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The road to Hancock is slow, but beautiful. There's very little left of the town, but the lovely meadow and views make the trek worthwhile. The once-expansive Hancock had thrived as a railroad town, its importance peaking during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Just prior to that time, as the Alpine Tunnel was being built, the town served the railroad workers. That made Hancock different from other towns in the area that existed to accommodate miners.
Once the tunnel was finished in 1881, the railroad running through town kept Hancock alive and vibrant. It's said that Mark Twain came through once just to experience this particular stretch of rail. The Alpine Tunnel closed in 1910, but trains still came to Hancock. However, when they stopped in 1926, the last of the local mines shut down, too. All that can be seen of the town today is the remnants of one collapsed cabin.
Regular passenger vehicles, if driven carefully, can make the journey to Hancock. Just before reaching St. Elmo on CR 162, take a left hand turnoff onto CR 295 and drive to the end. You'll have almost reached the tree line, so take appropriate clothing.
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