Aug 25-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: August: Aug 25-02
Memories of Covington    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from Marie Nopola

Toivo from Toivola on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 11:58 am:

Two of my favorite features on the Pasty Cam are Shoebox Memories and Wallpaper of the Week. Today's memory is an old photo taken in Covington, sometime around the 1930's. According to Marie Nopola, Mrs. William taught piano lessons, and her husband ran the Covington Depot, which has long since been demolished.

Our lastest WOW features the infamous Pelkie Crop Circles we revealed last Tuesday. Have a good week!

By Marie:OK on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 04:36 pm:

Correction to the name --it is Mrs. Willman. Her husband was the depot agent and also sent telegrams for residents before phones were installed (in at least one place-the Covington IGA store owned by my aunt and uncle William Seppala). Thank you for including this pic , I hope to get some feedback on it like her first name and Mr. Willman's name. The spelling of their name may be Wilman.

By Betty, Houston on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 09:35 pm:

Where is Covington?

By Ken from da UP on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 10:46 pm:

Speaking of Covington! Mimi and I were there today at their MPB for an appreciation dinner and dance for one of their own. Francis Youngren. Kilpela and Friends played for part of the dance. Our drummer is Randy Seppala from Watton, he must be related to the Seppala mentioned above, 'eh? It sure was a beautimous day for the party. Makes you feel good to see how a small town came together to celebrate and appreciate a friend and neighbor. The place was packed! Americana is alive and well. God sure has blessed us here!
Covington is on M 28 south of the US 2/41 and M 28 junction. 'Bout 5 miles. It's about 16 miles from L'Anse

By Ken from da UP on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 10:47 pm:

Hei, Toivo, can you show Betty a map?

By Toivo on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 11:11 pm:

If you picture a square with Houghton in the upper left and Marquette in the lower right, Covington would be the lower left. The upper right would be somewhere out in Lake Superior.


Paul in Illinois on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 11:34 pm:

We had a few moments of excitement just about a half mile south of Covington one winter morning about 15 years ago. We were just picking up speed again when it felt like we were hit by a train - since we had just crossed where the old DSS&A used to run, this was a bit of a shock to say the least. A quick look out the left windows showed the culpert speeding away. We had had a close encounter of the B-52 kind! We could smell his exhaust as he skimed the treetops. Couldn't have timed it better if we tried. I had a similar experience years before that on Brockway Mt. We were enjoying the view when a B-52 came cruising along through the valley headed towards the radar base. He was below us! Where else but the UP could one look down at a flying B-52. Great picture, back then the train to Duluth was probably the big excitement! Times have changed.

By Marie;OK on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 11:59 pm:

William and Signe Seppala are Randy's grandparents. I wish I had a pic of their store--it was so cool. It had a colored awning and a soda shop with the old style chairs and tables. Signe was my father Toivo(love that name) Nopola's sister. When I lived in New Jersey in the early 70's I had a visit from a Col. who was a chaplain that had been a hobo in 30's. He knew exactly where Covington was and even went on to describe our family home two blocks from the track where my Mom Sylvia had given him food when he was very hungry. He helped me with a problem I had so you see what goes around comes around. The trainmen in the 50's would throw us candy as they went by so when we heard the train coming we ran to wave at them! What a carefree and happy childhood we enjoyed.

By walt, ohio on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 12:26 pm:

Toivo, that is a great name! I had an uncle Toivo who once lived at Still Waters. Also had a great family friend, Toivo Tormala, who incidentally ran a car repair garage in Toivola, though he lived in South Range. So he could be called a "Toivo from Toivola" also. Translated from the original, Toivo means Hope!

By Ed on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 03:24 pm:

In 3 years time searching the web I now have 925 pictures of railroad depots in Michigan..They come in jpeg and I will send at your request no charge.

By Betty, Houston on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 08:16 pm:

Toivo and Ken, thanks for the precise directions and excellent map!! I have never had the privilege of driving through Covington but drove close to it many times in my youth.

By Ken from da UP on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 09:19 pm:

Hei, Paul, those B 52s used to fly treetop level here in Cornell, too. So low you could almost count the rivets. Impressive to see them that low. I've never seen one from above as it was flying though. One of them made three passes at Oshkosh last month at the EAA Airventure. Right down over the runway.
Hei, Marie from OK Thanx for the Seppela info, too. What a neat story!
Hei, Betty, also, you're welcome!

