HISTORIC MICHIGAN: Hanka Homestead in Askel
The Hanka Homestead Finnish Museum is right where it has always been since 1896: deep in the U.P. woods near the no-town of Askel.
The patch of land was homesteaded in 1896 by Finland immigrant Herman Hanka to be used by his family as farmland. But the Hanka history doesn’t stop with farming – it’s all connected to Upper Peninsula mining and the harsh way of northern living that existed over 100 years ago.
Herman passed away in 1933 but his family hung in there until 1966.
Long after the Hankas disappeared, volunteers restored the land in the early 1980’s in hopes of educating future generations what northern Michigan life was like from the late 1800s to the 1920s. Currently, the former homestead is an eight-building, 40 acre museum that depicts how immigrant families were able to survive the U.P. wilderness.
It’s one of the rare historical Michigan sites that has been restored on the original location, with plenty of the original old tools, housewares, and other artifacts. It remains intact just the way it looked in the 1920’s.
Hanka Homestead Museum has been opened since 1985 and has a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. If you take a trip there, you may wanna visit Herman Hanka’s grave, located in the nearby Askel Cemetery.