City’s stories in softcover

HANCOCK – The official publication of the Hancock sesquicentennial has gone to the printers, and excerpts from it were read to the members of the city council Wednesday during their regular meeting.

Council Member John Haeussler, who is also a member of the committee which created the book about Hancock history, talked about the publication and read some excerpts from “Hidden Gems and Towering Tales: A Hancock, Michigan Anthology,” regarding Elijah S. Northrup, who was active in the community in the middle 19th century.

Haeussler said he chose to read excerpts about Northrup at the March meeting because the month has so much significance for the city.

“March is such an important month for Hancock,” he said.

The first elections were conducted in the village of Hancock on March 10, 1863, Haeussler said.

Haeussler said Northrup was elected as the first clerk of Hancock Township in 1861. He was elected as state senator in 1862. He served until his death from tuberculosis on March 2, 1863, at the age of 34.

After his death, members of the Senate and House of Representatives read into the record comments about Northrup’s importance to Hancock, the Upper Peninsula and the state of Michigan. Haeussler read those aloud.

Another significant March date was the vote by village residents to become a city on March 9, 1903, Haeussler said, and the process to do so moved quickly through the state bureaucracy.

“The secretary of state received everything the next week,” he said.

Haeussler said Northrup was an important person, and he’s glad he is part of the sesquicentennial publication.

“He’s definitely a hidden gem,” he said.

Haeussler said the 128-page, 7.5-inch-by-10-inch softcover publication is at the Book Concern printers.

Also during the meeting, City Manager Glenn Anderson presented a list of activities for the sesquicentennial celebration through June.

The next event takes place at Tuesday at the Hancock fire hall on Ethel Street. Hancock Fire Department Capt. Mark Dennis will give a presentation about the history of the fire department.

The gala dinner will take place at 6 p.m. April 12 at the Michigan Technological University Memorial Union Building. The $60-per-person cost for the event includes a copy of the book. Copies will also be available at city hall after that date for $15. Local retailers will have it, also, but they will set their own price for the book.

So far, Anderson said 298 people have signed up for the gala, which will be limited to 310 to 320 people.

Other events include a talk in May on the history of Irish settlers in Hancock, coordination with FinnFest and Bridgefest, and the Copper Country Firefighters Tournament, all in June.

Anderson told council members the state has released a new Requests for Proposals for construction of a new Department of Human Services office for Houghton County.

State officials are asking for a building with 12,600 square feet, and a parking space for 60 vehicles, Anderson said. A previous RFP included a very small area of Hancock for possible location of the new building, but the new one includes the entire city.

“There’s at least two contractors in Hancock looking at it,” he said. “By the end of December, (the DHS) will have new headquarters.”

In other business, council members:

approved setting a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. April 17 for a proposal to raise city sewer rates from $6.35 to $7.35 per thousand gallons used.

heard from Anderson an attempt at a world record Nordic Walk will start at 10 a.m. June 22 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Quincy Street in Hancock and finish at Ray Kestner Waterfront Park. The record for a Nordic walk is 1,026 participants.

approved applying for a $45,000 Department of Natural Resources Passport grant for renovations of the dock at Hancock Beach.

approved accepting an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant of $72,696 for a new transit bus.

approved the purchase of a new transit bus for $72,688.