Snow Mail
Eagle Harbor Web
An unofficial source of Eagle Harbor, Michigan news, views and information.


What George's Eagle Harbor Web viewers are sharing with the Editor

February - April, 2001

When I opened the "electronic mailbox" I found:

"I love looking at the lake cam and seeing what I am missing in the Harbor. The summer will not come soon enough for me. For all of you who have not heard I have moved to San Francisco. I got a nice promotion and had to relocate. Let me tell you, these 75 degree March days are killing me. If any Harborites are ever in the area, please stop by." (Jennifer Houston, 4/4)

"My name is Daniel Susan and I live with my wife Barbara in Tucson, Arizona. Our hearts are in the UP where we try to visit at least once a year to my family home in Marquette. We also almost always drive up to the Copper Country. A centerpiece of our visits is to hang out on the beach watching for the northern lights. Imagine my surprise when listening to late night AM radio last night I heard Art Bell, broadcasting from near Las Vegas, say that the northern lights were visible there. I immediately ran outside to look here, and sure enough, the entire northern horizon was RED with a rather static, but colorful display which moved slowly from east to west! Thank you for the new link to Space weather, where I have been able to follow sunspot activity, and was therefore at least slightly less surprised at last nights show. Sure is funny to have them show up on my front porch!" (Daniel Susan, 3/31)

" I know everyone in the harbor supports our favorite 'Mich State' and I have a wager to propose that will make EVERYONE a winner. I was born in Mich and a lot of my cousins have played for Michigan State football, but I've lived in Tucson for 22 years and come to like the 'Wildcats" of Arizona. My three children graduated from Arizona. Here is the wager: I will bet $50 that Arizona will defeat Mich State in the 'Final Four' contest. The loser will donate the $50 to the Keweenaw Historical Society. That way, everyone becomes a winner!! I'll be up to the harbor about 3 June." (Jack Hartmann, 3/27)
OK, Jack. Jim Boggio, Barb Been, Ron Kowalewski, and I are covering your bet. Your loser check should be payable to the Keweena County Historical Society. Thanks!

"Just had to let you know my daughter Laura and I found some of the most beautiful pictures of our wonderful Eagle Harbor at We just happened to be browsing around when Laura said I should put Eagle Harbor in the photo search area, and what do you know! To our great delight there were plenty of photos to choose from for our desk top. Now we can wake each day with a new and familiar picture of Gods Country to greeting us. What a great way to share our beloved Eagle Harbor." (Sheila Curto, 3/25)
Sheila, the photos on this web site appear to be the offerings of Harbor neighbor, Rick Finke. Some of them look familiar.

"I have a request, or maybe it is a suggestion, but how about a map of some sort on your site? When you talk about places (waterfalls, hiking trails, bays, and currently, Seven Mile Point) we "wannabes" don't know where you are talking about. Maybe some times you would want to keep a favorite spot private, but surely not with a good cause like Seven Mile Point?" (Alison Pontynen, 3/20)
That's a good idea, Alison. I, incorrectly it seems, just asume everyone knows where these places are. I'll put it on my "to-do" list for next fall's start up.

"What is this LIQUOR FUND headlined in the Township Budget? Something to keep all you Winter birds pleasantly mellow? Just another CC subsidy to keep EH occupied through the dark season or what?" (Mack Kelly, 3/18)
Oh my, we have been found out! Ostensibly, this is a small trickle of state money (about $400) the township annually receives to inspect our liquor license holders (Harbor Inn, Shoreline and Store). I suppose it could be used for "sampling", but it's sent off to Sheriff Ron for extra patrolling in the township. (That's the "official" line. One never knows.)

"Am glad you are adventurous even if its only crawling over the Lake Breeze fence...keeps the heart a pumping and the mind working! Our St. Patty's day snow storm arrived this morning on St. Urhos day. And spring break starts at 5:01 this evening. Yes, I wore purple and will bend my elbow at 5:02 with folks who will receive a pontification on the merits of this great day. (They haven't got a clue!) The corned beef is ready for the pot as are the spuds and veggies. Tomorrow's supper will also be an edification to the younger generation....Irish don't have a strong foothold in this end of the state. Hope you don't get too many messages in the "you must be careful yadda yadda" genre. Here's to more adventures! Oh! I rode Big Sky lift with long "O" folks who knew where Calumet and E. H. were and "just loved" the area! They are thinking of purchasing over near Pictured Rocks." (Liz Benson, Pocatello, 3/16)

