Hancock

“Hancock, like most of the Copper Country, was born from copper’s bosom. From atop atop Quincy hill, the Quincy mine platted and developed the city’s infrastructure and in turn populated it with immigrants from all over the world. For almost a century the city lived in the shadows of the mine and it’s towering shaft-houses overlooking the city from above. But by the end of the second world war Quincy ceased mining atop the hill and concentrated its last ditch efforts into its reclamation plant on Torch Lake. Hancock was abandoned and had to find it’s own identity separate from the mine that created it.”

On the Waterfront (p6)

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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 »

On the Waterfront (p3) – Warehouse Row

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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 »

On the Waterfront (p2)

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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 Revolution in the Valley

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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 »

Making a Statement

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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 »

The Detroit and Lake Superior

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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 »

The Quincy Pump House

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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 »

The Hosking House

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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 »

Vitriol over Vitrolite

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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 »

The Sandstone House

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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 »

St. Joseph’s Hospital

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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 »

A Finnish Church

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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 »

City Hall

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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 »

East Hancock

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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 »

Architecture Medley (p2)

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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 replacement parts for ... More »

Architecture Medley (p1)

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Hancock, like most of the Copper Country, was born from copper’s bosom. From atop atop Quincy hill, the Quincy mine platted and developed the city’s infrastructure and in turn populated it with immigrants from all over the world. For almost ... More »

Civilization

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Changing gears from the northern “border-town” atmosphere of Mohawk, we move further south to the valley. That would be the Portage Valley, now the heart of the Keweenaw. The twin cities of Houghton and Hancock straddle the Portage shipping canal ... More »