June 03-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: June: June 03-02
Mining dredge near Mason    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew
Exploring inside    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew
The sinking deck    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Mary Drew

Mary Drew on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 07:35 am:

Exploring the dredge was something that we always said we were going to do.....then finally we did it! It was truly a unique experience. You can tell by the way Jim was standing that everything is on such a slant...it's just a weird feeling. When we first stepped into the dredge, in fact, it made me feel a bit dizzy! That last shot, titled the sinking deck, really gave you the feeling that the water was flowing downhill. It was an experience worth the climbing across, over, under, up through and around!! :) One last note......all the grafitti? My son told me to check out where his name is and figure out how he got it there. Once I saw where it was...no way did I, as a mother, want to know how he got up that high!

By Rachel/Aurora, Colorado on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 07:39 am:

I grew up in Houghton. I remember getting the chills every time I drove by that dredge. When I come "home" to visit family, I drive by and still get the creeps. I always thought the place was haunted. But it looks as though it has always been a big party spot.

By Mild Bill on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 08:33 am:

That guy in the red coat looks like the type of delinquent who would deface the dredge with graffiti. Also, I think he should trim that scraggly beard.

By Mary on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 08:51 am:

Wait a minute here Bill, if this is the Bill I think it is.....that "Mild" should be changed to "Wild"!! LOL Don't be picking on the guy in the red jacket! :)

By Anonymous on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:14 am:

OH, great...now everybody and his brother will be climbing into the building and eventually someone will get hurt. Like all good 'secrets' up there...the cat is once again out of the bag, and this 'landmark' will be closed.....

By another anonymous on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:22 am:

It wasn't exactly a secret, as you can tell by all the graffiti, me thinks.

By Mild Wild Bill on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:46 am:

To the Cat in the Bag commenter:

The landmark is not going to be closed. In fact there are very serious plans to save the dredge and make it a cooperating site of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. If that happens, it likely will be straightened up, and will be accessible to everyone, not just those with a boat. I believe it will be a park in the not-to-distant future.

Red Coat Guy: I always knew you were a little off kilter.

By Big B/Minneapolis on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:48 am:

I was in that dredge in the early 80's while the lake was still frozen... it allowed you to investigate it even more. I have always dreamed of SCUBA diving in and around it, but have never had the chance.

By jad, Oskar on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 11:41 am:

Last year a Hancock high-schooler was seriously injured when he dove off the dredge! Many stitches and bruises. Lucky he didn't break his neck. A number of locals have ventured swimming and diving there. What cannot be seen by those of you who are out of town is what a local developer has done to the shoreline along there for several miles. It has been filled, graded, sodded, lined with rocks from The Lake & will eventually be up for sale for building--and lots and lots and lots of $$$$$$$. How about a follow-up cam shot of that?

By dan in laurium on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 12:15 pm:

to jad, oskar,
That area is part of the epa superfund site and will be fenced off for, i believe, 5 years.

By $$$$$ on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 12:20 pm:

The shoreline was paid for by the taxpayers, specifically the Superfund (toxic sight cleanup) not by any developer. Should be left for the public, otherwise any developper has alot of re-embersing to do.

By John E. Kappler, Michigan on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 12:25 pm:

The previous comments by Mr. Oskar Jad require some serious corrections regarding the remediation work that was done to the site in and around the dredge and Torch Lake. First, the work was not done by a "developer". The work was done under contract from the USEPA in accordance the the U.S. Federal Record of Decision regarding covering all of the stamp sands from Lake Linden, to Hubbell, Tamarack, Mason, Dollar Bay, Princess point and other left over blighted areas from the mining days. The Torch Lake Public Action Council, a not-for-profit and volunteer organization can take credit for obtaining and overseeing the $15.2 remediation project since 1998 and continuing to 2006. I'll bet that Mr. Jad has no idea that this project was going on, the meaning of being partially delisting on April 8, 2002 and who owns what and what the owners are going to be doing with their properties?
Next, the dredge is not privately owned and "up for sale". The dredge is owned by Osceola Township and they are seeking grants to turn it into a museum. In addition, a developer did in fact donate 4 or 5 acres of shoreline around the dredge to Oscela Township to help them with their project at no cost to the Township.
Finally, I wish the wackos in and around the Keweenaw Peninsula would take 5 minutes to get their facts straight before blasting their uninformed opinions all over the place.
John E. Kappler, Vice Chair, Torch Lake Public Action Council, Inc.

By Becky, Lansing on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 12:58 pm:

A couple more questions-Is the land that was "repaired" privately owned? or will some be open to the communities as public shoreline. Will it be fenced until 2006? Congrats to the Torch Lake Public Action Council!!!!It looks beautiful.

