Hancock

Only five years since the Keweenaw Copper rush first began, a group of speculators invested in mineral rights atop the steep hillside along Portage Lake and formed the Quincy Mining Company. For the next decade work continued sporadically at the mine without success. It wasn’t until 1856 – with the discovery of the copper rich Pewabic Lode – that the mine’s success was finally assured. With success came a massive influx in people to the area, prompting the mine in 1859 to sell off plats of land along the base of the hill to arriving merchants and businessmen. This new community became known as the city of Hancock.

In the beginning Hancock was nothing more than an oversized mining town, owned and controlled by the Quincy Mine. Quickly, however, the town outgrew its copper masters and by 1863 had established an independent municipal government. For the next several decades Quincy continued to platt and sell off more land as demand warranted, increasing the size of the city substantially. By the turn of the century it had become the second largest city in the region – just behind Houghton.

A large amount of Hancock’s growth was due to Finnish immigrants, who moved to the area to work at the Quincy Mine. The regions similarity in topography and weather to their homeland prompted many of these immigrants to remain in the area, buying up recently cleared land atop Quincy Hill for farming. In 1896 the Finnish Lutheran Church established Suomi Academy in the city to fulfill the spiritual and educational needs of those Finnish residents. It became a fully accredited college in 1924, and exists still today as Finlandia University.

Hancock

City Hall

Hancock was first platted by the Quincy Mining Company in 1859, just a few years after the village of Houghton…
Hancock

A Finnish Church

When Hancock was first born it consisted of only a dozen blocks bordered on the west by Montezuma Street (currently…
Hancock

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…
Hancock

The Sandstone House

We’ve discussed this old stone building before on CCE but have yet to feature it. So today we take a…
Hancock

Vitriol over Vitrolite

Architecture is an art form like any other, and just like all art is subject to the often irrational whims…
Hancock

The Hosking House

Sandstone was a particularly expensive and unwieldy construction material, usually reserved for structures built with some rather substantial financial backing.…
Hancock

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…
Hancock

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…
Hancock

Making a Statement

Hancock’s original compliment of public schools were anchored by a large campus sitting in the heart of the city along…
Hancock

On the Waterfront (p1)

The exodus of mills from the Portage Valley left large swaths of lakeshore empty and undeveloped, and it wasn’t long…
Hancock

On the Waterfront (p2)

Having been born from the bosom of the Quincy Mining Company, the village of Hancock was faced with some particular…
Hancock

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…
Hancock

On the Waterfront (p4) – The Quincy Mill

The long hard winter may still be with us, but take heart that another season of Copper Country exploring is…
Hancock

On the Waterfront (p5) – The Quincy Sands

With the Quincy Mill gone, the ragged landscape on which it once stood and the vast tailings that it had…
Hancock

On the Waterfront (p6)

The Quincy sands may have been a hazard to navigation, but they were particular convenient when it came time to…
Hancock

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…
Hancock

City Center (p1)

The community of Hancock was given life by the Quincy Mine, whose agent Samuel Hill first platted the village in…
Hancock

City Center (p2)

As the 1920s approached Hancock was reaching its economic and cultural peak, the mining town rising to a level of…
Hancock

Hancock in HD

Today the Copper Country is just another pretty corner of the country, but a century ago when the mines were…
Hancock

Cultural Amenities (p1)

Last week we took a look at what I considered to be Hancock’s impromptu city center, an area of real…
Hancock

Cultural Amenities (p2)

By 1888 Hancock Village had evolved into a regional powerhouse, a center of commerce and industry that was quickly outpacing…
Hancock

Cultural Amenities (p3)

So far we’ve travelled a dozen years through the lifetime of Hancock, discovering its cultural institutions as they have cropped…
Hancock

The Wright Facade

The great Copper Empire reached its peak at the height of the Victorian Age, and thus the great buildings and…
Hancock

The Ryan School

Thanks to the booming copper industry and the complimenting success of the Quincy Mine up atop the hill, the village…
Hancock

The Wright School

The hillside on which the village of Hancock was platted was injurious  to its growth and expansion in the years…