Cousin Jeffrey sent me several items from his extended traveling in Michigan. After the celebration at Temple Jacob, he traveled south to Marquette, Michigan where Bubbie and Zadie originally settled.
view SE from bridge, Hancok left, Houghton right
One thing I did not expect when we traveled to Hancock, Michigan was the gigantic presence of the Portage River. Hancock is perched on one bank and across the expanse is the town of Houghton. The Houghton-Hancock Bridge connecting the two towns is vital to the prosperity of both, but as the only land access to the northern most area of Michigan it is also indispensable to the entire Upper Peninsula called the Keweenaw Peninsula. To the south the Portage River becomes Portage Lake and to the north, connects to Lake Superior as the Portage Canal.
ariel view shows Temple Jacob location
Temple Jacob has made its home on the bank of this venerable river since 30 May 1912, the day its cornerstone was laid. The view is spectacular and I wonder if there is another synagogue in the United States with such a setting.
This view is from the side of Temple Jacob looking out toward the bridge and the river.
 Rochelle Berger Elstein, "The Jews of Houghton-Hancock and Their Synagogue," Michigan Jewish History 38 (November 1998); online archives,Jewish Historical Society of Michigan(http://www.michjewishhistory.org/pdfs/vol38.pdf : accessed 28 September 2012), page 7
We journeyed to Hancock, Michigan with several family members including my Dad for the 100th Anniversary celebration of the establishment of Temple Jacob. Dad had been looking forward to this trip for nearly a year. His parents and paternal grandparents immigrated from Russia in the early 1900s and settled in Michigan, first in Marquette and then in Hancock on the beautiful Upper Peninsula, Keweenaw.
For those of you that may not know, Dad has been having some fairly significant memory issues since the first of the year, but while he had moments of confusion about what we were doing in Michigan, overall he remembered the purpose of our visit and his distant memories of Hancock were remarkably intact. He may not remember everything we did, but in the moment, he wore a broad smile and was genuinely happy to be there.
On the day of our arrival in Hancock, we attended a welcome reception at the Carnegie Museum across the Portage Canal in Houghton. It is a beautiful exhibit and will be on display at the museum through the spring of 2013. There is a wonderful little placard with a present day picture of 512 Quincy Street where Bubbie and Zayde's butcher shop was located along with a description of the Shoer family history in Hancock. Also on display is a large collection of letters that Uncle Willie wrote to various Temple Jacob members over the decades, two letters written by Dad and a photo journal book that we created about our visit five years ago.
Our first day culminated with a delicious dinner at Gemignani's Restaurant at 512 Quincy Street, the home of the Shoer family butcher shop and upstairs apartment where Aunts Ruthie, Libby, Betty and my Dad were born. It was pretty neat having dinner there one month to the day before Dad's 91st birthday.