Who were the victims of the Italian Hall tragedy?
Any visitor to the memorial on 7th street in Calumet can see on the marker that 73 people died on December 24th 1913, when it is believed someone yelled “Fire” during a Christmas party for families.
The stairwell became a death trap as the crowd rushed for the door.
What you won’t see at the site are the names of those who lost their lives in that tragedy.
This fall, that will change when a 8 ½ by 4 ½ memorial of black granite is installed, engraved with those names.
Italian Hall Memorial committee member Mike Lahti says, though other improvements to the site may happen in the future, it was important to get this memorial in place.
Fundraising efforts continue to pay for the memorial and its installation.
The current green marker will need to be moved along with some other site work.
Lahti says about $15,000 of the necessary $25,000 for the whole project has been paid.
About $4,000 came from sales of a book about the tragedy, called Families Left Behind, by the Houghton-Keweenaw Genealogical Society
Lahti said anyone who donates at least $50 will get a copy of that book.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to receive donations.
Visit their Facebook page for more information.