By John Kappler, Michigan on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 01:29 pm:

The answer to Becky's question regarding the remediated land being privately owned or not is that some of the land is privately owned and other parcels are public owned. For example, all of the Lake Linden "Sands", now "meadows" and the shoreline in Lake Linden is owned by the Village and they direct its use. The land directly around the dredge is owned by Osceola Township. So, it depends because the remediated areas cover from Lake Linden to Dollar Bay and other places all the way to the North Entry of the Keweenaw Canal. Portions of the Hubbell/Tamarack remediated areas were owned by Hubbell or the Township and other lots were privately owned. Thus, some of the land is privately owned and others publically owned. The fencing can be removed two years after the remediation work is done if the remediation work is effective in accomplishing its purpose. The fence is owned by the USEPA. Now that Lake Linden and its shores are delisted, they can take the fence down anytime they please by requesting that it be removed. To keep or remove fencing is a local decision.

By Lach MacDonald, California on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 02:03 pm:

Thanks, Mary and Jim: The photographic interest has started a dialog that is truly informative. We've camped at Lake Linden park without actually knowing the details of Torch Lake ownership and cleanup, even though I grew up there. On my visits I've taken a few dredge photos myself and must get out prints to scan. Regarding the museum and restoration: it seems to me a museum or two already exists, but an interpretive center near the dredge ruin would be useful. As to cleaning up the graffiti and setting the hunk of machinery upright, I disagree. Part of the attraction is the historically accurate fact that the dredge was just left to perish and now the "taggers" are turning it into a work of art.

By dlp on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 06:49 pm:

To John E Kappler: Your 12:25 posting was informative UNTIL YOU injected your inane, meaningless, arrogant opinion. There was no need for such a reckless offering and does not speak well for the temperment of so-called leaders of the Torch Lake Public Action Council. It makes one wonder why you would respond in such a fashion.

By Ken from da UP on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 06:50 pm:

I always felt bad when we'd get up that way and the dredge was still 'sunk'. I hope they can put it upright and have it be a part of a 'Quincy Reclamation Co.' or 'Quincy Mining Co.' museum. The lake sure is beautimous to see now that the water is blue instead of red. They really have done a nice job there. I remember those dredges working, all lit up at night, and the floats and pipeline back to the reclaiming mill.

By me on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 08:08 pm:

Hey Mary and Jim:
Did you take a picture of your son's autograph?

By Cousin Jack on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 08:51 pm:

WOW! I don't think I've seen that much colorful public graffiti since listing at a similar angle before a men's room plumbing fixture long ago at the Halfway Bar just north of South Range.

By Da Joizy Shore Clamdigger on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 09:27 pm:

There's a second dredge that's sitting on the bottom of the depths of Torch Lake. I'm not sure of its location. But.. I believe it's in the area of the beached dredge.

By Toivo from Toivola on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 09:52 pm:

Cousin Jack, thanks for a good laugh, my sides are still hurting. After the sparring which transpired above, it's good to lighten up.

By Wacko on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:04 pm:

My apologies to John Kappler for not mentioning the Superfund project; and thank you, dlp,for your comment. As a reader of the local newspaper I knew about the Superfund project, of the push for the delisting, that many local people did much work on it, and that a local developer was doing the work. Although some of the lands either are now or will be public, I believe that eventually, in the manner of many townships looking for tax revenues, there will be some BIG building projects along the area. Mr. Kappler, please re-read my comments--they were meant to inform people not in the area about the reclaiming (development) of the shoreland. There was no mention of the dredge being for sale.

By Mary on Monday, June 3, 2002 - 10:50 pm:

Hey me!!
His autograph is in the picture that isn't slanted....look all the way up to the peak of the roof....it's up there.....but it's hard to make out in the picture....he must have had to shimmy up beams......I shudder just thinking about it!
Glad everyone is ending up friends after all the comments.. :) And COUSIN JACK and TOIVO....my sides are now hurting from your comments and then putting the picture of my hubby there again to help you picture cousin jack listing!! Oh my goodness....it's great to be laughing as I go off to bed! Thanks!

By Rich Karl on Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 01:20 pm:

Gee, as one of those former WACKOs from the Keweenaw who wonders why I (or anyone else) EVER left, all I can say to Mr Kappler is THANKS for denigrating all of we stupid current and former locals who don't understand that we don't have a right to expressing our opinions.

Last I looked, this IS the United States and even we wacko former or current locals have a right to our opinions.

Mr. Kappler, when did you get permission to rewrite the free speech provision of the US Constitution?


