a great person to work for, and told me several times that the greatest asset he had was the quality of the student help. Later he developed the Library into the area's most distinctively different restaurant, experimenting endlessly with both food entrees and decor. Jon and Marsha were great employers, entertaining the student employees with Christmas parties at their home, and were always ready to help out anyone during a "crisis".

Definitely one of my life's highlights.

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