Fishing tackle from the MRHC's permanent collection. These items are currently on loan for display at the Beamier Heritage Center. Their exhibit "Above/Below the Surface" is now at NMU (Autumn, 2022).
These bags (1900-1960s) were used on road trips especially in the desert. The bag was soaked first, then filled and hung on the car’s hood ornament or from the bumper. As water seeped slowly to the surface, it evaporated and cooled keeping the water about 12 degrees cooler than the air. As both air conditioning and coolers for cold drinks were both unavailable to drivers, these offered a somewhat refreshing drink on a long drive.
Tank, shorts and jacket from the mid 1940s. Team Orange Crush was sponsored by Marquette Bottling Works, owned by the Matt Hirvonen. This was thought to be worn by his sons Ray or Melvin.
Bicycle Lanterns ran on kerosene (1876) and acetylene gas produced from calcium carbide and water. The Solar was first made by the American Badger Brass Co. in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1897.
Hand Stamp, Yalmar, Michigan Post Office circa 1894
Charles Wilson settled in the Yalmar area (north of Skandia) circa 1881. He ran Yalmar’s first post office out of his home in 1894. In 1902 he opened the general store which also housed the post office. The store and gas station are still operating on US 41. The center of the stamp would have held the date.
We are starting a new feature here on our website. We will be posting featured artifacts from the permanent collection here in our blog, for your curiosity and enjoyment.
Today's artifact is a sculpture. Curator, Jo Wittler, wrote:
Meet Pete, an iron spider made by Paul Anderson from the bars at the top of the bear enclosure (curved inward to prevent the bears from climbing out.) at the Shiras Zoo. The zoo operated from the 30s to the early 90s.
The Shiras Zoo at Presque Isle first began around 1932. By the mid 1950s only a deer pen was filled. Throughout the sixties and seventies it was a tourist destination with animals such as fox, bobcat, bear, otter, peacock, and guinea hens. An albino buck was brought there in 1983 which is the likely ancestor of the albino around Marquette today. Around 1990 there was a change to only keep native animals. In the early nineties, the city explored an expansion of the zoo, but city residents objected to the proposed development of the Island and the small zoo was closed.
The Abbie passed Presque Isle in the morning, reached the breakwater at Marquette Harbor at 10:30 AM, and pulled into its home landing soon after. The crew stepped ashore, expressing interest in taking a similar trip together in the future. In thirty days, the Abbie had traveled 775 miles without any serious problems. All the Abbie’s men took pride in participating in this voyage from Marquette to Isle Royale and back. They felt a strengthened sense of mutual respect for one another.
Waking after a rainy night, the men dried themselves by a morning fire. The weather improved after breakfast, and the Abbie prepared to leave. Three boys approached the camp, and curiously asked what made the boat go. The answer, “naphtha,” simply confused them. The Abbie cruised on, with the boys watching spellbound on the shore.
At the Portage River the Abbie encountered a steamer called Japan, and the Abbie men exchanged waves and whistles with the passengers and crew on the larger ship. The Abbie cruised across Keweenaw Bay and stopped at Point Abbaye to change naphtha drums. The craft then went on to Huron Bay, passed a camping party at the Huron River, and another at the Salmon Trout River. The Abbie stopped for the night at the fishing station in Big Bay. The surf was so rough that the men chose to forgo landing and just sleep crowded together in the boat that had carried them to Isle Royale and back.
At 4 AM, J.M. Longyear woke the men with a call of “Time!” and they stepped out of their tent to a foggy early morning. The Abbie rushed to the place between Washington Harbor and Grace Harbor where it was to meet the Taylor at 5 AM. There they enjoyed coffee and waited for hours for the Taylor to appear. Tiring of waiting for the belated rendezvous, the Abbie’s men went ashore to cook breakfast from the remainder of their food. Mox declared that the bread was “not so very moldy!” and the men decided it was surely time to go home, as their supplies were truly depleted.
The Taylor finally arrived at 9 AM, four hours after the 5 AM scheduled time. The Abbie was hooked to the steamer to be towed across the lake. The luggage and most of the crew loaded on the Taylor, Mox stayed on the Abbie to make sure nothing went wrong with their boat. The steamer pulled the Abbie forty-five miles across Superior, with Mox calmly seated on the smaller boat, as spray rained down around him.
When they reached Hancock, the Abbie was pulled loose of the Taylor. Mox, an experienced ocean-going seaman, described riding aboard the towed Abbie as the wildest boat ride of his life. The Abbie cruised below the draw bridge to Houghton, where Howard Longyear went to the post and telegraph offices and to buy supplies for the rest of the trip.
The crew left what they described as the worst campground of the trip and crossed the reef at a channel near Siskiwit Point amidst heavy swells. They landed on the southern point of Isle Royale and got out to stretch their legs. The lake quieted as they resumed their trip. At 7:15 PM they reached Washington Harbor, having circumnavigated Isle Royale. They encountered the captain of the steamship Taylor and made plans for the Abbie to be towed across the lake the next morning.
Howard Longyear and Mox went to a nearby smokehouse to have the largest trout of the trip, caught by Howard Longyear, smoked overnight so it could be taken home as a souvenir of the trip. However, the smoking failed and partially cooked the fish. Luckily, Mox had made an outline of the trout on a board when it was caught, and Howard Longyear planned to cut it out and paint it to make a substitute trophy.