A Note To My Readers…

I know for some of you the title of this post is somewhat ominous, as the last time I used it I was announcing my intention to shut down CCE permanently. At that time I was reaching a point financially and personally which made the task of keeping up with this site daunting if not insurmountable. Thankfully my loyal readers out there (and you all know who you are) made a convincing case for CCE’s future, and prompted me to continue. Because of you, next month will begin my fourth year of Copper Country exploring.

The last time I wrote a note to my readers my situation – both financially and personally – was much different then it is today. Back then CCE was nothing more than a very time consuming hobby. Since then it has become clear to me that CCE is something much more – it’s who I am. Over the last three years I have learned a great deal about this unique and rich area, and have accidently fallen into the role of a “copper country historian”. And while there are many such people around the country (a lot of which frequent this site incidentally), CCE has uniquely given me a platform and voice others aren’t so lucky to have at their disposal. Its a privilege I don’t take lightly, and a role I hope to fill honorably. Which brings us to the point of this post…

Today I want to announce that CCE will be taking a short hiatus – for the rest of the month of March. During this time I will not be writing new content, but will continue to respond to comments and emails. During this time I will be focusing on re-building CCE from the ground up, the first complete overhaul of the site since its conception. We’re not just talking a few aesthetic changes, we’re talking about changing CCE’s focus and scope as well. We’re talking about a brand new CCE.

During this transition, its very important to me that I provide that type of content in the future that you – my readers – want. So towards that end I ask you to take the time to leave a few comments below on what you would like to see at CCE in the future. Tell me what you’ve loved and what you didn’t like so much. (Black background / white text issue – check!) Let me know what type of stuff you want me to cover, and how you would like me to cover it. While your at it, let me know of any features you see at other sites (RSS, newsletters…) which you would love to see here. My goal is to make CCE the best copper country history website on the web, and the place to everyone interested in the Copper Country to go every day to get their fix. With all of your help I’m sure I can get there.

So for the next few weeks go back into the archives and take a look around. Please feel free to leave a few comments on the older posts and start some new discussions. On April 1st the new CCE will debut, and I hope you all stick around to check it out.

Thank you all for your continued patronage and support, and here’s to another three years (and more!) of our little website…

- Mike (aka explorer)

36 comments

  1. Dale…

    Looks like you’ll just have to stop by every day :)

    Actually we’re looking into it. I don’t necessary want a dedicated page to just comments, so I’ll try to work something out. For now I increased the amount of comments listed on the sidebar until I can figure something out.

  2. One thing I miss on the updated site is the “more comments” link on the recent comments list. I try to check the site every day, but don’t always make it. Plus, some days the discussion gets quite active and there are enough comments in one day to fill the displayed list. Having the “more comments” section made it easy to browse back through several days worth of comments when things got especially active. Any plans to bring that back? Thanks in advance!

  3. So far — I’m a BIG fan of the new organization. Now I can get to all of the maps, search for individual ruin types… yeah!!

  4. Mike,

    It was well worth the wait. Very, very nice!!!

  5. Rabble rabble rabble!

  6. No problem Mike. We just like to keep you on your toes. :p

  7. To All…

    I know you’re all biting at the bit out there for the new CCE but I assure you it will be on-line today… just a few more hours to tweak some last minute stuff…. patience…

  8. Or later…. ;)

    Just kidding Mike :)

  9. oh wait, guess it would have to be 12:01am

  10. Not getting my hopes up to high yet, get knocked down to many times with the Chicago Cubs. But here, he still has 7 hours and 7 minutes, think I will log on at midnight and see if it has changed

  11. 6 hours & 30 minutes…. ;)

  12. My dad worked for C&H on the railroad side, my big memory was riding with him and one other brother on the train from Calumet to Lake Linden and back, brought loaded cars down and took emptys back. Would have been nice to have had a nice video camera then….

  13. Gordy Schmitt,Glad to share what pics I have.Most of my pics are from 67 & up when I Got my ist camera at age13.Even at a young age I realized that alot of structures were disappearing so I decided then to capture what I could before it was gone.With my grandpas connections was able to get alot of tours of buildings as well as a history lesson.For all that partcipate it helps to add a broader view of each topic .