"I've been worried about you. Eleven days between entries for the "Almost Daily" journal is an awful long time. So I'm glad you're ambulatory and especially that you're back on the trail of those elusive northern beasts. Thanks for the great Harbor country pictures you've been posting between journal entries. And, before you decide to scale those snow drifts again encumbered by your cast, please consult with the Wonderdog. I imagine her barking was meant to tell you to tame your wanderlust a bit until the ankle is fully healed. It's sunny here on Wall Street and should get up to 50 degrees today. We even have sparkles on the East River at the foot of the Street. For us a nice body of water -- but a very, very poor substitute for your Superior views." (Bob Carow, Wall Street, 3/16)

"I had posted a question a while back regarding the "Old Military Road". I received some excellent information. I would like to extend the search a bit and see if anyone has additional information and/or maps that would show the actual location of the Old Military Road. The OMR has become a hobby of mine. I would like to do some hiking this summer to search for it and would appreciate any additional details our readers could share. If there is enough interest, this could make a good 3 - day (in the bush) expedition for interested hikers." (Jim Wachowski, 3/12)

"Hi: George: Martha and I met Nancy and John Wakemen the other day and went to the yooper picnic in Sarasota. There were 300 there and about 12 of us from the Eagle Harbor area. `Kings, Crowleys, the people that used to stay in the old 2 story cottage across the street from the Catholic church and related to the Auger family from Calumet. That was there before Lynda Pruners place built by Fletcher. Also a few people from Sand Bay, Joanne and others. It was fun. Great weather today. In the 80s and the ocean is about 75. Sorry about that but then the Harbor will be that way soon." (Fred Kellow, 3/12)

"I noticed with interest that Sheriff Lahti and the County is considering joining the MSP 800NMHz Trunking System. There are two important points to think about, before doing that.
1) The costs, both up front, as well as ongoing, as well as the very large equipment repair costs, will be something the County taxpayers had best be aware of. Over some 15 years, the County, for what MSP will charge, will easily be able to update their own systems.
2) Of considerable impact, for a rural County, is the ability of its residents to monitor problems via scanners, both to be of assistance, and to be aware. The MSP 800 (Digital) Trunking system, is an encrypted communications system (secure, as the term goes) from anyone who may wish to monitor. This does not always work well for rural areas...something to think about." (Roland Burgan, Hancock, MI, 3/9)

Hurry back, Tom. You'll like the improvements to the Mountain Lodge course (watered fairways, no less), and our local hackers could use a few tips.

"I spent the last 10 days in Eagle Harbor, 4 of them in solitude - alone. Quite a nice change from the nations captial where single-driver cars outnumber road capacity by about 100 to 1. Traffic - ugh. I'll guesstimate the average number of cars passing through the Harbor (including those that check their mailbox every two hours) at 10 per day. Of course, my numbers don't include the Road Commission. We got them to toot their horn one blizzard night last week - a nice reinforcement that civilation DOES in fact keep it's eye on M-26's wellfare. My mission was to accept a new TV and Lay-Z-Boy on Tuesday the 20th. They both made it. I stood in one of our blizzards and watched the new TV, out of its box, act as an expensive snow fence in the driveway while the delivery crew assessed their get-it-in-the-house strategy. The Lay-Z-Boy's deilvery was less entertaining. After a 2-hour X-Country ski run (2nd time on those skies) the TV warmed up enough to turn on. Cable - gotta love it! I had forgotton - the rest of the world was still in full swing! On Thursday, Mom and Dad arrived on nameless "Old Reliable" (it's red, doesn't carry enough gas, and is lucky to be on time). The desk clerk tells me "Old Reliable" will catch up with the industry, customer demand, and common sense and start using a much needed Avro Jet. WMPL provided the entertainment until midnight when Art Bell comes in pretty good from Chicago. Sunday was the scheduled return date. The weather would end up telling me when IT thought I should go home - 3 days later (we really need that Avro). All's good. I ran off to Mt. Bohemia - Awesome! If you didn't know it, at times you think you're in Alaska or British Columbia. Tuesday, after one unsuccessful landing attempt in Detroit, we were sent to Lansing and back to Detroit to try it again. So much for that great tailwind. I was in no rush to see the DTW Disaster anyways - construction, potholes, noise. Reality was inevitable - and next week it's back to Washington, Amsterdamn, Dallas, then Boston - hopefully I'll be settled in by May. Eagle Harbor twice this summer will be lucky - I had to enjoy each day during my second Winter experience there." ( Tom Wachowski, 3/1)

