This month we have a special story from Doris (Hanzi) Groeneveld who recollects her memories of working at the Copper Range Company Office in Painesdale. Doris is pictured in front of the Office in Painesdale as we start her story. Thank you so much to Doris for this great story and also to her son Bruce who provided the interior plans for all three stories of this structure. You can find her complete story, and more photos, here.
Doris,Thank you for telling us your story. I think it is so important that you passed it on to us all.
I can tell you what was on the third floor of that building. Martin G Meyers gave me the "quarter tour" back in July of 1967 when the building was still in use as an office. The third floor of that building was "home" to the first automatic dial telephone system in the State of Michigan. Built by the Western Electric Company, this prototype system was installed around 1907 to serve the interests of the Copper Range Company. This automatic telephone system was limited to only 100 lines - impractical for a large city but perfect for the Copper Range Consolidated Company in the early twentieth century. A cable and open wires tied all of these interests together - in Baltic, Trimountain, South Range and Painesdale. This telephone system did not interconnect with the Bell System at all. It was, in effect, a private company owned and operated system and only mining company officials had these connected to their homes. The average workingman never actually got to use them much. The system was deactivated in late 1945. Brian R. Juntikka