June 12-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: June: June 12-02
Escanaba River bridges    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Donn de Yampert

Charlie at Pasty Central on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 01:56 pm:

Across the U.P. there is visible evidence of a previous time when mining and manufacturing were more extensive. Old ruins of the mining buildings are occasionally explored here on the Pasty Cam. But rarely do we get such a good look at the transportation infrastucture of those days past.

Just a reminder, here in the Keweenaw this week the folks celebrate another roadway over the water, at Bridgefest. You may want to check in with the live bridge cam later this week and catch the parade. (I notice at the moment the Bridge Cam is temporarily down. Perhaps an oil change and lube job?)

returning soon

Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 07:34 pm:

Does anyone know who operates the Lift Bridge? I wouldn't imagine it's a full time job! How does that work? What I wouldn't do to operate a lift or draw bridge full time! :)

Also... I am so homesick for the U.P. that I've been considering moving back up there with my wife and son who haven't ever even been there! I suppose the job opportunities are still very limited, aren't they.

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated!

A Homesick A.J.

By DARRELL OINAS on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 08:16 pm:

Im in the same boat as alex, i want to move back home also, after seeing some of the pictures of the town from 3 weeks ago the depot in calumet needs fixing up, as do a lot of historic sites, if and when i return i am willing to put my time in for free to see that theses sites are preserved, there must be funding through the state or the federal goverment to restore some of theses sites. it is a shame to see things demolished and records and history lost. once removed you can never get it back , please interview the seniors in the copper country to get the storys frome everyone, each day i see one more obit in the daily mining gazette of somone i knew, soon there wont be anyone left,
yours truly

By Why Certainly ! on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 10:23 pm:

The Portage Lift Bridge is operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation. It employs "seasonal" employees and one full time "Chief Bridge Operator" which was Mr. Marty McGrath until his retirement in the late 80's?. Then Mr Bruce Ziemnick, a great person was the cheif operator. Now, I couldn't tell you who the Chief Operator is, but I know they still have one. The seasonal employees work a "swing" type shift from appx April thru December. During these months, the bridge can be contacted by marine radio or,ship horn blasts, 24-7 as there is always at least one "Operator" in the bridgehouse.
Hope this helps...as this is how it was explained to me...

By Why Certainly !!! on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 10:29 pm:

Oh yeah....
Here's a link to the Michigan Department of Transportations web site...Historic Bridges...Portage Lift Bridge page...

By Ken from da UP on Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

Anyone see the letter to the editor in the Escanaba Daily Press yesterday? About this bridge, the old US 41 & 2 and M 35 that crosses the Escanaba River in Wells. Ain't it a shame? Some people have been trying to get that bridge removed for 'bout six years. It is falling into the river little by little. Trouble is, there is a large gas line along side of it. The Feds and the state people don't want to have to pay for its removal. No one will take responsibility for it. 'Til someone gets hurt, then there will be a huge lawsuit, 'eh? Just like the county when they replace rusty old culverts. They get left in the ditches to rust away. If you or I did that we'd hear about it soon enough.

By A Forced Yooper on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 08:25 am:

To: A Homesick A.J. in Georgia

It would only be fair to bring your wife and son for a visit to the U.P. before uprooting them and moving here. I had the opportunity to visit here before my husband moved us here (his home). Although that didn't make a huge difference, at least I was forewarned what to expect.

By Charlie Cloutier below da bridge on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 09:22 am:

June 12th bring back lots of memories. Drove over that bridge a lot of time and dipped a lot of smelt for the mink ranches back when. When they were running big time we'd get like 1/4 cent a pound for em. People down state get excited when they go dipping and come home with 40 or 50.
Still looking for contacts with Esky Class of 54.
Charlie Cloutier
9207 Woodland Drive
Onekama, MI 49675-9745
231 889 0863

By Mike Mehrman, White Lake, MI on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 12:20 pm:

To: Why Certainly

Thank you for the Portage Bridge website! I had no idea there was a website for the bridge. GO RED WINGS !!!!!!!

By Rich Karl, WI on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 01:48 pm:

Those of us idiotic and stupid enough (myself definitely included) to have left the UP look with amusement at those who feel they were "forced" to live in God's Country.

Yes, the pace is slow...Yes, crime is down...Yes, jobs are a challenge...but then just go up to 5 Mile Point at Sundown or drive the loney back roads and see the Eagles and other wildlife..
And breathe in the vvery essence of the HISTORY of this ethereally beutiful area...

And count your blessings for living in the UP, especially the Copper Country....always!

By brian,tc MI on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 04:19 pm:

Amen, Rich Karl

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Saturday, June 15, 2002 - 01:26 pm:

I know what you mean about the Obits. That's the ONLY problem with coming back there. 99.9% of all those I grew up with are gone. Either dead, or those my age, married and out of the nest. I think about my youth there and almost get a high, if you will, on how awesome I felt during my Summers in Mohawk and Gay. But 100% of my family is now gone, and though the parents of a few friends are still there, I know the "kids" who are my age, aren't around anymore.

Thanks for sharing thoughts with me, and the info on the lift bridge.

Anyone know about an old saw mill in the Mohawk area? My Uncle Marvin used to work there. He "drove" a machine that cut wood. Now understand... I was FIVE years old the last time I saw that saw mill... I'm 46 now, so... .


By John, MI on Sunday, June 16, 2002 - 06:48 pm:

There was a mill started in the late '50s by C&H past the White House and Seneca Mine on the right side going toward Phoenix. It eventually was owned by Louisiana Pacific, and closed in the mid '80s. Everything was sold and the building dismantled. Before that, there was the Ray Aldrich sawmill, and Oscar Isaaacson also had a sawmill. If your uncle Marvin was aka "Butch" and lived on Rockland Street, then I knew him.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 07:40 pm:

YES!!!! THAT'S MY UNCLE! Butch. How did you know him? This is so exciting! Where has this Website been all my life! :) Does the sawmill he worked in still exist?


By Ontonagon Yooper on Thursday, August 8, 2002 - 11:13 pm:

For all you homesick Yoopers, try this website:
eagleharborweb.net or this one:

They will either make you more homesick or be a great antidote! Enjoy!

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