NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – It’s a sign of the changing season. As the weather turns warmer and the ice melts away, people from the Negaunee area anxiously await the open waters of Teal Lake. For the fourth year in a row, the Negaunee Lions Club placed a mining headframe replica structure on the ice. The fundraiser let people guess when the structure would fall through the ice and stop the timer. This year, it’s going to take a little longer to find out the exact time.
The structure that has been prominently placed on Teal Lake since February has gone missing. No one stole it, unless you count Mother Nature. Somewhere between the hours of 9 p.m. on May 1 and 8:30 a.m. on May 2, the structure disappeared. The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce said in a release on Friday, “Due to strong sough winds and quickly melting ice pack the headframe structure drifted out of camera sight on an ice flow moving north on Teal Lake.
“We probably will do a little better job of anchoring it and maybe a little different way of monitoring with the cameras but you learn from everyone that you do and definitely learned a few lessons this year,” said Neil Lynch, Negaunee Lions Club.
Now it will be up to the Marquette County Search and Rescue Team to retrieve the structure. But with Michigan’s executive orders related to COVID-19, it’s unclear when they’ll be able to dive and retrieve it.
“They have a fairly good idea of the track that it’s on,” said Bob Hendrickson, Executive Director, GINCC. “They know the location that it’s at and then they way the wind is blowing is a south wind blowing to the north. They have a search plan in place to locate it and then recover it.”
But there is a winner, actually two of them. The prize money of $1,586 will be split between the two closest guesses of the estimated sinking. Roger Holman of Palmer guessed 4:02 p.m. on May 1. Gary Suardini of Neguanee guessed 9:32 a.m. on May 2.
Now this is just a little bump in the road. Both the Lions Club and the GINCC say they plan on doing this fundraiser for many years to come and that this just makes for an interesting story.
“It’s definitely not an expected turn of events but the way things are going this year and it just seems like it’s another thing in the realm of it all,” said Hendrickson.