To the editor:
The old Hancock Cemetery, sometimes referred to as the Old Protestant Cemetery or the Pioneer Cemetery, was located in West Hancock from the mid-1860s until the late 1960s. Through an arrangement with the City of Hancock and the Quincy Mining Company, the cemetery was sold to the future Gloria Dei Lutheran Church for $1. Planning for a new church began in 1965 and ground was broken in May 1969. Around this time, The Daily Mining Gazette reported, "also in the planning state is the restoration of more than half of the grounds as a 'Pioneer Memorial Park.' Plans included a bronze or similar memorial for those buried in the cemetery, as well as a flag and the bell from the St. Matthews Church."
I have several relatives who are interred on the grounds as I suspect others in the community do, as well. To the best of my knowledge, no bodies were removed from the site. The land was covered over and the church was to return the protestant cemetery into hallowed ground.
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no record of those buried on the site. I have searched for a list at the local funeral homes, the Michigan Technological University and Finlandia University archives, Houghton County Historical Society and the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church's archives, to no avail.
With community member input, I will compile a list of names that are interred on the grounds and provide that list to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Michigan Tech, Finlandia, and to the caretaker of the Lakeside Cemetery so that genealogists and the descendants of the interred may know that they are recorded for posterity. In addition, it will assist the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church to properly memorialize those interred on their grounds.
I may be contacted at 482-2029 until Oct. 5 and 580-603-4260 after Oct. 5.
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JOHN M. BLOM