Remember When?

McCarthy family photo

A food stand, “Plate Lunch,” belonging to Bill and Edna McCarthy was one of many that were located at the U.P. State Fairgrounds for many years. The couple, along with their children, Dorothy, Lorraine, Bill, Jack, Joyce, Jim, Marlene, Lenore, and Charlie McCarthy, worked at the stand as they were growing up, and their friends and family friends also worked there. For 25 years, the stand was not only at the Escanaba Fair, but also at fairs in Norway and Wausaukee, Wis. Pictured at far left outside the tent were: Tim Crowley (partially hidden), a family friend who worked with Bill McCarthy at the Birds Eye Veneer Company; Jim O’Donnell, an old family friend who not only helped at the fairs, but also the McCarthy home with the roof, plumbing, electricity, and autos; and Jim McCarthy, Bill’s father from Ireland. His family – two girls and nine boys, grew up in Escanaba. Bill McCarthy is pictured inside the tent grilling hamburgers and hot-dogs. His wife, Edna, is in the back of the tent making hamburgers, chili, soup, coffee, etc. Also pictured are Dorothy and Lorraine McCarthy; Mary Soper, a friend of the McCarthy daughters; and Johnny Dagineau and wife, former friends and neighbors. Because all the McCarthy children ate their share of hamburgers, hot dogs, chocolate bars, pop, ice cream cones, etc., it was a wonder how the business made a profit. But after the Fair season was over, there was enough money to purchase a year’s supply of coal for the winter from Stegath Coal and Lumber Co., where the children’s uncle, Ken, worked. The proceeds also allowed Edna McCarthy to purchase new shoes and clothes for the children to start school.