Michigan’s Tragic Barnes-Hecker Mine Disaster 90 Years Ago, Killing 51 Men, Still Remembered
In the early 1900's, mining was a way of life for many. When a tragedy strikes, it effects an entire community. It was 90 years ago, November 3rd, 1926 when the Barnes-Hecker mine collapsed, killing 51 and tore a hole in the community of Ishpeming, Michigan. A real hole. As written in GenDisasters.com,
The cave-in left a pit in the surface 300 feet long and 200 feet wide. The quicksand and water dropped 600 feet to the first level, moved along that level to the shaft and dropped to the bottom of the shaft. The shaft was filled up quickly and the miners were reported to have been caught on the third level.
Here is the mine's location in the U.P.
But more then taking the lives of 51 men, The Detroit Free Press reported,
The cave-in left 132 children orphaned and 42 women widowed. A team of about 40 people recovered only 10 bodies. "We are not forgetting the families of these brave men," Ishpeming Mayor Kenneth Sawyer said at the time..
The story ended with this,
The mine was 1,060 feet deep and three levels, according to newspaper reports. The Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum in Ishpeming erected a memorial plaque in 2001.
Below is a video of the memorial.