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Copyright 1996-2003
Kevin E. Musser

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Champion #4



Author Information

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Riding Copper Range #60
Author: Kevin E. Musser

Home: Hamburg Township, Michigan
On the Chain of Lakes
(On the homestead of D.B. Powers, who settled here in 1834)

Interest in The Copper Range: I was first introduced to the Keweenaw in 1978 as a freshmen at Michigan Tech, majoring in Electrical Engineering. Although I found this region extremely interesting at that time I had very little time to devote to research. I took photos and dabbled in the old Mining Gazette's in Tech's library, when I didn't feel like studying. Tech's Copper Country Archives was just getting started and I do not remember much about it at that time. I really started researching the Copper Range, focusing on the "South Range" area in 1984. I define the South Range as the copper bearing region south of the Portage Canal. I had fallen in love with Champion #4 and Redridge, Freda and could think of nothing else but modeling #4 and the Champion Stamp Mill.

I started collecting a library of Copper Range related books and information starting in 1984. Please visit my. book collection . I also have photographed the entire length of the Copper Range from McKeever to Calumet, taken at specific places which were once important places on the Copper Range. Photos I have taken range between 1978 and present. I have also copied a ton of information from the Michigan Technological University Copper Country Archives. This is the greatest Copper Range resource available and archivist Erik Norberg is also a great resource. Their collection contains 130+ boxes of CRRR material given to Tech when the Railroad shut down. It is some what arranged but still a lot of enjoyable searching is required. 


A picture of me on the left (my best side) along with Roger Parry (center) and Jim Katalin (right) taken in May 1997 at the SIA convention tour. Jim is the President of PM&S, Roger is my Keweenaw traveling buddy. The last photo of me with those great Copper Range box cars. (Photo by Jet Lowe)

My railroad is a 1923 version of the Copper Range from Painesdale to Houghton, with a yard in Mill Mine to simulate the Lakeshore branch. The railroad is 70 ft. mainline, point-to-point, using walk-around throttles. It is HO scale. I am an Associate Editor with the NMRA NCR Hotbox, focusing on subjects from the Keweeanw Region, and I model with a friendly group of guys who meet every Friday called the Midnight Pocatello Yardmasters. I have also presented clinics on Scratchbuilding structures and the use of mock-ups for the NMRA NCR. 

I also suffer from SWRS and I am founder of the SWR Memorial, please visit our page to honor all those who suffer with SWRS.

Supporting those afflicted with SWRS

Occupation (In my spare time): Application Engineering Division Manager, Takata Corp,. (makers of Electronics systems, Sensors, Air bags, Seat belts and interior trim for the Automotive Industry) The world's largest full system safety supplier. I am sure there is one in your car.

My Great-Grandfather, Martin Bishop, (seated on barrel, playing the fiddle, left-center) playing in the hardware store in Quarryville, Pennsylvania (1936?). Photo taken by National Geographic Magazine photographer Willard FR. Culver and appeared in the July 1938 issue.

The article relates: On my way north that evening. I heard the lively music of fiddlers in a Quarryville hardware store. "I keep three fiddles handy f'r my customers," said the proprietor, as he passed cider and doughnuts. "It's sociable, " I said, "but if you go on like this, aren't you apt to go broke?"
"My dad started this store more'n a hundred years ago. I been runnin' it quite a while myself. Haven't gone broke yet!" Written by J. Baylor Roberts (My great-grandfather was one of the customers eating the doughnuts and borrowing a fiddle.He was a farmer.)

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KEMusser Farms (Believe it or Not?)
Roy Rogers Musser and Dale Evans Musser and son Trigger Musser
Wasas and Simar pulling the wagon