CLK Rotary hosting Italian Hall remembrance

Dec 24, 2021 280

Just before Christmas in 1913, one of the greatest tragedies in Copper Country history occurred. The Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Rotary has been commemorating the Italian Hall disaster for decades, and will do so again beginning this afternoon. At 4:30 PM the village firehall siren will sound to mark when the first call came in about the stampede that eventually killed 73 people.

Miner families had gathered at the hall during a strike to celebrate Christmas when someone yelled fire and caused a panic. As everyone raced down the steps to the front doorway the crush eventually swarmed over dozens, many children. Rotary member Joel Keranen says this will be a particularly somber memorial. The man who reconstructed the arch resembling the hall entrance passed away in the second half of 2020. 

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