By Russ E., St. Clair County MI on Monday, August 26, 2002 - 11:39 pm:

Marie from OK--- Are those the same Seppalas that had the IGA in Hancock in the early 50's? We knew them well. They visited at our home in St. Clair Shores back then. (I had a crush on their daughter!)

By Marie:OK on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 07:27 am:

I doubt that they were the same Seppala since Signe and Bill were Covington born and raised--must have been a different family (and they had only boys). We used to sit on the store steps in the evening and play this game where we would take turns "getting" the next car to pass as our own and sometimes it would be an hour before a car went by! We didn't have to be home 'til the street lights went on and nobody worried about where we were until then.

By David H. St.Clair Shores MI. on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 09:35 pm:

In the late 1970's from Dollar Bay, on the C.B. radio,i used to talk to a man who's handle was the Mustang.He ran the Postoffice there in Covington.I did stop by & meet him back then,however i forgot his real name.My handle was Ratfink.If your still out there Mustang,hello to you.The computer replaced the C.B. radio.I always called it Covington Junction.Isn't that it's real name?

By Marie:OK on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 11:01 pm:

I guess the Mustang is my brother Gerald Nopola who was the Postmaster in Covington for many years. He lives in Covington near the Do Drop Inn, which by the way has the greatest food in the U.P., especially the fish fry on Friday. He still gets on the radio I hear and probably logs onto the computer too. My other brother Albert lives about a mile west of the junction--he spent 30 yrs. on the Great Lakes and retired as wheelsman from the 1000 footer Paul R. Tregurtha.

By Russ E., St. Clair County MI on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 12:17 am:

I believe it was "Art" Seppala in Hancock.
and-- Dave H., what are you doing in "St. Clair Shores"?

By Gretchen on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 08:43 pm: aunt lives there. Aileen Huhtala. Anyone know her? Her husband was Norman & I believe he ran the Shell station there for years. Thank you!

By Marie:OK on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 08:54 pm:

Hi Gretchen, Your aunt Aileen taught me to knit a sweater in 4H club--I bet I had to rip out 2 million stitches and re-do them! She is a very good teacher so I remember most of it from years ago and I remember that darn sweater, that's for sure. Never wore it and never knitted another one, HA. Ask her if she remembers our knitting class coming to her house. We really went for the delicious treats after the lesson.

By Gary Brogan on Thursday, August 29, 2002 - 10:06 pm:

Ahhhhh Covington!
I went to school with a number of great kids from the Covington area, we graduated in 1958 from L'Anse High School. They had the longest bus ride in, had to get up earlier than anyone and got home later than the rest of us. We rode the bus in from Aura in the good old days! After I got out of the Army I worked with Van Fleet Construction putting in the new highway outside of Covington to Sidnaw. Some of my best memories were watching the big Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic center cab diesels pulling freight trains thru the area.
Thanks much for this wonderful site!!

By David H. Ferndale MI. on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 11:48 am:

Hello Russ in St.Clair County,a.k.a. Birdman on the C.B. radio.I been in the Shores for 16 months now.Security office here on Boston St.However I spend time in Ferndale too.And of course you know me as the Flying Finn on the C.B. radio.As you can see on the map the way the crow flys my C.B. radio made the trip to Covington. My station was in Point Mills,where the M-26 is on top of the map.Idea! Should be a site where old's can get on.Then we can realy shoot the skip.Thanks Marie in OK. on the info of the Mustang.Tell your brother Gerald "Good Numbers" from me.

By walter on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 10:04 pm:

my dad was in the area in the ccc in the 30s says there was a lot of snow and very cold but like the up none the less. say yea

ws mcnew
tampa fla.

By Karl Seppala, Orange CA on Saturday, August 2, 2003 - 03:23 am:

William and Signe Seppala were my grandparents, and
my father was their son Roy. We moved to California
when I was six, and the last time I was in Covington
was in 1965. My dad used to talk about working in the
store, and about having the only phone in town.

