• Hancock in HD

    Hancock in HD

    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 Victori...

  • City Hall

    City Hall

    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 comp...

  • The Ryan School

    The Ryan School

    Thanks to the booming copper industry and the complimenting success of the Quincy Mine up atop the hill, the village of Hancock grew in leaps and bounds as it approached the dawn of a new century. The...

  • On the Waterfront (p7) – The Hodge Foundry

    On the Waterfront (p7) – The Hodge Foundry

    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...


“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.”

The Wright School


The hillside on which the village of Hancock was platted was injurious  to its growth and expansion in the years that followed. Areas of developable  land was limited by the increasingly steep hill to the north and the deep waters ... More »

The Ryan School


Thanks to the booming copper industry and the complimenting success of the Quincy Mine up atop the hill, the village of Hancock grew in leaps and bounds as it approached the dawn of a new century. The community’s precarious position ... More »

The Wright Facade


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 »

Cultural Amenities (p3)


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 »

Cultural Amenities (p2)


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 »

City Center (p2)


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 »

City Center (p1)


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 »

On the Waterfront (p6)


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


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)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 »