Aug 12-01

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2001: August: Aug 12-01
Paine Memorial Library    ...scroll down to share comments
from the MTU Archives
Painsdale (Jeffers) High School    ...scroll down to share comments
from the MTU Archives
School Staff in 1924    ...scroll down to share comments
from the MTU Archives

Erik Nordberg, MTU Archives on Sunday, August 12, 2001 - 09:06 pm:

The Copper Range Company was closely involved with the development of residential communities around its mines. It built many early schools and exerted significant influence over the local school board. In 1907, the company leased land to the school board for a new high school in Painesdale -- a fifty-year lease for only $1.00. The three-story building was completed in 1909, with a 1935 addition adding a swimming pool and gymnasium.

Children from Painesdale and Trimountain walked to school, but others living in the mill towns of Freda, Redridge and Beacon Hills rode a special school train. The train operated from 1909 until 1941.

The Copper Range Company was also involved with a variety of other community buildings. One of the most impressive – and predating the high school by more than five years – was the Sarah Sargent Paine Memorial Library. Completed in November 1903, the building was given to the community by Copper Range president William Paine and named in honor of his mother. The basement of the building featured a kitchen, dining room, club room and bathing facilities. The main floors of the building housed a community library, stocked with the latest books and magazines, as well as a variety of foreign-language newspapers. It is reported that in 1928 or 1929 a tunnel was built between the school and library to allow easier access between the buildings during the Keweenaw’s heavy winters.

In August 1949, Painesdale High School was officially renamed Jeffers High School. This was in honor of Fred and Cora Jeffers, longtime teachers and administrators at the school. Unfortunately, the original library developed structural problems and had to be torn down. The present library and post office building, also named in memory of Sarah Sargent Paine and built with money from the Paine family, was opened in December 1962.

Discover more history of the Copper Country at the MTU Archives

By Kristen Blom, Virginia on Sunday, August 12, 2001 - 09:42 pm:

Pretty neat!! Thanks for the photos! From, Kristen (Class of 1992, former resident of Painesdale.)

By Janet Mikkola Rosenberg, New York on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 09:07 am:

I have fond memories of the library. During my days at Jeffers High School (graduated 1963), I enjoyed visiting the library. At the time school closed for the summer, we were allowed to take out three books and return them in the fall. I loved reading and would select the thickest books I could find so that they would last all summer. After the librarian knew me, I was allowed to take out more than three books which I dutifully returned when the next schoolyear began. Seeing this picture brought back hidden memories. Thanks.

By janet niemi burkholder on Monday, August 13, 2001 - 12:26 pm:

my mother Helvi Kauppi Niemi went to Jeffers High School and many times emphasized the good education she received there. I have always respected it though I graduated from Hancock High myself in 1964. I was impressed with there being a swimming pool there before other schools had one. My mother used to say the "Jeffers" thought the children of the Copper Country had to learn to swim before graduating.

By Annette Butina on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 - 06:45 am:


What a great way to tell us about Painesdale! I am a 1982 Graduate of painesdale and had the opportunity to meet the Great grandson of William A. Paine, Mr. Willy A. Paine III during our 100 year celebration which took place in 1999. We keep in contact now with the Paine family and I will be sending this web page for them to view.
Thank you for keeping our town alive with your great stories.

By P.K., Michigan/JHS Graduate on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 - 12:51 pm:

Does anyone out there know the names of the 13 school staff members pictured here? When did Mr.and Mrs. Jeffers begin teaching at Painesdale?
Thank you for any answers!

By Shannon Betway, Alexandria Virginia on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 - 06:04 pm:

Awesome!!! Like Kristen and alot of the others I'm also a former Graduate of Jeffers (Class of 1994.)Thanks for the great pictures. Also It would be neat to see a picture of all the High Schools from the surrounding areas.

By Barbara Laitila Berry on Saturday, August 18, 2001 - 03:57 pm:

Helo to Janet Mikkola, who has already posted here, and to all my other classmates from the illustrious class of 1963. Many fond memories of Jeffers High School still remain. I, too, recall checking out many a book from the Paine Library, which our small town was so fortunate to enjoy. Best wishes to all in the Copper Country. See you at future reunions and 4th of July Parades!

By mom MI on Sunday, January 5, 2003 - 08:32 pm:

i went to jeffers

By heather harrington, MN on Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 03:02 pm:

there use to be a school that was called E.B Homen if anyone could give me any information about that please contact me it was located around houghton..

By Ruth Teague Cleary, Texas on Friday, May 9, 2003 - 05:48 pm:

I showed your website to my mom and she asked me to send you some comments. She is Ruth Teague Cleary - Jeffers High School Class of 1933.

She was born in Tri Mountain on April 2, 1916 and moved to Painesdale about 3 years later with her mother, father and 5 year old sister Clara. Her father, James Teague, was the barber. Their home - with the barshop half way down Goodell Hill - between the school and the railroad tracks. He continued barbering until the mid-seventies. So for over 50 years, anyone heading up the hill to school passed by his big plate glass windows.

