HANCOCK - There are thousands of people buried in the city of Hancock's Lakeside Cemetery, but until now, a thorough inventory of those people and the locations of their graves has not been available.
During the regular meeting Wednesday of the Hancock City Council, Mary Pekkala informed council members of her efforts to locate and list all the people buried in the cemetery.
"In November of last year, I picked up all the information down at the cemetery, the cards, the books and the maps," she said. There turned out to be about 7,700 records."
Pekkala said her work isn't 100 percent complete, however."
"There was some writing I could not read," she said.
Some of the records were 100 years old and written in pencil, Pekkala said.
After the snow melts, Pekkala said she will have to physically look at some of the grave markers to get more information about the people buried there.
Pekkala said the information about the cemetery inventory is on the city of Hancock website at cityofhancock.com/history-cemetery.php. It is in both Excel File and PDF versions.
"Everybody should be able to read it, no matter what kind of a computer you have," she said.
City Manager Glenn Anderson said an updated map of the cemetery will be created soon.
During FinnFest USA 2013, which will be hosted by Hancock, Pekkala said there will be a self-guided tour of people involved with the creation of Hancock.
Pekkala said she spent about 100 hours working on the inventory.
On another topic, Pekkala said she's been working on a genealogy project in preparation for FinnFest. Many of the people coming to the celebration are hoping to get information about ancestors when they get here.
"We are already getting a lot of requests from our Facebook page and through the website," she said.
Some Finns may have just passed through the Keweenaw before moving on to other states, Pekkala said.
"At least at some point they stopped here, and that's why a lot of people want to come back to this area and do genealogy," she said. "They want to see where (their ancestors) lived."
In other business, council members:
conducted a public hearing on the proposed sewer rate increase from $6.35 per 1,000 gallons to $7.35 per 1,000 gallons, but there were no comments. Members unanimously approved the increase, which becomes effective with the March billing.
heard from resident Cindy Figures about plans to conduct a tour of historic houses in East Hancock in August as part of the city's sesquicentennial celebration.
approved rescheduling the June 19 council meeting to June 26 to avoid conflict with FinnFest.
approved scheduling fiscal year 2013-14 budget work sessions from 6 to 8 p.m. for May 1 and May 8.