The great Copper Empire reached its peak at the height of the Victorian Age, and thus the great buildings and homes that were erected in the Empire’s honor were drenched in more then the usual amount of Victorian exuberance. One ... More »
Quincy may have been the first mine to the scene above the narrow waters of the Portage’s west arm, but it would be another company that would have the honor to be the first to erect a stamp mil...
By 1888 Hancock Village had evolved into a regional powerhouse, a center of commerce and industry that was quickly outpacing its neighbor across the canal. It had also already scored a nice collection...
We continue our exploration of Hancock with a behind the scenes look at City Hall. This face of the clock tower has no hands. I don’t know if this was intentional or this side was used for repla...
We’ve discussed this old stone building before on CCE but have yet to feature it. So today we take a quick look at what has to be Hancock’s oddest structure. I don’t know its name, n...
So far we’ve travelled a dozen years through the lifetime of Hancock, discovering its cultural institutions as they have cropped up and noted when they have faded away. Today we conclude our series by fast forwarding another dozen or so ... More »
By 1888 Hancock Village had evolved into a regional powerhouse, a center of commerce and industry that was quickly outpacing its neighbor across the canal. It had also already scored a nice collection of churches, easily outnumbering the piddly number ... More »
Last week we took a look at what I considered to be Hancock’s impromptu city center, an area of real estate in and around the public school grounds that the majority of Hancock’s cultural amenities congregated to after the turn ... More »
Today the Copper Country is just another pretty corner of the country, but a century ago when the mines were operating in full swing the region was of national interest. At the tail end of the Victorian age the wonders ... More »
The view of Hancock’s city center above was taken in the winter of 1910, at the city’s economic and cultural height. This was something more then a simple mining town on the frontiers of the Keweenaw wilderness, this was a ... More »
The community of Hancock was given life by the Quincy Mine, whose agent Samuel Hill first platted the village in 1859. That original platt consisted of just 14 blocks, situated between the current streets of Reservation on the east and ... More »
Quincy may have been the first mine to the scene above the narrow waters of the Portage’s west arm, but it would be another company that would have the honor to be the first to erect a stamp mill there. ... More »
The Quincy sands may have been a hazard to navigation, but they were particular convenient when it came time to construct a bridge across the Portage. Extending several hundred feet into the waterway, the presence of those sands meant a ... More »
With the Quincy Mill gone, the ragged landscape on which it once stood and the vast tailings that it had formed became a sprawling vacant lot. For a time Quincy continued to utilize its old stomping ground, as its docks ... More »
The long hard winter may still be with us, but take heart that another season of Copper Country exploring is on the horizon. To help you get prepared (and to help alleviate those winter blues), we’re running a spring sale ... More »
Hancock was platted atop a narrow ledge of land sitting high up a ridge overlooking the Portage, a proverbial city on a hill. This elevated position meant that access to the waterfront was limited to just a few streets cutting ... More »
Having been born from the bosom of the Quincy Mining Company, the village of Hancock was faced with some particular problems most of its neighbors – especially its neighbor across the canal – did not share. The most notable of ... More »
The exodus of mills from the Portage Valley left large swaths of lakeshore empty and undeveloped, and it wasn’t long before new industry swept in to take its place. Yet along the Hancock side at least, the old mining landscape ... More »
The Keweenaw Peninsula garnered its name from the native population who referred to the long finger of land as “Kee-wi-wai-non- ing”, roughly translated as the “place where portage is made”. Those early people would forgo traveling around the long finger ... More »
Hancock’s original compliment of public schools were anchored by a large campus sitting in the heart of the city along Quincy Street. The first to be built was the classically inspired brick building seen above, erected to house the city’s ... More »
In the districts early years, most copper recovered from the peninsula’s depths were shipped almost straight out of the mine to points east for smelting and refining. Later as the mass mines emptied and companies turned to more finely distributed ... More »
This rather handsome small sandstone building along Hancock’s waterfront appears at first glance to be an old garage, one recently converted into a motor sports business. That assessment would be partially correct, considering the building’s previous tenant was indeed an ... More »
Sandstone was a particularly expensive and unwieldy construction material, usually reserved for structures built with some rather substantial financial backing. Thus most sandstone buildings erected across the Keweenaw at the end of the nineteenth century were often built by one ... More »
Architecture is an art form like any other, and just like all art is subject to the often irrational whims of our constantly evolving sense of taste. This very nature of architecture makes the process of historical preservation rather subjective ... More »
We’ve discussed this old stone building before on CCE but have yet to feature it. So today we take a quick look at what has to be Hancock’s oddest structure. I don’t know its name, nor its history. All I ... More »
While taking a stroll along Hancock’s Lake Street a month back I found myself confronted by a rather intriguing ruin hiding out beside the road in the trees. It sat up behind a rock and concrete capped retaining wall running ... More »
When Hancock was first born it consisted of only a dozen blocks bordered on the west by Montezuma Street (currently anchored by the city hall building featured previously) and to the east by Reservation Street and the deep ravine carrying ... More »
Hancock was first platted by the Quincy Mining Company in 1859, just a few years after the village of Houghton was incorporated across the lake. While Houghton was conceived independent of a mine company’s control, it would take the young ... More »
When Hancock was first platted by the Quincy Mine the town’s eastern border was a deep ravine in which the Quincy Tramway ran down to the mine’s stamp mill along Portage Lake. As the town expanded, and more space became ... More »