She has the names of some of the teachers in the photo. In the back row the sixth one from the left is Miss Rhodes. To her left is Mr. John Stiemlie
In the front row the third person from the left is Mr. F. Jeffers. He was the superintendent of schools. To his left is Miss Beatrice Nancorrow and next to her is Wilmot Nancarro.

According to my mother:
In 1929, because we needed to use part of the library for classes, a wooden shed was built between the school and the library so students could walk under cover to take typing, shorthand and biology in the upstairs of the library. Mechanical drawing was taugh in the former Men's Smoking Room on the main floor of the library. Mrs. Redeker, Mr. Seppala, Miss Verran and Mis May Hanala taught classes there.

In the 20's and 30's Stella Riddle and Mrs. Clark were the librarians and Mr. Kellow was the custodian. Mrs. Clark was a wonderful story teller. She held a story hour every Friday after school.
Many dances were held in the upstairs of the library with Jimmy Contrato playing the accordian. MacNord's Orchestra was also a favorite dance band.
For a brief period, the German residents held their Sunday church services in the upstairs auditorium.
THe Camp Fire Girls met in the library under Susan Jose and Betty Kerr who were also school teachers in the grade school
Other activities in that wonder building:
A pool hall in the basement.
A poling place for voting the the elections.
A meeting spot for the group that folded bandages and knit mittens during World War II.

We spend many hours in the libary because my mother, Wilhelmina Teague, was always interested in books. After the beautiful sandstone structure was demolished because of an unstable foundation, she and Val Dunstan served as libarians in the small stucture that took its place.

By Kathy Masek on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - 04:30 pm:

I remember the great library and renting a kalidescope . . . pictures the size of postcards could be viewed through this device and would give the appearance of a 3-D photograph. Also, Mrs. Val Dunstan was my Girl Scout leader and she introduced us to many interesting hobbies and told stories of places in all parts of the world.
At the time, her husband was the school supertindent and Mr. Walter Davis the principal.
I attended Jeffers and graduated in 1960. Mrs. Redeker was my "commercial" teacher. I was surprised to see she was teaching in 1929!!! Also,
Mrs. Clark was my Kindergarten teacher. She was a great story teller. When I was ages 8 through 11, movies would be shown in the upstairs of the library. Somewhere in that library, there should be a "journal" or photo album put together by Val Dunstan which depicts many of the things in which we kids were involved, i.e. plays, concerts etc.
It was nice to go back to visit those memories.
Thank you for the great pictures. Kathy Masek
(Stemberger) - Class of 1960)

By Michigan on Thursday, October 9, 2003 - 02:04 pm:

My Name is Angela Ovist. I am in the 7th grade. I have not yet graduated from jeffer high school...but I will be in 2009! Right now I am in the computer class (Mr.Miller's). The reason I am sending this letter is so I can look at it when I do graduate. My mom went to this school her name was Deb Olsen. My mom graduated in 1960, she told me many stories like the bomb shelter under the bleachers and the back halls. Well I hope I get to explore all the places in jeffers high school.

Angela Ovist

By CM, CA on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 12:26 am:

Did anyone know a graduate by the name of John Mikkola?

By chris california on Monday, November 24, 2003 - 04:41 pm:

searching for annette butina e-mail address.
thank you

By Corinne,Georgia on Saturday, December 27, 2003 - 09:05 pm:

My mom Nellie Anna Heikkila rode the train from Liminga to Painesdale around 1921-23 in order to get a high school education. She taught for many years in Liminga and then for another 20+ after she moved to Georgia. Thanks for the photos of the school. I'm adding them to our family history album we're putting together in her memory.

By Reid Minnesota on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 06:29 pm:

Did anyone know a graduate by the name of Kathy Niemi. I believe she graduated in the early 1970's.

By mary hickcox, MI on Sunday, January 25, 2004 - 01:42 pm:

to Reid Minnesota:
Kathy Niemi is my cousin. She married Clyde Archambeau and lives in South Range.

By mary MI on Sunday, February 1, 2004 - 09:13 am:

to Reid Minnesota
I was wondering if you have a different Kathy Niemi in mind. My cousin would have graduated in the late 60's. They are in Arizona for a few months.

By Reid MN on Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - 06:51 pm:

to Mary MI,

Thanks for responding . . .

I'm not exactly sure what year she graduated.
I do know that she lived in Minneapolis in 1975.
She had an older sister she lived with while
in the cities. I believe her sister's name was Sherry or Cheryl. I also know she grew up in Painesdale, MI.

By Mary MI on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 06:47 pm:

to Reid MN, We have a different Kathy Niemi. My cousin had only 2 brothers, no sister. She grew up in Detroit and then South Range. Far as I know never lived in Minneapolis. Good luck, I hope you find the other Kathy Niemi!

By Kathy Masek Wisconsin on Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 10:45 am:

Does anyone have information regarding Patsy Cappobionco, Trina Crandell and Susan Gerhardt?
We were basketball cheerleaders for JHS in 1959-1960. They gradutated in 1961. Thanks for any info.
Kathy Masek (Stemberger)

By dunno on Thursday, August 5, 2004 - 01:03 am:

longshot try

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