A Corner Lost in Time

William Harris was one of Lake Linden’s most prominent citizens, having not only ran a successful mercantile business in town but also serving as the village’s first mayor. After the devastating fire of 1887 decimated twelve city blocks, Harris helped finance the rebuilding effort with several grand – and most importantly fireproof – buildings. One of those buildings was Mr. Harris’s own private residence, a unique Queen-Anne style brick home on the corner of Hecla and Second streets.

The Harris House is a brick and sandstone masterpiece, but surprising petite for a man of such stature. Besides the sandstone foundation, the building sports the rusty stone in belt courses and window lintels.

The building’s most arresting feature is its unique off kilter rectangular turret which adorns its south-east corner. Though far too narrow to provide any living space, it definitely makes a strong statement when viewed from the road.

While a building of incredible beauty and stature, I found the assortment of odd and ends found curbside to be much more interesting then the house itself.

By far the best part of the old building is the still intact wrought iron fencing surrounding it. Perched atop a short sandstone wall, this old time embellishment gives the building a great deal of its classy curb appeal. While many old buildings in the Copper Country still retain their old property walls, the iron fences that once graced them have all been removed. Not here however.

In addition to the fence itself, the building also manages to still feature its iron gates as well. This one sits across the path leading to the building’s main entrance.

Here’s a closer look at one of gates supporting pillars. It amazes me the amount of details there are to be found here.

Then we have this unique item, found right alongside the sidewalk running alongside the building’s Hecla facing facade. This is a hitching post, used to tie up horses during the golden age of the horse and carriage. For the Harris’s – who had their own carriage house – this particular post was probably here for the use of their guests.

Besides the concrete post, I was also able to spot quite a few of these small iron rings embalmed into the sidewalk alongside Second street. These must be more hitching rings, but why they’re laid out here on the sidewalk and not atop posts of their own is a mystery to me.

These would also seem to suggest that the Harris’s had a great number of guests stopping by at one time…..

One last item of note to be found alongside the old Harris House. This guy sits at the corner of Hecla and Second streets, and it obviously a storm drain. While that may be pretty rudimentary by itself, the fact that this particular storm drain was cast at the Portage Foundry in Hancock makes it a bit more special.

This old drain cover, along with the old hitching posts and still intact iron fence, makes it seem as if the old Harris house and the corner it sits on have been stuck in this perpetual time loop where it’s always the end of the nineteen century and nothing ever changes. A lot lost in time…

2 comments

  1. I’m a great fan of the old homes in the CC and was a little surprised to see this house posted on your Great Copper Country Web Site. I haven’t posted here in quite some time, but after seeing this article I thought I would share a little story of my own about this home.
    In the Fall of 2006 my Father and I were up hunting and visiting family and I had him driving me all over the CC to take pictures of laces I had not seen in a while. I felt a bit bad afterwards, concidering that my Father spent most of the two weeks driving me around verses him getting to hunt ( I quit hunting in 2000 and now spend my time taking pictures) because we came together and I had no other way of getting around.
    But getting back to this house. We were coming back from the Quincy Dredge heading back towards Calumet when I seen this house. I told him to stop so I could take a picture, but the windshield was dirty on my first shot so I jumped out of the truck and took a second picture and then we moved on.
    Well about two months after the trip I was looking through MTU. Photo archives when I came upon a photo taken of the same house around 1900 I believe, but it had very little background info on the house, so I brought my picture up on the computer to see if in fact it was the same house. Well it was, but what almost knocked me out of my chair was that my second picture lined up with the MTU picture, as if I was standing on the very same spot that the photographer who a 100 years earlier had stood on. I even went as far as taking my picture and through Photoshop removed the overhead wires and turn it into a B/W. I was just in awe!
    Your statement on the home being caught in a Time Loop is so true.
    You may have already done an article on this home I just love already, but if you haven’t, take a look at the house on US 41 across the street from the Hut Restaurant, it is beautiful along with a great history behind it.
    I hope you are thinking about putting CCE into a book form ( Coffee Table Style I think would be fantastic) or maybe a series of the same. I made the suggestion in a post a while back.
    The work you have put into saving the history of the CC and keeping all of us who are unable for what ever reasons to see the things and photograph and research these places you have, is in itself a godsend and I am truly grateful to you personally for all your time dedication in sharing this gift with me. I’m sure I’m not alone in my gratitude to you. I know if you were to put all of this information and photowork into a book form, I would be one of the first to purchase as many copies I could for all my Children and Grandchildren.
    Again CCE, Thank You, and God Bless You!

  2. A well mannered carriage horse or team was trained to stand and stay with just a line to a small weight on the ground. The rings on the side walk would have been an alternative to a post and or the ground weight. The survival of either into the 21st century is remarkable.

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