Scrapbook Fridays: Roadside Edition

Its Friday once again, and that means another Scrapbook Friday. This week we delve back into our old postcard collection, this time taking a look at a few of the Copper Country’s roadside Americana including old bars, restaurants, stores, and motels. Most of these are no longer with us, but a few do happen to remain amazingly. So call shotgun and get in the car, we’re about to take a road trip through the highway’s and byways of the Keweenaw.


We begin our road tour out east, at the extreme corner of the peninsula at Jacobsville. Today the town is nothing more then just a scattering of summer homes and cottages, but for several decades the place was large enough to warrant its own post office. Granted that post office shared space with a convenience store.


Next we move west to the shores of Portage Lake and a collection of lake-side cottages at what apparently is known as Waureta Lodge. Never heard of it myself, but it sure looks like a nice quiet spot.


After a refreshing rest at the lakeside cabins we take in a night-cap at the Golden Pheasant Nite Club in Hancock – home of the peninsula’s only circular bar. I believe the bar was located where the Uphill 41 / Goal Post Bar is today, though it was destroyed in a fire after this picture was taken.


We head up to Torch Lake next, spending the night at the White Cutter Cabins in Hubbell. Besides being located along M26, I’m not sure where these were located. They don’t exist today.


Back to Houghton for another hotel, this one a more modern roadside “motor inn” or motel as we known them today. This one’s main calling card was that it had TV’s – one in every room.


After another restful sleep we head out to the bar once again, this time “Paradise Gardens” in Calumet. No circular bar here, but they circular jukebox is sure a treat. The hand painted murals on the walls are something to see as well. Though the bar has long since closed, the building – along with some of those original murals – still exist along Oneco Road just off of US41 south of Calumet.


More rest is to be had in Houghton, where a dozen quaint little cabins await your patronage near Houghton. Known as the Travel Rest Cabins, I’m pretty sure they no longer exist. I’m not so sure where they were located however, though I would guess they were along US41 probably east of the city.


Needing some groceries we head back up to the north and stop at the old Osceola Store just south of Calumet. Located along US41, the store was still standing as late as the early 2000s. Though gone today it once stood on the corner of Millionaire Street right next door to the current Holiday Gas Station.


Finally we wrap up our road trip with a stop at the steamy sounding “The Rendezvous Nite Club” along M203 between Hancock and Calumet. This building has always fascinated me as it continues to stand still today as a private residence and just looks like it was once some type of club or bar. It sits at the corner of Salo Road across from Lakeshore Drive.

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    1. Crap. Thank John, I thought I caught all the imposters in the postcards the first run around, guess not. Wish people would stop using “Houghton” in place of “Houghton Lake” – makes things a bit confusing.

    2. Amen. I was going to add in my original comment that many downstate use “Houghton” and “Houghton Lake” interchangeably, as they’re generally not aware of the real Houghton and only vaguely aware that Michigan has an Upper Peninsula, but that discounts the vast number of Michiganders who don’t give a (blank) about either Houghton or Houghton Lake because they’re both too far north to be on their radar. Their loss, as we know.

  1. I’m pretty sure the Travel Rest Cabins were just South of the MTU golf course entrance. I lived in one of the cabins as a student in the 70’s although between the picture and the 70’s some additional construction must have occurred. Today the cabins are gone and apartments are in their place. The house near 41 remains as well as the other large structure up front. In the 70’s the landlord lived in the house near the road.

  2. On a bike road trip in 1980 to Copper Harbor, a friend and I stopped at a bar somewhere around Phoenix for a brew or two.
    It was a small place, straight bar, kind of a mom and pop business. I can’t remember the name of it.
    It must have been torn down in later years, as I have tried to locate it on numerous return trips to the area, to no avail.
    What made it so memorable,(Other than the name) was that the proprietor kept giving quarrters for the juke box to his son, and the only selection he played was “The Streak” by Ray Stevens.
    Given that we were in the bar mostly for refuge from the very warm temps, (July) pouring rain, and black flies, we had to make a decision.
    It was a no-brainer.
    Before the sixth or seventh rendition of the song, we left the bar, fired up our engines, and offered our soggy selves back up to the black flies.
    Good times.

  3. We used to stay at the Travel Rest back in the 60’s. There was a row of trees separating it from what was then the public golf course. The family that ran it had a resort they ran in Florida in the winter if I remember correctly. It wasn’t far from the public beach and park on the other side of 41. After they closed, I think we might have stayed at the TV motel. Not as economical for a family. No kitchen facilities.

  4. I believe the TV Motel in Houghton turned into the College Motel, which is on the corner as you turn left to the canal right before Tech … there are newer apartments there. Additionally in response to the person talking about the Mom and Pop bar near Phoenix, that still exists … it’s the Vansville. Still open and run by the same family.

  5. Jr Prom dinner at the Rendezvous, First pizza that was not homemade from the Golden Pheasant. Only remember it was lousy

  6. Ah, the Golden Pheasant (or the Ruptured Duck or sometimes the Brass Chicken), first drinking establishment after crossing the bridge from Houghton. I believe it burned in the winter of ’71 – ’72. I lived less than a block away in the house next to the Holiday gas station/store. At the time the owners planned to rebuild, stating the circular bar could be salvaged. It was, like Nutini’s, an ode to 40’s or 50’s style.

    The Rendezvous Supper Club, along with the Onigaming, were places I took my parents when they came to town. God forbid they should find out I frequented such places as Jerry’s Bar in Houghton, where no cleaning had taken place in maybe 25 years, and happy hour was from 7am to 3pm daily.

    Paradise Gardens was still operating when I lived there. It was a sad, faded place with mismatched tables and chairs in disrepair. But I liked the murals and the barkeep was friendly. We were usually the only customers when we were there. I always thought it would have been a great dance venue. But we were “rock and roll” so we did our dancing at the Halfway Bar on M-26 heading toward South Range.

    My freshman orientation meeting at Tech included the admonition to stay away from the Grey Hackle Bar in Calumet, as students were not welcome there. Does anyone remember that place?

    Loving “Scrapbook Fridays”.

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