Jan 13-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: January: Jan 13-02
Hermit's cabin at Brockway    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos from Robert Wetton
Hermit Bill    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Robert Wetton

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 10:56 am:

Looks like there wasn't much snow that winter either, which I bet was OK with Bill. I'd be curious to know the year these were taken.

If you missed the previous discussion about Hermit Bill, you are welcome to visit the archives. Marlin Wenberg provided some current glimpses from this locale, and today Robert Wetton shares these shots from his old shoebox. Bill certainly looked like he could make it through the harsh winter.

The pup in the upper photo resembles the late "Abby the Wonderdog" of Eagle Harbor. Perhaps it's one of Abby's relatives a few generations back?

By Den/Michigan on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 11:14 am:

It would be neat to see if someone has some shoeboxes memories of the Shanty's that used to line the portage canal in Hancock/Houghton. I used to walk thru there as a kid but don't have any photo's of the area. Thanks

By RCW $ Bay on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 12:19 pm:

Charlie, the only other information I have, is that he passed away in 1985 after about 30 years on the mountain. I imagine the photos were taken in the early 80s

By LR on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 04:01 pm:

Bill lived on Brockway for 32 years. I would have to agree with RCW that the pictures were taken a few years before he died in the winter of '85. The photos on this page came from the book 'Keweenaw Character' by David Mac Frimodig.
In the book there is a chapter 'Mountain Man' and it talks alot about Bill from when he first came to Brockway and the life he lead till his death.

By Doug Smith - another shoebox on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 06:31 pm:

To fit with with today's pasty.cam, here's an old shot of my Uncle "Kokmo Joe" Plautz , the old hermit of Delaware. He'd spend his summers in Delaware playing the piano and enjoying his visitors that would stop and be looking around.

Kokmo Joe

Dave da troll on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 10:22 pm:

Wow. I'm in awe; the sheer gumption that some had, and others still have to live without modern "conveniences" and not to live by today's "must have everything now" standards.

There is a lot to be said for choosing to live simply. This is the kind of stuff Hollywood dreams about making- the people are seasoned tough enough to endure hardship, and in a way, this is kind of a nostalgic/romantic image. Everyone dreams of living this way at one point in their life.....

Thanks for sharing these shoebox experiences!

By Uncle Red, MI on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 09:59 am:

Story goes that there was a hermit who lived north of Seney. Just off of the Fox River.
His daughter married a Detroit Red Wing player. He lived in his little cabin for 15yrs. She came and "rescued" him. Took him to the city and gave him a new home. 2yrs. later he was back at his cabin on the Fox River. Couldn't take city living.
Don't know his name and don't know the dates.

By John Kaleita, Keweenaw county, MI on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 11:43 am:

Once a silent movie pianist, Kokomo Joe, the hermit of Delaware entertained rock hounds who searched the pile in back of his homestead that was pictured on pasty cam several month ago. The rock pile still stands, but the home is no more.

By SLI on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 03:04 pm:

I remember Hermit Bill from my childhood. As kids we always wanted to hike up to the cabin to visit, but were most often told not to bother him. We were told to respect his privacy. We did visit a few times, though. I personally think he enjoyed the snow. The snow drifts up against the cabin serve as a good insulation from the winter wind. But before we wax a bit too romantic about the hermit life, we must remember that for every story of a woodsman high-tailing out of the city, there are 20 stories of people looking for the "simple" life who high-tail it right back to troll land after one Keweenaw winter!

By CZ, Calif. on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 02:39 am:

I was really surprized to see pictures of "Hermit" Bill on your web site. He was my Great Uncle. I live in California. We always went to see Bill whenever we were in the UP. He was always thrilled to see us. I remember the last time I saw him, we took him to town and then to a park for a picnic and he bought icecream for all of us. It was always fun to go visit him. I was in the UP this last OCT. and we went up to his shack. Other people have gone up there and vandalized the shack and dumped trash it was a mess and I think that is very sad.

By CZ, Calif. on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 02:46 am:

By the way his dog was named Bark.

By HG on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 08:22 am:

The real hermit was in mass city. he was an intelectual giant who visited town twice a year. no one new where he lived or could ever find it.

By Mich on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 02:37 pm:

I don't know why someone deleted my entry. Bill did have cats named Meow Meow. Look it up on the Eagle Harbor Web.

By RICHARD KAIPONEN,WA. on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 12:17 am:


By Louan/Elk Rapids,MI on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 03:29 pm:

Thanks for the story and pictures of Bill. Michigan was, and still is full of individuals like him. They are just outside the main streem and worth every minute we can spend with them. Some of them have been waiting all their lives for someone to show interest in their story. It's like mining gold to listen to our elders recount the thrills of yesturday. Don't pass up the chance to know people like Bill.
Long live the Pasty Cam.

By Lesley, Stow, Ohio on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 12:13 pm:

Hello all! What a trip to log on to the site and see the Hermit again! I've been traveling to the UP for almost 25 years now, and remember times when I was young and would sit at the General Store and have a pop with the Hermit. I may even still have a picture--I'll let you know. I was maybe only seven or eight at the time. He was such an enigma--what a cool guy. My uncle used to take him a six-pack and roast beef sandwiches every year!

By ,Ann,Calif. on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 01:56 pm:

I have enjoyed reading all the messages and comments about my uncle Bill. Whenever he came down off his mounrtain to visit he became restless and wanted to go back to his way of life. He believed in living a simple clean life taking from the land only what was needed to sustain life, excercising every day and breathing fresh air.He did that.

By jack laurich, Wi. on Wednesday, February 6, 2002 - 11:06 am:

Stopped to see Bill one year when we were snowmobiling. We got directions from one of the locals and were told that if we brought him a beer and a playboy he would see us. we had the beer but could not find the playboy.

By Gary Rupp - Michigan on Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 02:48 pm:

** What a great place to live your life close to God. As a child, my father took us up to visit Bill the Hermit. We were lucky to catch him home at the time. He was very friendly, even though he was mad that a black bear had broken some big branches off from his cherry tree. We also met his dog Bark, but his cat Meow was out on the prowl. I'll never forget that visit to God's country. I stopped by to look at Bill's place a couple of years ago and it's really sad to see how people have destroyed it.**

By L.B. on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 04:54 pm:


By D.D. - near Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 19, 2003 - 04:10 pm:

This is a wonderful web site which I just now found. We were up in Eagle Harbor in June. My mother grew up in Dollar Bay.

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