  14. Keep up the great work!

    My suggestion is to somehow classify the unclassified stuff, Like the Mill machines, and mine equipment onto the side, Along with a couple of the random posts that get hard to find.

    Maybe do something about the equipment used in the underground? I haven’t really seen much about that anywhere,

    and definitely keep the white on black, Its really easy on my eyes!

  15. Herb — if you’re using IE or Mozilla under OS 9.1, you must be using VERY old versions. I’d bet that they can’t handle some modern web design standards, which may be the problem.

  16. B Groeneveld, love your old photos that Mikes uses, all stuff I remember when I was a young one, before I was moved to Illinois, then when I was old enough to come back, most of it was gone or I didn’t have enough interest in it yet

  17. Herb, I use Internet Explorer and have not had any issues although its under Windows XP.

    That search box has been there for a while now, just wish I would remember its there when I am trying to find something.

  18. have appreciated all the topics on mining as well as others that are related in some way shape or form to it.I Like the black background and the interactive format. Its great that all can contribute to this site & to broaden in depth whatever subject is opened up.Good to hear that CCE will continue & await the next & many more years for your future ! Great work MIKE !!

  19. Herb from Wisconsin

    PS: after posting my previous comment I notice a “search” up in the right hand corner. Maybe that’s a new feature. At least I don’t remember seeing it there before. Of course, I haven’t been around much lately.

  20. Herb from Wisconsin

    Recently I was not able to read CCE on either Internet Explorer or Mozilla browsers running Mac OS 9.1. Just didn’t open or download. But now today (29 March) I find that it’s opening fine with I.E. again. Whatever change that you make I hope I’ll still be able to access CCE with my old Mac. Right now it seems to be working fine again running I.E.

    I too like the black background and wouldn’t mind additional topics in addition to the mining topics, but of course keeping the emphasis on the mining history. A good “search” tool would be nice too.

  21. Grant…

    Thank you and I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. I’ll keep it up as long as people like yourself are interested…

    Adam…

    Navigation is an issue, so I’m working on that a bit. There isn’t going to be a huge change in the sites look and feel however (dark background is staying), mostly on content and navigation.

    As far as a theme changer here, I’ve tried it at different times in the past but they never quite worked like I hoped. Perhaps I’ll add something in this new version, but if I do it probably won’t make the deadline.

    Jim…

    Thanks for the added pressure! :)

  22. Chicagon Lake Jim

    6 DAYS AND COUNTING FOR THE NEW CCE! NO PRESSURE THOUGH…

  23. Adam from Detroit

    i have no real criticisms…i only ask that you keep it easy to find and navigate all the older material you have. right now it’s set up pretty good. keep the site uncluttered and easy to navigate, however it ends up looking.

    and i am another staunch member of the dark background camp, lol.

    btw, i think some blogs (i know most forum engines do) allow you to upload a few different theme styles and the reader can customize it to how they want it to appear (dark, light, whatev).

  24. I like what your doing with this site. It is a good resource for information about the past in this area.

  25. Gees, the pain, no Explorer updates, I’m suffering withdrawal pains, arggggggg.

  26. Hoser…

    The color scheme is staying, though to be fair to myself its much easier to read since I jiggled the color shades a bit. The only difference will be the lack of feathering on the photos, which I stopped doing a few months ago actually. As for more posts – I had the same idea. My plan is to go back to at least five posts a week, though a sixth isn’t out of the question. What will change is the size of these posts however. Some will still be long, while others will be shorter.

    Geoff…

    As Jay pointed out I do have links to Kevin’s old site, but that was just recently added. Your suggestion about local links is right on the money though. The new site will have a much more detailed link list of other local history web sites (which their isn’t many) including links to all of the sources (google books, historical map sites, ect) which I use to do my research. That list by itself is quite long. However I won’t be linking to any sites that charge admissions. That would imply an endorsement which I won’t be comfortable with CCE making.

    dcclark…

    I have been to Ojibway mine however I never featured a post about here. I did feature that scenic panoramic of the cliffs from atop of the Ojibway rock pile which is probably what your remembering. The Ojibway ruins are a tad bit on the lean side, but since I’ve explored most of the bigger sites already I’m sure I’ll take a second look in the future.