"Just seeing that item (valuation increases) is scary. So often a small resort 'community" is swallowed up by new money purchasing available property at "new value" (inflated)prices, that the valuation process begins. My aunts property along the AuSable River tripled in taxes after two reviews in a five year period. It often forces owners on fixed incomes to sell....and the spiral continues! I can see this happening in the Harbor. Hell, many people cannot even keep the property in the family, as the value (and taxes) get prohibitive. What is good for the county valuation is not always good for individual land owners. That is when the character of the community is threatened." (Larry, 3/1)
Larry, the good news in Michigan is that even though the assessed value (also called "State Equalized Value", or SEV) may increase to reflect market pricing, the increase in "taxable" value , what you actually pay taxes on, is capped at "cost of living" % or 5%, whichever is lowest. (Voter approved constitutional amendment, so called Prop A.) For this year the State has set the cost of living increase at 3.2%, so that applies. In my case my assessed value has been increased a whopping 22%, but my taxable value increase is limited to the 3.2%. The hooker is that if ownership is transferred, the taxable value is adjusted to the higher assessed value. This state policy actually deters sales. Of course if you make improvements to your property (addition, major remodel, etc.) these improvements increase both taxable and assessed values. A deterrent against fixing up your property.

"George, I'm forwarding this note from Bruce Olson. Not sure what this is all about but I trust you will do the right thing. (By the way, did I mention that I left a 50 pound bag of treats for Abby with Jean.)" (Bill Medlyn, 2/28

"Dear Bill, Congratulations on winning the pasties. Your estimate of 56 inches is the correct one. I did take a quick detour while grooming the trail and panked some extra snow into the gage but I doubt this will fool anybody. I will call George today and concede. All I ask is that you think kindly of me while enjoying your pasties." Bruce

Bill, late arriving snow reports and today's snow seem to be moving Bruce into the cat's seat, but this is Abby's birthday and she sure likes those treats.

"Happy Birthday to the Wonderdog!! (tomorrow the 28th is her birthday??). How come there is not a lot of snow, like 10 feet high drifts, where your van is parked? The entire vehicle is showing. Is this due to the winds blowing across the harbor and the white stuff piled miles high somewhere else?Just wondering!!" (Carole Krueger, 2/27)
Yes, it's the wind - both from across the harbor as well as off the lake. Plus a friendly snow plow driver who pushes everything to the harbor side of the road, and the good work of Jim Boggio who keeps my parking space cleared out. The big drifts are at the back of my lot.

"The winter sun is in our Idaho azure blue sky today. It gives our souls the needed brightness of coming spring. Temporarily, we grin, tease our pals, and fly around in happiness. But money gods lecture us on power conservation, at home and work. Our water year is dim. California clamors to buy all the power we have.

As I ski, I escape the problems of survival that will be on our doorstep in the Spring. Grand Targhee (Driggs ID/Alta WY) is slammed with the stuff. While, up the road at Big Sky, MT the snow gods tend to look away. Yesterday, the West Entrance to Yellowstone Park closed. Bare roads are unhealthy on snowmobiles.

I take one of my mini ski vacations tomorrow. I stay in West Yellowstone. I visit with all those "foreign" talking folks that have long "O"s in their speech patterns. Most are from the upper Midwest. The magic of Yellowstone and Big Sky Country brings them west for their sunny winter breaks. These chats with folks who "talk funny" ease my buried homesickness for the Copper Country and rejuvenate my creativity. I may have to search hard for these folks this week. Enjoy your snow and any contemplation time afforded by it. Your February writings have prompted some deep thinking in my winter lair. Thank you, George."(Liz (Boorman) Benson, 2/27)

