With a short grow season in the Keweenaw, those who appreciate the natural beauty of flower gardens have a limited time to get out and visit them.
Folks in Hancock will have the chance to do so this weekend with a guided tour showcasing some of the area’s finest.
At the top of Quincy Hill sits a beautiful home that is a part of Michigan history, but it didn’t always look like it does today.
Hancock resident Ken Ropp said, “It wasn’t habitable, having been vacant for 14 years. We actually had to put in a new septic and drain field. The house has been totally rewired, insulated, new windows. It’s pretty much a new house in an old body.”
The house was built in 1899 for the mine captain of the Quincy Mine. “He lived in it for about 3 to 3 1/2 years. After he had moved out, the superintendent of the machine shop came to live here and he and his family continued to live here,” Ropp said.
Three generations of that family occupied the home until it was abandoned in the early 2000’s, before Ropp and his partner bought the place in 2011. It’s one of five area homes that are on display this Saturday as the Hancock Beautification Group is presenting its Home and Garden Tour.
Ropp said, “The gardens that are on the tour are exceptional gardens for up here, so it should be a very nice occasion for everyone.”
Ropp has a natural green thumb himself, and can often be found tending his own garden. “My Grandparents were Mennonites, so I pretty much was raised on a farm and have gardened all my life,” he said.
Tickets for the tour are $10 and may be purchased at the Community Arts Center, North Wind Books and City Hall in Hancock and at 5th and Elm in Houghton.
They will also be available at the Hancock City Hall the day of the tour beginning at 11:30 a.m, which is where the four-hour tour begins a half hour later.
Ropp said, “Beautification Group—that helps us pay for things like benches and things like that, that we are putting into Hancock to improve the waterfront, and the other pocket gardens in different places around town. We’ve been landscaping the Porvoo Park area quite a bit this year.”
Other gardens planted and maintained by the group can be found at Montezuma Park.