  27. Further ideas: I swear I remember some posts on here about the Ojibway mine. I just made it there again yesterday, and found some rather hidden ruins. That’s one mine I’d love to see covered, as well as a historical look at some of the older mines, like Copper Falls.

  28. Geoff,
    He does have links to Kevin’s websites.

    The links to the Adventure & QMHA is a great idea though.
    It’s too bad the Delaware doesn’t have a website.

  29. This is slightly more off topic but what about connections with the old kevin musser websites? if you had links to those as well as the adventure mine tours, qmha and other local website links I think it would make the whole community more full circle. Thanks

  30. Jay – I very much agree: I like the dark background/light text. It’s a lot easier on the eyes than a page dominated by bright white or color, and the pictures look fantastic against it.

    I also agree with all who were sickened by the post-title, though I’m sure no harm was actually intended…

    My suggestion – simply more posts! I know, they take a lot of time, but you asked.

  31. Yes, much juicy stuff, Mike. My email will be the stuff of legends…

    Oh, and I think using flickr is a great idea for you. I’ve recently ramped up my flickr usage (for reasons to be disclosed at a later date), and it’s really a great social tool as well.

    I’d be glad to help you with flickr stuff, and I’d bet Jay would as well!

  32. dcclark…

    Can’t wait to get our suggestions, I’m sure it will be a lot of juicy stuff. As far as the text width I was actually toying with increasing it but I’m not set on anything. The problem is that all my photos (since the beginning) were set to a 560 pix width, and increasing the text length would cause havoc with my photo/text alignment.

    Jay..

    Its interesting that you bring up the touristy stuff, since you might of noticed I had removed them from the site. Most of that stuff is going to be covered elsewhere (ahem), so I’ll leave it off. However, the museum suggestions are good. Those could probably be added.

    As far as the CC Empire group on Flickr, another coincidental suggestion. I hope to utilize Flickr to some extant on the redesign, perhaps use it to post “behind the scenes” or “editing floor” pics for each post. (sort of a bonus section). No doubt I’ll have to have a greater involvement with photographers such as yourself and the CC Empire group. Hopefully someone out there knows a thing or two about Flickr and can guide me through it :)

    I also will finally get that resource guide together (with links to all my resources), as well as a much more expansive links section. (for that great waterfall site perhaps…) But overall it will all continue to be history based in content and purpose.

    Bill…

    Slow progress that is. But I’m glad to report that after a year of work It looks like it will finally come together this spring. We’re all excited out here. (more details to come…)

  33. Dude…that title sucks!!! ;)

    I know I’m gonna catch grief for this, but I like the black background. It really makes the photos pop.

    As far as content goes, definitely keep up with the mining focus.

    I would also like to see some more touristy types posts. Remember the “Scenic Views” posts?

    One of the members at CCF has a brilliant website about Keweenaw waterfalls, a link to his site would be a bonus.

    How about reviews of the different mine tours (Quincy, Delaware, Adventure) with what’s great about the tour and what’s not so great (IMHO, Quincy’s above ground tour is phenominal but the underground is a little lacking).

    Also there’s a lot of museums in the area. Some info about those would be beneficial to people visiting the area. Not just Coppertown USA, but smaller ones like the one in Lake Linden, etc.

    I’d also like the see the Scrapbook on a regular basis. Not Tricia’s blog (but I do miss that, it was nice reading about life in the CC), but the user submitted galleries. Maybe a link to the CC Empire group on Flickr.

  34. You’ve gotta come up with a new name for these status posts Mike. I’m too young to keep having heart attacks!

    … but seriously, I’m glad to hear that things are working out well. I started to type out a very long reply, and decided it would be too long. So, check your email!

    Summary: please keep the material you already have here. Consider inline images, and please keep the narrow text width. More details to follow…

  35. I was just about to drop you an e-mail asking about how your expansion plans were coming. Glad to hear things are still moving forward!

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