Historic stairs get facelift

HANCOCK – The historic steps in East Hancock were constructed in 1934, and have been in a poor condition for quite a while, according to Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson.

“The concrete was starting to deteriorate significantly,” said Anderson. “They were a Works Progress Administration project (during the Great Depression),” he said.

Anderson said at the time the stairs were built, they were used mainly by miners going to and from work, and by people living in houses nearby.

“It served as a link between residents of East Hancock and the bridge (over Portage Lake),” he said.

The repair of the crumbling concrete is being done by workers from J. Clark Construction of Hancock, Anderson said. At the Aug. 21 regular meeting of the Hancock City Council, members voted to approve the bid of $13,000 from J. Clark and a bid of $7,700 from Coon Electric for rewiring of the lights lining the stairs.

Anderson said the funding for the work on the stairs came from money raised from fees for an Aug. 17 tour of historic homes in East Hancock and from a $10,490 grant from the Americana Foundation of Novi, Mich., which funds preservation projects.

A plaque at the top of the stairs states another restoration project was conducted in 1983.

It may take about a month to finish the repair work on the stairs, Anderson said.

“That project should be done by the end of September,” he said.