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Hancock on the North side of the Portage Canal

Hancock is a city in Houghton County. It is the northernmost city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located on the Keweenaw Peninsula, or, depending on terminology, Copper Island. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 4,323; the city website estimates its current population as 4,900. It is the sister city of Porvoo, Finland. Laurn Grove Park is located in West Hancock.


The city was named after John Hancock. The future site of Hancock was originally owned by James Hicks.


The earliest building in what is now the City of Hancock was a log cabin erected in 1846 on the site of the Ruggles Mining Claim; it is no longer standing, the site taken up by the Houghton County Garage buildings. It was owned by Christopher C[olumbus]. Douglass, who came to live there in 1852. The Quincy Mining Company founded Hancock in 1859 after purchasing land from Douglass and building an office and mine on the site.


the theater

Hancock's first store was built by the Leopold brothers in 1858; the store also housed the first post office. Samuel Hill, an agent for the Quincy Mining Company, platted Hancock Village in 1859. Although it was organized and officers elected in 1863, the village was not incorporated until 1875 under a charter amended in 1877.


the new bank building

In 1869 a fire burnt down about 75% of the village. There was also a significant fire in the 1940s that destroyed much of the downtown.


Middle school

The Mineral Range Railroad began providing passenger and freight service between Hancock and Calumet in 1873.


E. L. Wright School

Hancock was incorporated as a city in 1903.


Pontiac dealer

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.4 km²). 2.5 square miles (6.5 km²) of it is land and 0.9 km² (0.3 sq mi) of it (12.28%) is water. Hancock is connected to Houghton, Michigan by the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which crosses the dredged Portage Lake.


Buick dealer

The city is bounded on the south by the Portage Canal; and on the east by Limerick, an unincorporated community straddling Quincy and Franklin Townships, Frenchtown, Sing-Sing and Franklin Mine, unincorporated communities in Franklin Township; and on the north by Quincy and Hancock Townships.


view of Houghton from Hancock

Hancock has a humid continental climate but winters are typically long and snowy with much lake effect snow.


Hoover Center


The East Hancock neighborhood is part of the city, and consists of many old Victorian-style houses, which were once owned by those who ran the mines.


Portage View Hospital Building

Doctors' Park, located in West Hancock near the former Portage View Hospital Building (now the Portage Campus of Finlandia University), is so called because many of the residents are physicians. It lies north of West Quincy Street.

More Photos of Finlandia University



 the Finnish American Heritage Center

Hancock has been called "the focal point of Finns in the United States". Due to the large number of Finnish immigrants, many street signs in Hancock are, as of 2007, printed in both English and their Finnish names.


entering Hancock over the Portage Lake Lift Bridge

Hancock hosts an annual midwinter festival called Heikinpäivä.


Portage Lake Lift Bridge

Every summer, the cities of Hancock and neighboring Houghton host a festival known as "Bridgefest," to commemorate the building of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.

More Photos of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.

Text from Wikipedia

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