ISHPEMING, Mich. — Upper Peninsula residents are preparing to mark the 90th anniversary of a solemn day in Michigan history in which a mining disaster killed more than 50 men.
A group of descendants formed the Barnes-Hecker Remembrance Committee to commemorate the 1926 Barnes-Hecker mining disaster, The Mining Journal (http://bit.ly/2cIY5wy ) reported.
The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Mines says the flooding and subsequent cave in of the mine west of Ishpeming represents the largest loss of life in an iron ore mining accident.
The committee will hold several events beginning in mid-October to mark the event’s anniversary Nov. 3. The events aim to honor the region’s mining heritage and recognize programs that strive to keep miners safe.
Six local municipalities have been asked to adopt proclamations declaring Nov. 3, 2016 as Barnes-Hecker Remembrance Day.
The group’s goal is to ensure that the men who died and the families they left behind aren’t forgotten.
“The primary focus is the descendants who are the living legacy of the men who perished,” the committee wrote in a press release. “The events also honors the 42 women who were widowed and the family members who lost fathers, brothers, grandsons, uncles and fiancés; and recognize the legacy of 132 miner children and their descendants, many of whom reside in Marquette County.”
The committee says that one man was able to escape the disaster by climbing an 800-foot ladder to the surface. Only 10 of the men’s bodies were discovered, and the remains of 41 others are still entombed in the mine.
Information from: The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net