"Yet Another Storm! What's the weather like at the harbor? It's freezing rain now but a little earlier it was snowing. I went home last night to feed the cats and take a shower and then came back to the hall. I remember the last Sunday blizzard and I had to work. I've been holed up in my office all night drinking Starbuck's coffee and trying to catch up on a few things.......a HUGE chunk of snow just fell off of the eves and it startled me! That means that the temperature is still up. Two of my Sunday full time staff live way out in the country where it's wide open but luckly my cook lives in Dodgeville! We've got to get 2 meals out today and I'm sure it will be a full house. The lights just started to flicker. It could make things a little rough if the power goes out. Tech has a generator but it is Sunday. I get pumped in storms! The roads last night had about a foot of heavy wet snow. The main roads were plowed but the side streets were a mess. They pulled the cabs from the road about 9 PM. I can hardly see across the street the snow is piled SO high. The cars are still passing on the highway. The wind started to pick up about midnight but it must have died off. My entire student crew my weekends are from Maylasia and are totally unprepared for this kind of weather. They are wonderful workers and all speak in their native language when together....I don't have a clue what they are saying but they are all smiling and laughing so that's a good sign. I think I'd better sign off for now, I've got to go down and bring up the gas lanterns incase the power goes and the generator doesn't kick on. I will report in again later when things get fired up outside." (Sue Adams, 2/25)

"As I read your winter solace 2/22/01 report of the harbor stillness, I too from a great (warmer) distance wonder how in the world my ancestors lived...and I MEAN LIVED in and with this environment with out the luxuries we have today. I find it is breathtakingly amazing that they were such detemined, faithful, loving, hoping, and willful people to live in those days. Yet to my own amazement...I make the same observations about our present times! What God has given to us now and then is still unchanging. He gave us all those characteristics to make it through life. Thank you for bringing them to our attention....we are too busy to look, listen, etc. to appreciate what we all have now!
I believe that He is the connection we have to those that lived then and to those of us now trying to make it in the overwhelming noise and disruption our world today. Whether we live in a city or rural area away from the Harbor each of us needs to go back to the place that brings us the peace that you are experiencing in the Harbor. Thank you for taking us on that journey with you! A true blessing! A journey that all are not ready to attempt, let alone take or experience! We are too comfortable with all our "busy-ness" and technology to even attempt this journey.
I know that your faith watcher is assisting you well on your journey. I pray that I can continue on my journey, tho I am so very far away from the setting that assists me well...that's ok...for I'll continue to read your wonderful eloquent writings...and ponder some more here in the warm sun...and enjoy the daily beauty of all in my environment.
Thank you...Mr. Hite...for sharing your God-given talent with all of very far away from truly GOD'S COUNTRY! Take care and May God continue to lead on your journey,
Stay healthy...tell my roaming father...B. Jacka...hello and that I wish that I could be there to get some solitude too! And a prayer to Mr. Lantz and Kathy'n Joe!
P.S. I do have to admit...some days I don't even want to look at the site...because the desire to be there in the Harbor overwhelmes me and takes me from my duties here!" (Kathy Jacka Parker, 2/23)

"Hi George My name is Don Adams, Im from downstate, Portland Mi. I was fished out of The big lake last summer (Eagle River) by Jim Boggio And Dick Lantz. when my wife and I got home we found this web site it's great!!!!!!!!. It lets us keep an Eye on our Heroes Dick Lantz,and Jim Boggio. what a great Town! and great people. Any way keep up the great work on the web site and say hello to the boys for me. P.S. Tell the Guys Im still BUYING LOTTO TICKETS so I can buy that boat" (Don Adams, 2/22)

"Great news on the pinery, George! Just wanted to say I've been back in that area a number of times and can vouch for its unique appeal. It deserves to be preserved. Is this Jim Sr.'s crusade or his son's? As a young adult in the late 60's and early 70's, I remember Jim Sr. as quite a character with a lot of 'civic'(among other kinds) of spirit." (Jeff Buckett, 2/17)
It's James B., the elder or, better stated, the "original".

"I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your website. It makes me very homesick for the area. I grew up in Bessemer, MI and went to college at "Da Tech." I lived for several years in Calumet and I miss it terribly. I'm planning a trip to the Keweenaw this summer and Eagle Harbor is definitely on my list! So is Cat Harbor, my favorite beach on the big Lake. I currently live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and have to laugh every time I hear what a hard winter we're having! We've had maybe 60" of snow so far! That's usually when I tell them about the winter we topped 390" when I was in college up there." (Lisa Verhelst, 2/15)

"My son is reading Haunted Lakes II and it has a tale of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse hauntings. It seems even the house next to the lighthouse has a tale...are you familiar with these stories? Even the CGS is involved according to this author!" (Larry, 2/14)
Take a look at Haunted Lighthouse

