Jul 22-01

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2001: July: Jul 22-01
White City, early 1900's    ...scroll down to share comments
photo by C.E. Scarlett

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 10:20 am:

Neat old shots have been arriving at Pasty Central, for our Shoebox Memories. We haven't yet settled on which day of the week, or even how often we might feature the old photos. But this one seems most appropriate today... Everyone dressed in their Sunday best... a hazy day in July 90 years ago... even the angle of the shadows match what I see out my window here on the other side of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The contributor of today's picture was simply identified as Fmichigander (former Michigander?) One of the ladies standing is Grandmother Minnie Marsy, obviously many years before Minnie became a grandmother.

White City is down by the southeastern end of the Portage, near Jacobsville. The sandstone for many Copper Country buildings came from a spot near this location. One fine example is Hancock's City Hall.

Certainly in a closet or trunk in your home there must be a shoebox full of memories, including some from the U.P. We invite you to share them here on our daily visual journal from the land of pasties.

By Clamdigger from da' Joizy Shore on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 12:12 pm:

White City had its roots in the late 1800’s. It was a well known recreational area. In 1906, improvements were made. From 1906 through 1919 this was the “Six Flags Amusement Park” of the Copper Country. In its “hay day” it had its own power house, rental cabins, a merry-go-round, a roller coaster, And a dance floor and band in the pavillion.

There were 3 steamships that provided round-trip service from Houghton and Hancock. The Plow Boy is the only ship name that comes to mind right now. The road from Lake Linden to White City was poor and rarely used by anyone when it rained.

It met its demise during the World War I years 1917-1919. The property along the Portage waterway was closed by the War Department. Food was scarce, and everyone was involved in the war effort to go to an amusement park.

By Nancy Nelson, WI on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 01:32 pm:

Not only are these pictures fascinating, but we will also learn some new things about the area we call "home". Never heard of White City--how interesting.

By DMac $Bay on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 04:41 pm:

Now, THIS is cool! Isn't there supposed to be an old fur trader/Indian trail near by, and an old Indian burial ground in the White City vicinity?

By Carole, Sterling Hts. on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 06:12 pm:

John Dee occasionally mentions White City in his journal. Will try to go over there when up in the fall.

By Alan Lehtola, High Springs, Fl on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 12:16 am:

Just had to stop and send a note to thank whoever sent the picture. I remember going to Jacobsville (as a small kid on the mid 50's) on warm Summer Sundays to visit Jack and Minnie Marsy. It was just a short walk down the mowed path to the Thompsons who owned the Mom and Pop store/Post Office. As I recall, Mom and Dad said that we were were related to Jack and Minnie and to the Thompsons. Mom was a Niemela and has kin buried in the Jacobsville cemetary. My younger brother and came up the the UP last October,for the first time in 14 years for me, but didn't get the chance to go to Jacobsville. The mere mention of a long forgotton but familiar name brought back memories of mowed paths through wild flower fields and walks to friends homes. Thanks again, for the picture and and thanks Pasty Cam, for the chance for those of us who were born in the CC but no longer live there, to remember....
Three questions, who sent the picture, are you and how are you related to Jack and Minnie?

By Adam Chaput on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 01:16 am:

Wow, Minnie Marsy is my grandfather's (Fred Marsy) mother. I think this is the first picture I have seen of my great grandmother.

By Barb, White City, MI on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 08:07 am:

Back in the early 1950s, my husband was stationed
at the Coast Guard station at Jacobsville (Lower
Entry Light Station). He always remembered the
friendliness of the people in that community, and
we ended up buying a cottage in 1984, and retired
to it in 1991. We now live in White City. It's a
fabulous place to live...not only beautiful, but
peaceful and friendly. Check out where we live


By Phil Lehtola, Kirtland, OH on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 10:15 am:

Had to add my 2 cents worth to my brother Alan's comments.

I also remember many trips to Jacobsvill to visit Fred and Minnie Marsy and to Jean Tomlinson (her son Bruce was born the same year as me).

My mother, Norma (Niemela) Lehtola told me that her father, August Niemela, owned and operated for some time an ice cream parlor in White City. I possess one the the child's chairs from that shop. The chair is made from (what else?) copper tubing with a wicker seat.

According to my genealogy records, the husband of Minnie Marsy was John (Fred) Sanfred Marsy. He was a nephew to Anna Liisa (Elizabeth) Marsy, who was my mother's maternal grandmother (Her married name was Anna Liisa Peterson). I am therefore distantly related to Adam Chaput, who posted an earlier comment.

I would be delighted to share genealogical information with anyone who is interested, especially if you could contribute to my growing
knowledge base. Buy the way, my Granddaughter, Anna Liisa Cordova, is named after my great-mother, Anna Liisa Peterson.

By Florida on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 12:09 pm:

I love this new feature. What a wonderful way to learn about the Copper Country.
I recently spent a week there for the first time in many, many years. It included the reunion dinner of my high school class and Fourth of July in Lake Linden. I had a great time. Everything has changed, of course, but at the same time nothing has changed. I think all kids should have the opportunity to spend the fourth in a small town which really celebrates it.

