Historic buildings seek use

By KURT HAUGLIE

khauglie@mininggazette.com

HANCOCK – The Quincy Mine Hoist Association owns 21 buildings on its property on U.S. 41 north of Hancock, including two that were once planned to be the site of the Michigan Technological University A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum.

Glenda Bierman, QMHA manager, said the buildings intended to be the museum were purchased back from Tech by the QMHA last summer. They were built in 1900 as the mine’s blacksmith and machine shop.

According to a written statement from Tech dated Feb. 21, 2014, Tech purchased the two buildings – located just north of the new Franklin Township hall – in 2005 with the intent of relocating the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum from its former site on the Tech campus. Some work was done on one of the buildings, including replacing the roof. However, before the museum was built at the Quincy site, Tech decided to build a new facility at the MTU Advanced Technology Development Complex on Sharon Avenue in Houghton, so the Quincy buildings were sold back to the QMHA.

Bierman said the QMHA board of directors hasn’t decided what to do with the buildings, yet, but they are working on it.

“We’re going to try to find the best use for them,” she said.

Although the Quincy Mine Hoist property is within the Quincy Unit of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Bierman said park officials don’t have final say on how the buildings on the site are used.

“They make suggestions,” she said. “They’re more like consultants.”

The intent is to eventually do something with all the buildings on the QMHA site, Bierman said.

“It’s our dream someday to restore every building,” she said.