Dec 21-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: December: Dec 21-03
Gately Furniture    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Julie (Stevens) Beck

Toivo from Toivola on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 09:31 am:

Talk about perfect timing -- thanks goes to Julie (Stevens) Beck from Chassell and her grandmother, Florence Stevens for the information about this photo. She says it was taken near the Veteran's Park in Houghton. Look closely, can you read the ad on the side of the building? It says Gately Furniture. If I'm not mistaken, I'd say that's the old Kirkish Furniture building, now the Back Room Bookstore. I think the same sign is still on the side of the building, only with Kirkish in place of Gately. Any ideas as to when the Gately store in Houghton closed?

By RCW on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 09:46 am:

Boy, it was always Kirkish Furniture as long as I can remmber Toivo !! There was a Gatelys in Calumet for years however.

By Peg in Green Bay, WI on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 09:53 am:

Love the photos of H/H! We had friends over last night whose uncle was connected to the mines in the U.P. He wasn't Finnish but the men who worked for him called him "Toivo". His name was Mike and we were wondering what this nickname means.

By Troll in morel country on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 10:04 am:

... amazing... if you look closely you can see a giant morel mushroom there in front of the tree!!! I didn't know they grew when it was so cold!

By R. J. St Paul on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 10:10 am:

I believe that if you go back in time Gatelys in Calumet was Gately Wiggins Store at least thats what the older residents still called it at the time. Does anyone remember the clerk or bookkeeper at Gatelys who still drove the model T to work in the late 40s I dont recall her name but remember seeing the car parked by the store at timers.

By Paul in Illinois on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 10:44 am:

Bessie Phillips of Eagle River drove a Model A throughout the '50's and maybe into the early '60's? I don't recall the date of her passing. Keeping cars forever was a relatively common trait in the Copper Country , function was more important than image.

By Patricia, MI on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 11:32 am:

I have a plate with the 1961 calendar on it, and on the back it says "Merry Christmas from Gatelys", but I don't think it was around too much later than that.

By Trish, WA the Evergreen State on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 11:55 am:

Paul, you're right... keeping cars forever in the Copper
Country... my paternal grandpa kept a vintage early
50s' black Mercury in his one-stall garage on College
Ave, long after he stopped driving.It was a real beauty.
One of my maternal uncles kept some old Fords in his
horse barn down in Skanee. As kids, we used to sneak
in there and poke through them. They were Model A's, I
believe... his brother, another uncle, restored a few,
including a baggage 'hack' and now a few of his
collection are in the Ford Museum.

By Dave of Mohawk, MI on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 12:03 pm:

I remember Gately furniture in Calumet, it burned down about 1970 or '71 along with an apartment building and Pete's Taxi garage. I don't know if there was a Gately's in Houghton or not? Later Pat's IGA was built on the site before moving to it's current location.

Editor's note: Archive photo of the Gately furniture fire in Calumet

By Clara, TX on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 01:42 pm:

It seems to me I remember a Gately's in Hancock.

By yooper, MI on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 02:32 pm:

Peg, "Toivo" is the Finnish word for "hope". It was a very common man's name at one time.

By Dennis, Hawaii on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 02:44 pm:

Former residents visiting me lived in Calumet, they remember a lady named Blanche Cook, she worked at Gately's as the bookkeeper for many, many years. Also they do not remember a Gately's in Houghton.

By J, chassell on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 05:49 pm:

I also have a Gately's plate with the year of my birth on it, 1958. The store was in Calumet and it was kind of a classy place, not a "dimestore". The plates must have been some type of promotional deal, given maybe at Christmastime. I also remember when the store burnt, a sad day.

By old Mohawk guy on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 06:08 pm:

I don't remember a Gatelys in Houghton, but I do remember "Bud's Beer Store" at the upper end of Mohawk,on the left side of US 41 going north about three blocks before the end of town.
He was just a little guy with a big heart and had the best beer and wine prices in the area.
Many times I went in to purchase and found him taking a snooze on the cases of beer.

By Helen from St. Johns on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 06:45 pm:

I have quite a few of the Gately's Plates. I suppose they could be a collectors item if anyone is interested. Mine date from 1958 to 1961 I believe.

By Curious on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 10:11 pm:

If Toivo means hope what does Toivola translate to?

By JAD, Oscar on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 11:17 pm:

Toivola=place of hope with Misery Bay at the end of the road.

By Marlin Wenberg, Dollar Bay on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 11:49 pm:

I found this Gately-Wiggins ad in a 1914 Kew.Co. Fair Premium booklet I am fortunate enough to have in my posession. I found the fair booklet in an old trunk in the upstairs of our former cottage in Eagle Harbor. The Houghton address is in the bottom of the ad. (159 Sheldon Street)


Bill P, Ca. on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 02:58 am:

Bessie Phillips was a reporter for the Daily Mining Gazette ; she lived in the last house nearest the lake on the main street of Eagle River.

Bessie drove a Model T coupe at least into the 6o's. She had to have the bands replaced periodically and Murph's Ford Dealership was having lots of difficulty obtaining these bands. Finally Gervous (sp) Murphy, the owner, told her that he would not replace them again. She promptly wrote to the Ford Motor Company and reminded them that they advertised that they service what they sell. In a short time she received a letter from Henry Ford, a grandson of the founder, who was then the company president assuring her that Murphy's Dealership would change those bands as long as the car existed. She was so very happy.

Then Bessie found a Model A that she bought. She had a name for the Model T and I can't remember it. The next day she drove the Model A to work and now she had to learn to shift the gears--- well, on the way home she partially lost control of the car and hit the side of the Eagle River Bridge. After everyone helped her to get off the bridge she put the car in the garage and vowed never to drive it again. She told this story to Bud Hocking and myself and we laughted for many years because Murphy's garage had to change the bands again. She said she apologized to the Model T many times.

Bessie was also the Keweenaw County historian. She had files full of Keweenaw history. When she died someone broke into her house while the whole town was at the funeral and stole many antiques and then threw much of her historic files into the Eagle River.

By Uncle Bud/old Mohawk guy on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 07:56 am:

An old newpaper rule:
"When the legend becomes fact,print the legend"

I remember Bessy going by our house in Mohawk,
you could hear that Model T a coming up the hill,
'i think i can, i think i can, i think i can, and then as it got over the rise,
"i new i could, i new i could, i new i could".

By Betty, Sun City,AZ on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 10:59 pm:

Bill P. - have missed seeing you on here and all your great information. This is the greatest thing on the computer. Thanks Charlie for doing this. Merry CHRISTmas to all.

By Steve, Rochester, MN on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 10:26 pm:

I have some of those calender plates dating from 1953 to 1960. Like others have noted, they say "Merry Christmas from Gatelys" on the back.

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