The day started with a trip to Roy’s Pasties and Bakery. Locally, Roy’s is touted as being the very best place for pasties. I stocked up on chicken/broccoli. Plus a few goodies, of course. The ginger/molasses cookies were the best we’ve ever tasted. Years ago during a trip to Prince Edwards Island, we were exposed to this great French origin cookie. Been baking them at home ever since ever since.
This morning we drove to Lake Linden which is only about ten miles from where we were. Per the GPS, a 17 minute drive. Our kind of day.
During the copper boom, Lake Linden was home to a number of stamping mills. When the copper bearing ore was mined, it then had to be “stamped” to a finer consistency before the copper could be extracted. Lake Linden has water access to Lake Superior so it became the main stamping and smelting area in this region. Copper bearing ore generally only contains from 1% to 4% copper. As refining practices became more advanced, it was discovered that the stamp sand contained a good amount of copper even after being processed once. The dredge in the picture was used to recover the stamp sand that was routinely disposed of by dumping into Torch Lake. The entire area is now a designated Superfund Site. One article I read, said the stamp sand is so hostile an environment that not even weeds can grow. And the House of Representatives wants to clamp down on the EPA because they make it much more difficult to repeat this sort of thing.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Lake Linden city campground is on the shore of Torch Lake, part of the Superfund Site. There is a designated swimming area near the campground so I suppose the lake water isn’t so bad as to present an immediate and obvious health hazard plus when we were walking around town, I didn’t see an unusual number of people with two heads. When Gopher & I were taking a walk around the campground area we followed a path up a nearby hill. At the top of the hill was a large fenced pond. The signs on the fence said “Keep out. Raw Sewage”. I needed water for the camper but decided to find it someplace other then Lake Linden.
A number of years ago we used to plan our trips around different themes. Sometimes bike riding, sometimes kayaking. One year it was Rails-to-Trails in the general New England area. We were biking along the tow path of the old Erie Canal around Syracuse, NY. There were signs all along the canal saying “This water is unsafe for human contact”. The local boys were fishing. I’ll pass.
The campground is located very close to the downtown area. We took a walk and had lunch at the historic Lindell Chocolate Shoppe. The building was constructed in 1893 as a beer warehouse. The Lindell Chocolate Shoppe was opened in 1922. The interior is one of the best examples left of early wood and stained glass decor. Golden oak was used exclusively in the combination restaurant/bar with an elaborate archway separating the two areas. The lunch was OK but nothing special.
After lunch we walked down the street to St. Josephs Church. It was built in 1912 by the predominantly French population. The interior is just beautiful. Very high ceilings, stained glass and a huge organ in the mezzanine.
On Wednesday we continued north following the coast to Gay, Betsy, Lac La Belle and Bete Grise. I had hoped to find a nice place to spend the night on the lake shore. No luck this time. The good spots were either already taken by other campers or signed for No Camping. We wound up at the Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor. Fort Wilkins was built in 1844 to keep the peace in Michigan’s Copper Country. Carol’s not much on such things, but I enjoyed touring the reconstructed fort.
Not very impressed with Copper Harbor. Very touristy. We wanted to come here because it's as far north as you can go on the Keweenaw Peninsula (Copper Country).
The commercial copper industry started in the 1850's, flourished until the Great Depression and ended in 1996 when the last copper mine shut down.