By Anita Marsy, Michigan on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 04:50 pm:

John and Minnie Marsy were my grandparents and they were the parents of Frederick (lives in Hancock, MI), Jerry (deceased),Jack (deceased), Jim (lives in Duluth, MN), Alice Betty Abramson (lives in Lake Linden, MI) and Art (deceased). FMichigander is my brother Fred Marsy who lives in Germany. Adam Chaput is my son! I also have fond memories of Jacobsville and spent many summers there with my grandmother. The above picture came from her sister Lois Silvola (deceased). My father informed me that the closest roofed in structure on the right is the Merry Go Round and further in the background at the end of the road is the Dance Pavillion. I was amazed the first time I saw this picture because I had heard all about the Dance Pavillion and Merry Go Round from my grandmother (she worked at the Dance Pavillion)so to actually see a picture of it was great.

By Clamdigger from da' Joizy shore on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 08:42 pm:

To Barb of White City

My uncle, Gus Thorrington, was in charge of the CG Station on the Portage Lake Canal in the late forties - early fifties. Does your husband know him? I also recall that there used to be a tavern between the station and Rte 203 (also long gone) where the "recuits" would wile away their free hours.

By Don Nelson on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 05:02 pm:

To Clamdigger from da' Joizy shore

I arrived at Station Portage in 1952 as an
engineman. Gus was Group Commander and John Mixon
was the Station Chief. I had known both prior, as
my home town is Marquette. Gus and John were from
Grand Marais, MI. Both were great individuals,
besides excellent leaders. Gus and I had to beach
the station 38-foot picket boat in the spring of
1953 during a strange incident. It was either
that or it would sink, as the pump failed. The
tavern by the station was Uno's Bar. We didn't
have to go too far for a cool one. That station
is now closed and replaced by a state-of-the-art
station at Dollar Bay near the Bridge. I recall
Gus retired to Manitowoc, Wisc. and passed away
some years ago. He transferred me to the Lower
Entry Light Station which was great duty for
almost 3 years. He used to come down there deer
hunting with us. Neat guy and a good Coastie.

By Kiera Davids, Ann Arbor, Mich on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 09:10 pm:

Very cool. I had no idea that there was ever an amusement park in White City. Minnie Marsy is my great grandmother and Adam Chaput, who posted an earlier comment, is my cousin. Adam, I think this is also the first picture I've seen of her. Thanks Uncle Freddie for seding it in :)

By Alan L. High Springs Fl. on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 10:42 pm:

To Don Nelson
Back in the 60's when I was a teen in Hancock, I was a member of Sea Scouts Ship #240. The boat that we used for our weekly cruises/meetings was an old boat that was donated for our use. She was named the S.E.S.Yentic(Sea Explorer Ship) How or why she was named that, I have no clue. I was told that she was a 38' picket boat and was built in 1942 to patrol the Great Lakes against enemy sub actvity. She still had the mount on her wheel house roof for a machine gun which was her only defense. Just behind the wheel house was a small well where her big battery was. Just aft of that, was the engine room which took up most of her 38 feet. She was powered by a Grey Marine 671 diesel engine. We had her up to "battle speed" once on the Portage and had to shut her down because of the wake she kicked up. Go through the aft door of the engine room, you came to the twin bunk aft cabin that had a small sink and water storage tank. Through the aft cabin door and your were on the back well that was an open seating area. It was also were the fuel tanks were. She was a great boat for a bunch of kids who knew little about boats and wanted to learn. Does the Yentic sound like your boat in your earlier post? As I remember, our Adult leader was a Coast Guard Yeoman stationed in Hancock at the navel reserve close to were the Ramada is now. Do you, or anyone know what ever happened to her?
Thanks for any input.

By CHRIS HOLMAN KRAMER,MI on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 - 04:43 pm:


By Nancy Nelson, WI on Sunday, July 29, 2001 - 09:24 pm:

Love what you have started here, Chopper!!!!
I think a lot of us are going to learn things about the UP. Thank you from all of us for being willing to take on this task. Did you have any idea what you were starting a couple of years ago??? You have established a connection for all of us to a very important part of our lives.

By E Kraai on Wednesday, August 1, 2001 - 03:30 pm:

Thanks for the great pictures - particularly this one! Growing up, I spent my summers in Jacobsville and enjoyed many fine days of swimming, fishing, and riding mini-bikes in and around White City. My grandfather purchased the "old" Jacobsville lighthouse in the 50's, and it remains in the family. I used to drop by Ida Tormala's house for cookies as a kid.

By J. Seppala Sauvola NH on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 08:39 am:

I have forwarded this page to my aunt Ina Mae (Niemela) Somero. She was so happy to see messages from her cousins.
Ina Mae and my grandmother Martha (Niemela)Murisoja were the nieces of August Niemela.

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