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Old 05-23-2010, 07:50 AM   #76
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Phoenix and Eagle Harbor

This church was built in 1858 at the Cliff Mine. In 1899 it was dismantled and moved here to Phoenix. It was active until 1957.

There used to be a school next door.

Only a foundation left now.

This town started with 15 people in 1844. The first winter they nearly starved to death because a ship that was supposed to bring supplies wrecked. In the 1880s this place was booming with about 1,000 residents. They had daily stage coach service to Calumet, two general stores, two saloons, a hotel, a wagonmaker, a jewler, a doctor, a shoemaker, a talior, and a telegraph. By 1893 they shrunk to about 100 people.

The mine.

Inside the church.

This blacksmith shop was also originally built at the Cliff Mine and later moved here as things shut down there.

Before there were roads and railroads, things came by ship.

Ore freighters still glide silently by.

At the site of this falls and partial wooden dam (left side) there once was a fuse factory that made 50,000 feet of fuse a day for the mines.

1915 highway bridge.

1990 highway bridge next to it.

This small county has highway signs that look like this. Nice touch.

This courthouse, built in 1866, is still in use. By the way, there were two divorces in this county in 2005, seven in 2006, and eight in 2007. Can a lawyer make a living here?

This is the Sheriff's Department and Jail. The Sheriff lives there and his wife cooks meals for the inmates.

When the miners came to town, there were often problems. Sometimes there were lethal fights between the Methodist Cornwall miners and the Irish Catholics. The town built a sturdy jail in the attic of this place. There was one very large and very troublesome miner that the town had a hard time with. Eventually they ordered a 200 pound ball and chain. When he would come to town, they would attach the ball and chain before he got too drunk. After leaving him in a park, they were surprised to find him in a bar with a drink on one hand while carrying his ball in chain with the other arm.

Nice falls along the lakeshore roads.

Also nice shore and beach scenes.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:26 AM   #77
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Lake Superior

A little info about Lake Superior as we travel along the shore.

Lake Superior is the largest Great Lake both by surface area and volume of water. In fact, it could contain all of the other Great Lakes plus three extra Lake Eries.

Canada diverts some water into Lake Superior instead of dumping it into Hudson Bay. There is a treaty that controls the minimum water level for Lake Superior.

It takes 200 years to completely replace the water in Lake Superior (retention time) which is an important reason why we can't mess it up. Retention time in Lake Michigan is about 100 years and Lake Erie is about 2 1/2 years.

The lake averages about 500 feet in depth and has a 1,333 foot deep spot near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Lake SUperior has the largest surface area of any fresh water lake in the world. It contains 10% of the earth's fresh water. There is enough water to flood all of North and South America to a depth of one foot.

300 streams and rivers feed the lake. The watershed ranges from about 150 miles out in Ontario to about 5 miles inland near Pictured Rocks.

Shipping breaks down with about 50%+ iron ore, 30% coal, 10% grain, and about 10% other stuff. 80% is domestic shipping with 20% international. Each year 50-100 "salties" come this far from the Atlantic Ocean doing international shipping. Big ore ships (1,000 footers) caryy about 60,000 tons. Smaller ones, like the self unloader in the foreground, carry about 26,000 tons.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:37 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Cannonshot

Too bad they haven't salvaged this 1888 fire station.

Also the original home of the Michigan Mining School, predecessor to Michgan Tech.

Currently being reconditions to be a sort of privately run student union.

Great report, as usual. Even though I live here and see these things all the time, I've learned a thing or two.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:58 AM   #79
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Thanks for the historical journey, great stuff
Life is good, even in adversity!

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Old 05-23-2010, 02:18 PM   #80
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Eagle Harbor, Brockway Mountain, and Copper Harbor

It is unusual to find a sand beach along this rocky shoreline.

This 1853 Eagle Harbor school was the site where the Knights of Pythias was formed. A teacher that worked here started the organization in 1860.

This organization once had close to a million members in the US and Canada. Abe Lincoln liked it and thought it was good for the country post civil war.

Eagle Harbor is another small rocky harbor along the peninsula.

If you can find you way into it without busting up on the rocks, it is a nice harbor.

The lighthouse will get you here.

The range light (navaid) will get you in.

This ride along the shore is one of the best rides around. You will feel your stomach floating in your chest from time to time. No need to speed. Just ride it.

This gadget was used to pank roads to give them a good surface for horses and sleighs in the winter time. In the 20s and 30s mechanical snow removal equipment came into play.

As you ride the shore, you will eventually come to a turn off for Brockway Mountain. Take it, but also try to ride the shore road to Copper Harbor that you missed. Both are great.