Randy, of course, is my cousin, and I haven't seen him
since a visit he made to the west coast in the late '70s
or early '80s. It's interesting to hear that he's in a band;
both of my brothers are also accomplished musicians.

It was really great to come across this thread and the
neat picture of old Covington. It's amazing how the
internet allows us to connect with our pasts so easily.

By kriss schrandt on Thursday, October 9, 2003 - 12:24 am:

my girlfriend is kristi seppala of grand ledge michigan: her grandfather and father grew up in covington michigan.

By kriss schrandt on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 02:00 am:

I would like to do some family research for my girlfriend Kristi Seppala. Her father is James(Jim) Seppala: Her uncle's name is Bob(Robert) Seppala: Her Grandfather's name(as far as she remembers-died in 1968) is Eino Seppala: All three were from Covington.

By kriss schrandt on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 05:54 pm:

I would like to do some family research for my girlfriend Kristi Seppala. Her father is James(Jim) Seppala: Her uncle's name is Bob(Robert) Seppala: Her Grandfather's name(as far as she remembers-died in 1968) is Eino Seppala: All three were from Covington.

addendum below:


Date of Death: 12-1969
Date of Birth: 04-12-1899
Last Residence: COVINGTON MI 49919
Country: USA

letter from relative:

Hi Kriss,
Sorry you haven't heard from internet connection was down this week and I am finally getting to my email. I think we may have already spoken about this, but Kristi's grandfather's name was Eino...he had brothers, William, Nels, and Victor. He also had sisters, Lempi Hutula (she was Lempi Makela, but was a widow and married Charlie Hutula in later life), and Lydia (married Einar Erickson). There was another sister who died in the early 1900's from the flu or pneumonia, but I can't remember what her name was at the moment.

So, if you find out or read any articles from or about people from that area of the UP, you probably are reading about Kristi's relatives!!! Talk to you later...

Ellen(kristi's mom)

By kriss schrandt on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 11:57 pm:

Hi Kriss

this is a quick update, as I get more completed will be sending as hard
copy but wanted you to see what I have done on my two visits to the courthouse

Deaths: viewed and made notes on 19 that are recorded including William
Births: viewed and made notes on 6 that have been recorded, neither
James nor Robert are recorded
Marriages: viewed and made notes on 15 including one for William

From what I have learned thus far:

William John Seppala was born in Nurmo,Finland. He died in St. Luke's
Hospital in Marquette, MI Nov. 15, 1969
He was married to Signe Nopola, she was born in Wakefield, MI, they were
married in Ishpeming,MI May 12, 1921
William is buried in the Covington Cemetery on Nov. 17, 1969.
He was the son of Andrew Seppala and Sanna Halmesmaki (this last name has
many spelling variations in the records)

William opened a store in Covington in 1926 with Edward Bilto, bought land
from Nels Peterson, Bilto went to Chassell, MI. Seppala operated the store
for 35 years. From 1961 to 1968 it was run by Reino and Carol
Seppala. this information is from the Covington Centennial Book, page 38

Further this is what I have been able to put together:

His father Andrew died in Covington, MI on March 25, 1920 he was 70 years,
4 months and 23 days old. He was born in Finland and his parents
were: Alexander Haavisto/Liisa Haavisto (not sure if adopted or what the
parent situation was, once I find his obituary should clear that up)

Victor Seppala, May 5, 1908 had a delayed birth registration, it was done
in Aug. 27, 1954 and at that time he said that his mother had 8 children
and that 7 were presently living (Victor's parents were: Andrew Seppala
and Sanna Halmesmaki) he was born in Covington, Mi

From what I can see is that William had these family sibblings:
that are recorded in the courthouse here in L'Anse, MI, but from Victor's
notes there were 8 so hopefully obits will be more complete

It appears that William and Signe had children married in the county even
if not any births recorded:
Reino married Carol Sather, he was a soldier, Sept. 22, 1944 in Covington
Rudolph married Ruth Leaf, June 24, 1950 in Covington
Roy Melvin married Wilma Swanson, June 19, 1955

only other marriage from that apparent line is:
Karen to Dennis Leaf, Feb. 27, 1965 in Covington, she being the daughter
of Reino and Carol.

