06 September 2020

Drink UP

Before the houses were ours, they were used as a deer camp. Before that, they housed the men that worked the copper mines in the area. And all these men, hunters and miners alike, would sit on their porch after a long day, drink their beer, and chuck the empty bottles in the yard. It is a sea of broken glass out there. 

But every once in a while, we find a treasure. This one was given to us by the Montreal river.

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07 July 2020

Delaware Days Of Yore

The town of Delaware, MI is a ghost town. The Delaware Mine, a copper mine that once brought business to the area is still there, and you can visit it in the summer for a highly recommended, self-guided tour. Across the road, on Highway 41, are the last two remaining miners' homes. 

I found some pictures on Keweenaw National Historical Park's Facebook page that show how our houses used to look in the late 1800's, and the late 1900's when only two homes remained. You can clearly see how much higher the road is now, and why we have foundation issues.

I particularly like the last picture where the two are combined into one. I am not sure who made it, probably someone at the Michigan Tech archives, but I really appreciate the visual of our place in history.
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10 June 2020

Yooper Update June 2020

It occurred to me that I haven't shared an update on our Yooper project in quite a while. To be honest, we haven't done much. For the remainder of the summer of 2018 we continued peeling off layers of paneling, lath and plaster, and the likes, only to come across issue after issue. A car went off the road about thirty years ago, for instance, and ended up in the living room. The resulting broken studs were never properly repaired. The foundation was seriously bowed inward due to decades of heavy snow pushing against it. The kitchen floor and joists were rotted through.

So, somewhere in August we decided to temporarily throw in the towel on the one house and focus on the other for a little bit. We cleaned it out, painted the downstairs, and moved in. And that's where we have stayed for the past two years. We did put a new roof on the first home because we feared it would not last another Michigan winter without better protection, but that was about it.

For the past eighteen months we didn't do much more than hang out, enjoy the area, and putz a little bit in the woods. We paddle boarded on the Montreal River, swam in Lac La Belle, encountered a wolf on the way there, and enjoyed the summer weather with family and friends.

But the houses won't fix themselves. And so we've made a plan, along with a budget, for everything that needs to be done. We are currently looking at financing because there is a lot on that to-do list. If we go the bank route, we'll be done at the end of the summer - I remain ever the optimist - and can rent out the houses during the winter sports season. They're perfectly situated for that; right on the snowmobile trail, a few miles from Mt. Bohemia.

If we decide not to finance this endeavor, it will be a ten-year plan with one large project every (other) year. This year's projects, regardless of financing, are putting in a driveway and fixing the foundation. We made a very solid start with the driveway last week, and the foundation repair is done. Onward!

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