This 9.5 mile road up and down Brockway is one of those depression public works projects. 300 men were paid 25 cents an hour to build this. Total cost was $30K.

Looking back toward Eagle Harbor.

Looking south.

Looking at the mountain from the SE.

The ride down to the east (Copper Harbor) is great.

Looking out at Copper Harbor. One of the first light houses on the lake was put in here in 1849. The Astor was looking for shelter from a storm here in 1844 and busted up on the rocks.

A newer version of that lighthouse.

The Army put Fort Wilkins in here to protect the area from conflict with the Indians and immigrants and the like. There never really was any trouble. During the civil war they sort of shut things down when they moved the troops south leaving a caretaker behind. You can tour the fort in the state park.

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Old 05-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #81
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An optional trip to the tip.

You can ride out to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula to visit, camp, or check out the old rocket range. I have done it on a DL1000 before, but I don't recommend it as it can get rocky.

Here are some pix and info from some other trips I made out there in the past.

Camping at High Rock Bay. (Pix from one of the CannonTreks)

Meefzah (in the picture) will tell you it is a great place to greet the sunrise.

Nearby is the site of a rocket range where experiments were conducted.

A scenic spot.

Some pix from the rocket days.

Some of the experiments involved firing a rocket from a buoy.

Some of you divers may know about the wonderful underwater preserves Michigan has. These is a pretty extensive preserve around much of the Keweenaw. Lots of wrecks to dive.

In 1913 the Waldo was navigating the lake when it got caught in a storm. A huge wave ripped the pilot house off the 451 foot ship nearly taking the Captain overboard as well. Another wave took out the crews quarters and 22 men and two women managed to escape to another part of the ship. The Captain, who was trying to navigate with a lifeboat compass and an oil lamp, tried to thread the needle by passing between the tip and Manitou Island. He smacked into Gull Rock and the ship split in half. They stayed alive for three days out there burning anything from the wreckage they could. Finally two lifesaving crews found them and rescued them.

Not so long ago, a Coast Guard vessel was picking up a buoy in the middle of the night. A young officer was leading the operation. Apparently she didn't have enough reference points on the shore to detect that her ship was drifting. The ship soon hit the rocks, busted open, and sank. All were rescued but the ship was lost. It was drug out to deeper water and is now a dive destination. The approximate site of this mishap is the red X on the first map in this post.

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Old 05-23-2010, 03:25 PM   #82
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GPX Available for Download

I still have a bit more to cover on this ride, but I put the GPX file up for download (thanks 9Dave) for anyone that wants to ride part of this or reference the waypoints.

Download available here:
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:06 PM   #83
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Estivant Pines and Keweenaw Lodge

A tour through a sanctuary to preserve some very old white pines.

Some of these trees started out with Chris Columbus.

Someone wanted to harvest them in the 1970s but public outcry killed that.

I wonder how many thousands of these are buried in the mines.

A nice ride through here.

Another public relief project from the depression.

Golf course.

US 41 runs through some forests and rolling terrain coming out of Copper Harbor going south. It is not as nice as the shore roads, but pretty darn close. By the way, US 41 from the tip to Menominee is named "Sheridan Road" after Civil War Major General Phil Sheridan, a cavalry commander who never lost a battle.

I think I mentioned tha blackflies could be a problem this time of year. Not uncommon to see people dressed for it.

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Old 05-23-2010, 07:24 PM   #84
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Delaware and Central Mines

The Delaware Mine was just down the road from the Central and Cliff Mines. It never really did as well though.

About 1,500 people lived here in the 1870s. There were 200+ structures.

Horace "Go west young man" Greeley invested in this mine. He should have invested in the Central or Cliff where $100K got you $2 million. Horace didn't pick 'em well I guess. He lost the election to Ulyesses Grant too.

He did get a nearby mountain named after him though.

You can climb down 100' to take a tour of the first level of this mine today.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:31 PM   #85
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The Central Mine did much better.

Some of the structures have been restored. I took a tour of this miner's home a while back. Pretty basic.

I took a ride up on top of the hill looking for the powder house and some other stuff.

Mine doctor's house.

Needless to say I didn't poke around this shaft. 52 million pounds of copper came out of this mine between 1854 and 1898. 1,300 people lived here.

The mine captain's house was usually right in the thick of mine operations.

On the last Sunday of July, every year since 1907, there is a reunion here of descendents of people who lived or worked here. This building is a museum of artifacts and has some exhibits.

This is what happens to these houses over time.

