You're Gonna Love Winter

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Keith Meyers, who grew up in  Chicago, knew something about winter. But he didn’t know one important thing about himself until he moved to the Keweenaw Peninsula after 35 years in Kansas.

“I wasn’t so sure that I was going to be a roof person,” he says. Indeed, that first winter in his Chassell home, he wasn’t. “A friend shoveled our roof.”

Brad Barnett, a native Kentuckian who moved to Houghton, didn’t even know being a “roof person” was a choice … until during his family’s first winter when a neighbor moseyed over and gently mentioned the snow was getting pretty deep up there and used words like “collapse.” Brad hired the roof shoveling out … until the snow got so high by the house in one spot he could literally walk up to the roof to clear the snow.

Both Upper Peninsula transplants proudly became “roof people” (though Brad admits he now outsources). Both have taken on jobs that promote the region to visitors or

prospective residents. What’s more, both men and their families can’t wait for the white to come.

“It’s all about the winter; that’s really a key element,” says Keith about moving to his new happy place.

Keith has U.P. roots; both of his parents grew up here and he would frequently visit his grandmother – primarily in the summer – in Chassell. “It’s always been a place that I’ve had a strong affinity for,” he says. So when he was able to take an early retirement from his job as state director of training services in Topeka, Kansas, “There was no question where I wanted to go.”

Keith, his wife, Julie (a Kansas native) and their dogs moved north, waaaay north. Hardly old enough for real retirement, he has been applying his economic development skills to his adopted home. He is vice chair of the Chassell Township Planning Commission and founded Remote Workforce Keweenaw, a website and a movement to attract

On the workforce website, Keith lists attractive statistics about the Keweenaw – 125 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, average home price of $169,147, average rental of $700 a month, 84% forested land in the U.P. … and averging more than 200 inches (270 in Copper Harbor!) of snowfall each winter. No doubt his Kansas colleagues might not consider that last an appealing attribute.

The website also proclaims, “You will love working remotely in

Continue to read this article in Lake Superior Magazine.




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