A cool publication! It's called the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company Semi- Centennial and it was released for the years 1866-1916. It profiled lots of cool info about C&H and the lands that it controlled and the people that worked there and in the communities. It has lots of great ads from local businesses that used to be in Calumet, Mohawk, Kearsarge, Lake Linden, and Larium. Businesses like cigar shops, candy shops, breweries, furniture stores, and custom tailoring. Its great to see some of these businesses still around, and others are only now left to our imaginations. But with these ads and profiles of local businessmen, we can more easily imagine them and the seemingly romantic, old times of The Copper Country and the boom times that gave us what we have left of it.
Below I took a few pictures of just a few ads I liked. Sorry about some of the blurry pictures. Hope you enjoy anyways!
NANNY JANE GRAY by Lynette Webber
Nannie Jane Gray was born to a Cornish mining family shortly after
their arrival in the US in Ishpeming, MI in 1866. Her life was full of
trials, while her attitude provided the ultimate in tribulations. She
was satisfied with her very full time on Earth. The following
storieswere told by her granddaughter, Eunice, in the early 1990s.
When she was young Jane attended school in Hancock, MI. She could see
the sailing ships while she sat on the hillside overlooking the Portage
Waterway between Hancock and Houghton, which cuts the Copper Country in
half. She remembered her father, Benjamin, trading horses with the
Indians there. She was afraid, so she would hide under the bed when they
came to do business. Mother Mary Gray ran a rooming house in Hancock
for a time, later in Ishpeming, where daughters Jane and Linda met their
future husbands, Joseph Webb and William Paynter. Mother Gray also had
rooming houses in Wakefield and Bessemer. The building in Bessemer still
stands on the street across from the Lutheran Church - a big brown
two-story, next to Velin's house, by the Methodist Church.
and Jane Webb lived in a small company house near the First and Last
Chance Saloon (where the cave-in is now). Once Joe was very late in
coming home so she went to the saloon and sat in a chair in the middle
of the dance floor and broke up the dance. Baby Benjamin died in that
small house when he was only a few months old. He was the second child.
Mary (Maude) first, then Flora Mae, Eunice Vera, Erma Gladys, and George
When Maude was a teenager they lived in town on Main Street
above a saloon. To sneak out at night, Maude pounded nails in the wall,
outside her window, leading to an outside stairway so she could climb
down - don't know how long she got away with it.
Later the family
moved into a "Barber House," in the Ironton (mining location near
Bessemer, MI) next door to the Trevarthen family, whom had many children
and together they enjoyed lots of family parties. When Erma was going
to nursing school at Michigan University along with the Macfarlan girl,
Jane Webb sewed all their nursing uniforms and their regular long
dresses and coats.
Joseph Webb died of miners' consumption in 1918.
Jane Webb then had to live with her married children. Around that time
George Webb went to U of M but failed out. He then went to Detroit,
where Erma was living, and had a gas station and a dry cleaning business
until he died at age 80.
Jane earned a living as a peddler of
fabrics and patent medicines, soaps, salves, liniments, etcetera from
the Sayman’s Co. and Mitchell & Church Fabrics. Her orders would
come to the freight office in Bessemer and we would haul the boxes home
to be sorted, then she would deliver them around the mining locations. I
remember helping haul bags up the back roads by the Tourist Park to
Anvil and Mrs. Bridges’ house. My son-in-law's mother says she remembers
Jane Webb coming to their house in Puritan.
Jane liked to crochet,
sew, do jigsaw puzzles, draw birds and play the piano. She cooked an
excellent pasty and Christmas plum pudding boiled in a white cloth and
full of beef suet and raisins. She drank green tea because it was not
fermented, ate onion sandwiches to prevent colds, loved fresh oranges,
and hated booze and drunkards. That is why I never drank or smoked. She
stayed with us most of the time.
In the 1930s we all lived in a new
apartment building on Linwood Ave. in Detroit where I started
kindergarten. When the depression deepened and my dad lost his job at
Detroit Edison, we all moved to Verona to Aunt Mabel's farm up by the
fire tower where the ski lodge is now. Eunice remembered, "A wintertime
when my school bus to Verona grade school was a buslike body on sleigh
runners with a pot belly stove inside for warmth, benches running along
the sides and holes under the windshield where the reins to the 2 horses
were. I cannot recall the long walk down from the farmhouse to the road
in all that snow, maybe Joe Weston helped me. I spent the first and
second grade in Verona then lived on Colby Hill in Bessemer."
slipped on the wooden sidewalk there on Second Avenue and broke her leg.
I cried and cried. Mrs. Vermustic across the street brought over the
best-tasting chicken soup! She was Shirley, Jack and Elaine's mom."
"In the 1940s during World War II Jane lived in the house at 1610 S.
Hadley alone for a while when we were in Detroit doing war work. After
the war I came back and she had a party for my marriage to Bill Borowski
May 14, 1946, and then she died quietly May 28, 1946, at the age of 80.
Flora Mae was there, she lived just down Hadley street in Jane's former
house in Ironton (or perhaps the house move was later)."
She was a
lady of grace, kindness, and self assurance. She was always singing
church hymns, spreading the joy and strength that can only come with a
true pioneering spirit.
|Nanny (her birth name) Jane Gray Webb|
|Joseph Webb (her husband)|
|Daughter Maude with her son Buster, who would be murdered in the 1930's.|
|Nanny Jane and her children|