Nancy born Jan 30, 1954 daughter of Rudolph and Ruth
Kathy born Oct 22, 1960 daughter of JOHN and Ruth, believe he either was
going by second given name as his age was 28 when Nancy was born and is now
34 when Kathy is born, so it appears to me he is one and the same.

Hopefully I will be able to visit the archives and see the old newspapers
and find obits,

Eino died Dec. 24, 1969, he was born April 12, 1899 in Finland, his widows
maiden name was Ida Palo
he was a carpenter/farmer,
burial: Covington Cemetery 12-27-1969
Parents: Andrew and Sanna Halmesmaki

Kris is there any information as to where James was born and to whom? Is
he a son of Eino and Ida? Baraga County records do not show any births to
Eino, nor do they show and birth of a Robert, also Eino's son?

When I do the obits we may learn more,


By kriss schrandt on Saturday, November 1, 2003 - 12:00 am:

Good Morning

Eino Seppala
April 12, 1899, born in Nurmo Vasaan Laani Finland
Son of Andrew Seppala and Sanna Halmesmaki
He came to Covington, MI in 1904
Married: Ida Palo, Dec. 27, 1926
Worked for the Baraga County Road Commission for 12 years
Death: Dec. 24, 1969 he was a patient at the Baraga County Memorial
Hospital in L'Anse, MI
Funeral was at: Bethany Evangelical Church, Covington, MI
Survived by:
Robert, Lake Worth, Florida
James, Detroit, MI
Harvey, Las Vega, Nevada
Liisa Koski, Finland
Mrs. Sanna Maki, Superior, WI
Mrs. Charles Lempi Hutula, Covington, MI
Mrs. Einar Lydia Erickson, Covington, MI
Victor, Lake Worth, Florida
Nels, Covington, MI
three (3) grandchildren and several nieces and nephews

The 1920 L'Anse Sentinels did not carry an obit for Andrew (his father)

Are any of Eino's three children still living? Since none were born in
Baraga County there are no records, if you have their date of births there
may be a mention in the L'Anse Sentinels of their births, but for that
research I would need the dates of births and also of marriage, often times
even though not registered here the paper would carry some of these events

I will try in the next few days to get this all typed up and send you a
"hard copy" of what I was able to find

thank you for your donation to the BCHS


By Dennis Leaf, Florida on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 12:43 pm:

I'm Dennis Leaf, and I was once married to Karen Seppala - and know the people that you are all talking about. You've come up with eight Seppalas - plus there was a sister named Sofia who died of pneumonia. She was a "tiskari" at John Leaf's, which was across the county road from Seppala's farm. (New)Cemetery Road.)

The last of the Seppalas - Lydia Erickson, died a few short years ago in Lower Michigan. Victor died just before that. He was a prominent member of the Finnish community down here in Lake Worth, but died in Baraga County.

I sorta think that the lady in the picture of the Covington Depot is Martha Nopola Spencer. I do know it's not Lydia Wilman. Lydia and Henry ran the depot for years before moving to Crystal Falls. They lived upstairs of the depot and she gave piano lessons to half of Covington (not me, I can't play the radio.)

Ah yes, too bad you can't hear my Finlander accent over the 'net. Nice reminiscing about our roots.

By Karl Seppala, California on Monday, July 11, 2005 - 08:47 pm:

Just to help fill in some modern history...

I'm Karl William Seppala, son of Roy and Wilma, born January 3, 1960

I married Cynthia Deann Welch on September 7, 1991.

Tyler Roy Seppala was born March 9, 1999

Ryan James Seppala was born June 2, 2001

Kylie Rose Seppala was born October 22, 2004

We all live in Orange CA.

My Brothers are:

John Robert Seppala was born December 5, 1961

Living in Walnut Creek, CA

Eric Martin Seppala was born March 10, 1967

Living in Glendale, CA

My mother, Wilma Elaine Seppala, is still doing well, living in Walnut Creek, CA in the house I grew up in, and that she shared with Roy until his passing on December 23, 2000.

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Messages can no longer be posted to these older discussion pages, but you are welcome to join the conversation on Today's Pasty Cam

Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours

See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

While in the Copper Country be sure to visit
On US-41 north of Calumet
on US-41 in Kearsarge, a mile north of Calumet.
(The home of Pasty Central)

Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Pasty.NET | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions