Michigan has its fair share of characters, whether they're in your hometown, the cities, villages, countryside...we got 'em. Some of the most colorful Michigan characters come from the Upper Peninsula in Copper Country. Take for example, the following four Michiganders:

BILL MATILLA
Bill Mattila decided to live life as a hermit on Brockway Mountain. In the gallery below, he stands in front of his patchwork home, made of tar paper and bits & pieces of who-knows-what. With more personal stuff accumulating, Bill added on extra tar paper space. In his younger years, he worked in a Detroit factory and later said he wanted “to live off the land as his grandfather had done in Finland years ago”.....so he did.

CLARENCE DAULT
Notice Mr. Dault's mailbox (seen in the gallery below). He fashioned it from an old stove, frying pan, and coffee pot. He claimed the stove was useful for burning junk mail and warming his nice letters. His mail was delivered by the Lake Linden postal worker on the Bootjack Road route. Clarence passed away in 2000 at age 83.

HARD LUCK ED
Hard Luck Ed (Edward S. Johnson) was a favorite character in Calumet and Gay. When he was 17, he fell from a scaffold at the Mohawk mine/mill ruining his back for life. In 1936 someone hit him in the face with a snowball and he lost an eye. Also during his youth, he was an amateur boxer, avid roller skater, and bicyclist, once cycling for 114 miles in a single day. Ed also loved ice skating, that he continued to do for 55 years. He had a job at the Gay store where he impressed the residents for his strong will to keep pushing, even through his lifetime hardships. He passed away in 1963 at 76 years old.

JOSEPH SILER
Joseph Siler of Hancock lived in the same house since 1918. Joe is seen in the photo gallery below sawing up some wood for his coal & wood stove. Almost 90 when this photo was taken, he was determined to keep busy and to do his own work. Joe passed away in 1978 at the age of 95.

Take a look at all four in the gallery below...

Four Characters From Michigan's Copper Country

MORE MICHIGAN CHARACTERS:

Michigan's Forgotten Troubadour: Omo The Hobo

The Cream of Wheat Man: Frank L. White

The Execution of Private Eddie Slovik