SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Electri City 1906

Electri City 1906

Houghton, Michigan, circa 1906. "Shelden Street." Houghton was nothing if not well wired. 8x10 dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Organic movement of 104 years ago

Aw, it WAS something beyond well wired.
The streets were well fertilized.

Digital City 2010

The location of the photographer crouched under the hot black cloth is exactly where "Welcome to Houghton" walkway currently is.

[Or was. The skywalk is gone now (see below). - Dave]

View Larger Map

Houghton memories

I attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton in the '60s and immediately recognized this scene. The magnificent Douglas House hotel is still there and looks amazingly unchanged, as are many of the other downtown building on Shelden Avenue. The wires are gone, though.

Hey, I live there!

Here's an updated view from 2008. Since then, they've replaced the streetlights, removed that skywalk, and the street is now brick.

Bright Lights, Big City

I never realized Houghton was that large of a town at the turn of the century. My great grandparents emigrated from Canada to Houghton in the late 1870s. My grandfather worked as a sawyer in the lumber industry till about 1905, when he moved to the really big city -- Detroit.

It could almost be today

I immediately recognized it. I wish I still lived there-- I'd shoot you a picture. Of the four buildings in the foreground, three are still there. The one front left is gone. The back right one still has the tiny windowed panels over the main windows.

A memory

More going on then than today.

Butterick patterns

These are still sold today. I looked them up and they are selling their closeout styles for 3 bucks each. They retailed for 50 cents new in the early 60's when I sold them.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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