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Old 05-23-2010, 08:02 PM   #86
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Mohawk, Gay, Jacobsville

The snowfall was pretty minimal this year. We were able to ride dirt bikes in April.

Mowhawk was once the big town out here.

The National Guard moved in during the mine strike.

They must have trouble with their highway signs here to have to post the penalty.

The Gay Bar. Good food. You can get a T-shirt.

The Gay School. There used to be better than 1,000 people living here.

The old mill site.

This thing is going to have to come down sometime.

The mill is gone.

But a big field tailings are covering the shoreline.

This is a ship canal that allows a shortcut through Houghton-Hancock.

This is the original Jacobsville Lighthouse that had to be moved when they widened the canal in the 30s.

This is the replacement which is now a B&B.

Personally, I would skip this down and back to Jacobsville and spend the time you save at the Lindell Chocolate Shoppe instead.

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Old 05-23-2010, 08:54 PM   #87
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Epic, as always!

Plus I made a cameo appearance, how sweet is that?
"A man turns his back on the comforts of home, and when the dust all settles and the story is told, history is made by the side of the road..." - DBT

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Old 05-23-2010, 09:09 PM   #88
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Stopped for lunch here.

The interior is much like it was many years ago. Worth a visit.

Another one of those gadgets for grooming the roads for horses and sleighs.

The mining companies had some stamp mills and smelters along the lake. Stamp mills smash rock into sand like particles so it can be processed further. By 1873 10,000 tons of ingot copper ws being shipped out of here each year. The stamping mill and smelter here were among the world's largest. They closed after the 1968 stike that killed off mining in this area.

They dumped the stamp sands (waste) into the lake filling in about 20% of it over time. These sands are a superfund site.

After WWII, they found out that they could get more copper out of sands they previously discarded. They got a dredge to pump sands out of the lake to be reprocessed. During the winter, they left the dredge lay out in the lake. The bilge pump failed and the dredge sunk before the pumps could be restarted. There is a buoy marking the roof that is near the suface out in the lake. This dredge met a similar fate but sunk next to the shore.

There are two companies in the UP that make hardwood sports floors. (Conner and Horner) This is the Horner plant in Dollar Bay.

The Connor plant in Amasa had the contract for the custom NCAA floors. I think they are building one that can be assembled in only a few hours. The winning school gets to keep the floor. Some take it home and use it. Some cut it up and sell the pieces. Apparently there is a lot of science to sports floors.

I stopped into the Coast Guard station as I wanted to get a look at a 47 foot motor lifeboat they had. They were involved in training when I stopped so the visit didn't work out.

The 47' boat is a wonder though. It is a first response recue boat for rough seas and weather. They are self-bailing, self-righting, almost unsinkable, and have a good cruising range. Boats like this are being added to the fleet monthly as replacements for the 44' MLB fleet. Over five years, 200 will be delivered. (This may be complete by now.)

I guess this thing has shock absorbing seats so the crew can take a beating in the surf. This thing can operate in 20' breaking seas.

My Canadian friends might be amused to discover that the Keweenaw was the birthplace of professional hockey leagues. This was around 1902.

There is some history here:
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:26 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Cannonshot

The "X" marks the Mine Captain's house.

It is still there and in use. It is pretty much grown in around the mine site though.

Awesome report as usual!

Each summer 3 buddies and myself take our annual "guy's fishing trip".

One of my buddy's parents is friends of the daughter (who is now in her 70's) of the old captain of the mine. Two summers ago, we stayed in the house for a week, fishing the local lakes and streams.

That peak is still full of iron, and one night we had a heck of a thunder storm roll thru. The thunder and lightning we experienced in that old house had me curled up in the fetal position in my bed, just waiting to get blasted to bits!
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:41 AM   #90
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Chassell, Hanka, Assinins

These small towns have some interesting stores.

Chassell was a lumber mill town. This school operated from 1917 to 1992. It is now a historical museum.

A tourist trap of sorts.

A trip inland to a farmstead.

Herman Hanka got fired from one of the mines after an explosives incident that killed his partner and left him maimed and deaf.

Hanka came here to get away from fuedal servitude on a large industrial farm overseen by the Russian Czar.

After he got canned at the mine, Hanka decided to start a farm on some of the stump lands left over from logging. He put together this farmstead.

These guys would do whatever they needed to in order to survive. They fished and trapped in addition to farming.

For my buddy Askel, who lives nearby.

This once was an orphanage. It is located on an indian reservation.

About half the kids here were indians. The others were here because they were orphaned by tragedy or because their parents could no longer afford to support them and left them here. Times were tough.

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