100 Years


As I walk down this particular stretch of snowmobile trail, I feel something almost magical in the air. Although it’s just a trail through the woods in the middle of nowhere now, a hundred years ago it was the burgeoning Main Street of the Mohawk Mining Location. These locations, as they were called, would spring up overnight anywhere that iron ore was found, and then, when the ore was gone,  would just as quickly disappear.

They had a large school here (the only remnant left here is the school’s concrete basement hidden in thick underbrush), a general store, and many houses.

As I walk along, I like to think I hear children playing in the muddy street, or groups of miners thumping down the ubiquitous boardwalks on their way to the underground mines, or perhaps the aroma of some Scandinavian dish wafting through the neighborhood.  Babies cried here. Kettles boiled over. Jalopies got stuck. Life happened here.

This is the same stretch of road a century ago.




dance of the madmen

in darkness

just before the dawn

the madmen dance

out on the lawn

spin, scuttle, clop

for in the light

a toothless grin

or sunken eye

or drooling chin

betrays the madness

deep within

spin, scuttle, clop

they promenade

and curtsy low

they all join hands

and dosey doe

spin, scuttle, clop

and as the threat

of daylight spreads

they waltz their way

back to their beds

to dance all day

inside their heads

spin, scuttle, clop


(orig. posted 2/17)