"Never miss going to your site everyday, but would like to see you have an 'interactive forum' like the pasty cam has with the Cam Notes and John Dee with his "Ask John". his way your readers can have an ongoing discussion with you, for everyone to see, and also post a comment or two themselves with you providing a response. ( This format would probably keep you busy, therefore, will not have to dream of climbing some far off mountain range, but stay busy at your keyboard). I thoroughly enjoy this informal, and friendly setting. Especially with John Dee's accident and the overwhelming of love, concern and support that his readers provided him. I realize that we can leave a "Message", but it is not the same. A devout reader and Abby fan." (Carole Krueger, 2/11)

Oh, Carole, such a tempting suggestion. I subscribe to the idea that internet sites should be interactive - that's what the Internet is all about. And I certainly get a lot of feedback, including scores of well wishes whenever Abby or I get into trouble (often), as well as hundreds of inquiries of all sorts about this place and the many facets of living here. Some of this I post in "Messages" because I believe it to be of general interest, but for the most part I respond privately.

I do believe in forums, little inside-the-site marketplaces where people can exchange, as the Harbor Web masthead proclaims, "news, views, and information". That's why the site offers a "Bulletin Board", a "Potluck", a "Harbor Q&A", a "Place to Stay", a "Favorites", "Old Pics", "Summer Scenes", as well as "Messages". By far the most gratifying aspect of my now five year tenure as Harbor Web webmaster/editor, has been the widespread site visitor participation in these forums - hundreds of news reports, memories shared, questions asked and answered, commentaries, photographs posted, etc. Sue Adams' delicious reporting this past week on the Tech Winter Carnival is but the most recent example.

I've, nonetheless, wondered if something like John Dee's "Ask John" or Charlie Hopper's "Cam Notes" and "Keweenaw Issues" might, as you suggest, be a good addition to our site. Perhaps, but for now I'll stick with what the site already offers. I just can't handle any more. This is not my livelihood (thank goodness - I'd starve), it's just for fun and for doing what I can to help my little town. We, John, Charlie and I, all have our own little niches. Mine's full. Maybe next year.

"Jilbert's Superman ice cream is still made but under a different name. Rainbow ice cream is today's Superman. I know this well, as I sell about 9 gallons of Rainbow (Superman) weekly at my ice cream shop in Copper Harbor. Though most of the Rainbow is sold to children, many gallons a week are sold to adults." (George Nousiainen, 2/9)

"What is a Tar Heel? The University not only uses the nickname "Tar Heels," but the entire state does as well. One version of the nickname's origin has the name first being applied to North Carolinians during the Civil War. One record talks of a battle in Virginia, where their supporting column retreated, but North Carolina troops fought alone. The victorious troops were asked in a condescending tone by some Virginians, who had retreated, "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" The response came quickly: "No, not a bit; old Jeff's bought it all up." The Virginians asked: "Is that so? What is he going to do with it?" The reply: "He is going to put it on you'ns heels to make you stick better in the next fight." (Mark Pontti, 2/9)

"According to the New York Public Library Book of Popular Americana a Tar heel is a native of North Carolina from the production there of pine tar and resins. I hope you are enjoying your "forced" reading time. I just caught up with all of your past "journals" and I really enjoyed reading them." (Diana E. Doyle, 2/8)

"Ah, sweet youth...your musing reminds me of the (foolish) innocence of youth. I remember thinking nothing of going out in my varsity jacket on a 6 mile drive to work! Now my car has all items required for a overnight bivouac (and I'm in INDIANA). It is my sons role now to run around in his baseball jacket with my voice trailing out the door "Wear a hat!". The thought process of your "guests" heading out to the lighthouse/ in Feb/at Eagle Harbor is at once baffling and a reminder of more adventurous times. Thanks for the reminder. " (Larry, 2/5)

"Just letting you know I look forward to reading your "Almost Daily Journal" and seeing the recent pictures from your walk abouts with Abby. Keep your spirits up George, there are alot of folks out here that depend on your writings to help them get through uncertain or troubled times also. I'm thinking I found your site from Pasty.Com, now the two of you are among my favorites to visit on a regular basis. I was fortunate to have lived in Marquette for a short period of time. I am now in Alabama and find myself pining to be back in the U.P., Hopefully I will be able to make that happen, and if I do I won't be leaving again." (Sam Austin, 2/4)