By another anonymous on Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 02:20 pm:

SHEEESH! is right. Lighten up everyone, don't take it all so personally. Did you ever have a bad day? Maybe that was the case! Just look at the pictures, then find the humor in them like Toivo and Cousin Jack.

By acr, il on Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 08:46 pm:

Any idea who built the dredge? I wonder if it might have been built by Joy, Harnischfeger or Pawling (P&H), predecessors to the present-day Joy Global of Milwaukee, WI.

By JD on Wednesday, June 5, 2002 - 10:52 am:

Ya know, there is another dredge out there. Completely sunk, but the top is just below the waters surface. Be careful boaters!


By Annie, Saginaw Troll on Wednesday, June 5, 2002 - 10:40 pm:

OOOOOOOOOhhhhh, what a wonderful picture...on my yearly jaunts "home" to Bootjack, this misplaced upper knows that whether it is 5 p.m. or 5 a.m. and I see this sight, I am almost where I wanna be...:)

By KLP, GA. on Thursday, June 6, 2002 - 10:21 am:

Sis: good pics again. I remember Jim standing like that when you were down to visit in march, Don't know if he had the problem or it was me.
Maybe it was the both of us.

By M KOLEHMAINEN/KOKO/YOOPER IN THE EVER GREEN BUD STATE! on Saturday, June 8, 2002 - 01:59 pm:


By carole, michigan on Saturday, June 8, 2002 - 03:21 pm:

To M. Kolehmainen: If i'd have known you were ever in the dredge .........! Guess it's just as well i didn't! Eventually all things come out, hmmm?

By Connie, Colorado on Sunday, June 9, 2002 - 12:35 pm:

Rachel in Aurora, Colorado, who grew up in Houghton: What years were you in Houghton? I went to Houghton High and graduated in 1980. I live in Aurora, near Buckley and Yale. What is your maiden name, if you don't mind me asking? Or, you could send me email directly at conniepizzitola@msn.com if you feel like it! It would be nice to communicate with another Houghton Transplant!!

By Me on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 07:04 pm:

Cool pics Jim and Mary...

By goofus mcgee in houghton on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 07:20 pm:

i hope the pastycam will be patrolling the festivities during bridgefest this weekend on the 15th to 17th. how does anyone else feel about this?

By Clark on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 07:21 pm:

Since Mr. Kappler led us down an unintended path... I thought some of you who are interested in the environment of the Keweenaw waterway may be interested in information about the Torch Lake PAC. The best way would be to attend the meetings. Although not advertised, they are open to the public. They have a website too. But if you were to actually attend a meeting you could catch Mr. Kapplers'stand up routine. ... ... Just for kicks it would be interesting for someone to review the list of PAC members and compare how many members are real estate investors with holdings that are part of the site vs. the number of environmentally active people in the group. More info to follow...

By Frank C, NE Illinois on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 11:02 am:

The Torch Lake Public Action Council (PAC) website is http://www.torchlake.org/.

The EPA also has background on the project at their Torch Lake Area of Concern website, http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/trchlke.html.

The Keweenaw Now website's "Happenings" page http://www.keweenawnow.com/happenings/happenings.htm does a good job of announcing meetings 'n such.

By Matt, Metro Detroit on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 05:54 am:

When I was a sophomore at MTU (April '83) a group of us were climbing on the dredge and were cited by the county sheriff for trespassing. Apparently it was still considered property of the Quincy Mining Co., and a representative of which decided to press charges, which were eventually dropped because it was not posted as private property. (Apparently it is no longer private property.) We even got local newspaper and radio coverage!

We were asked to (and did) paint "No Trespassing" signs at the site in May '83.

The kicker here is that while we were painting the signs, we were confronted by a Michigan State Police officer who thought we were vandalizing. (We had written authority from a Quincy lawyer to be doing what we were doing, and I offered it to the officer, but he believed us.) He had seen people climbing there and had never known it was private property.

By Dale Dollar Bay MI on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 10:12 pm:

I was on both dredges when they were in operation. My father was one of the operators. Even though I was pretty young, I'll never forget the experience. Just walking out on the pontoons to get to the dredge was something else. The other sunken dredge is almost half way to the Tamarack City sands. Almost inline with Bunker Hill if you know where that is? A ways out in the Lake also. It was marked but it's hard to see and it is close enough to the surface that a boat will hit it. I also lived in Mason for many years.We had lots of fun in that little town. One thing though. The mill sure made a lot of noise. :>)

By Born and bred. on Friday, July 26, 2002 - 09:35 pm:

The dredge in the winter is even better. One winter I was inside with some friends and a large section of snow and ice slid off of the roof while we were inside. It sounded like the whole place was coming down I've never been that scared in my life! Thanks for the memories.

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