ADRIAN, Mich. — A monument commemorating the victims of a 1901 train wreck has been unveiled in southeastern Michigan.
About 200 people attended Saturday’s ceremony at Adrian’s Oakwood Cemetery, according to The Toledo Blade (http://bit.ly/2cNikaH ).
As many as 100 people, many of them Italian immigrants traveling from Detroit to Colorado to work in the mines, are believed to have died when two trains collided on the Wabash Railroad near Sand Creek on Nov. 27, 1901.
Five of the victims are buried at Oakwood. An urn containing remains of others — that had been donated to a county museum — will be buried at the site.
“Today starts a new chapter in the history of the 1901 events,” Adrian Mayor Jim Berryman said.
The cast-relief monument, which includes symbols of the disaster and its victims, “will serve as a reminder to all who visit this place that this country of opportunity came with the sacrifices of many,” he said.
Wabash Railroad didn’t keep a manifest of passengers who boarded the train and reported that only 23 people died from the crash. Reports later surfaced that the death toll was much higher.
An Adrian city clerk recently found burial records that listed five victims at the cemetery.
Sandra Tornberg, president of the Italian American Cultural Society in Detroit, on Saturday praised the “diligence and compassion” behind the discovery of the burial sites.
“We are here to pay our respects to our countrymen who would have remained in obscurity if not for their efforts,” she said at the ceremony.