Calumet Italian Hall Disaster remembered over a century later

Dec 06, 2023 950

Music can be tied to memories — both wonderful and tragic. One Upper Peninsula composer is memorialyzing a tragedy that changed the face of the Copper Country more than 100 years ago. On Christmas Eve in 1913 in Calumet, a Christmas party was held on the second floor of the Italian Hall for the children of the families belonging to the Western Federation of Miners, many being recent immigrants to the country.

The event was meant to be a time of joy, as it was in the middle of the Copper Country strike of 1913-14. However, this joy was cut short when a man yelled “Fire!” causing a stampede that would leave 73 people dead, many children under the age of 10, on the stairs leading down to the street.

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