A Virtual Cemetery created by Lyndon Comstock

Italian Hall Victims

73 known victims of the Italian Hall catastrophe on December 24, 1913 are buried at Lake View Cemetery in Calumet, Michigan. The victims were attending a Christmas party for the children of copper strikers at the Italian Hall on Seventh Street in Calumet when an unknown man gave a false alarm of fire at the entrance to the second floor meeting hall. The victims suffocated in the ensuing stampede on the staircase. More than 80% of those who were killed were children; most of the adults who died were parents of children who attended the party. The mass funeral on December 28, 1913 was probably the largest, and surely the most somber, public gathering in the history of the Keweenaw Peninsula. No one was ever arrested for giving the false alarm, nor was any criminal investigation held. The available evidence supports the strikers' view that the false alarm was deliberate and was given by a strikebreaker. If so, it was the largest episode of mass murder in Michigan history. The Italian Hall is the subject of the well known Woody Guthrie song, "Italian Hall Massacre." The information used in creating these memorials came from several sources. The death certificates for all 73 victims are available at http://seekingmichigan.org/discover/death-records. The spellings are often erratic and difficult to pin down. I also reviewed the 1910 census records for most of the victims. The Houghton Keweenaw Genealogical Society mounted a display about the Italian Hall victims at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton in 2013. I copied the grave locations from that exhibit; their information came from the cemetery office. The Society has also now published a booklet about the victims; although that booklet has a severe problem in its characterization of the Italian Hall as an "accident," it does have much useful genealogical information. Most of the grave locations are found in one of four groupings, two in Section 26 and two in Section N. These are presumably the trenches that were dug for the original burials. A few victims were reportedly moved to other parts of the cemetery at a later date. It's not clear to me whether the remains of those individuals were actually re-interred or whether it was instead an alternate memorial created for those particular individuals in another part of the cemetery. To the best of my knowledge, there are presently memorial stones for 33 of the 73 victims; in several cases there is more than one victim listed on the same stone. In the case of Johan Westola, a good memorial page was created by someone else and I've pointed to that page. The demand raised in the funeral oration for the Italian Hall victims--for justice--has yet to be answered.

73 memorials
Page 1
 Sanna J. <I>Kirppula</I> Aaltonen
No grave photo

Sanna J. Kirppula Aaltonen

4 Nov 1874 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Sylvia Aaltonen
No grave photo

Sylvia Aaltonen

Jan 1910 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Wilma Aaltonen
No grave photo

Wilma Aaltonen

29 May 1904 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Herman Ala
No grave photo

Herman Ala

26 Jun 1853 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Lempi Ala

Lempi Ala

10 May 1901 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Ivka Bolf

Ivka Bolf

24 Jul 1904 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Kathryn <I>Curto</I> Bronzo

Kathryn Curto Bronzo

27 Feb 1892 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Victoria Burcar

Victoria Burcar

28 Jul 1904 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Joseph Butala Jr.

Joseph Butala Jr.

16 Apr 1906 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Nicholas “Nick” Cvetkovich

Nicholas “Nick” Cvetkovich

11 Aug 1880 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Jenny Giacoletto
No grave photo

Jenny Giacoletto

11 Feb 1904 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Katarina Gregorich

Katarina Gregorich

20 Mar 1903 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Edwin Heikkinen

Edwin Heikkinen

24 Dec 1906 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Eino Heikkinen

Eino Heikkinen

2 Jul 1903 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Elis Isaac Heikkinen

Elis Isaac Heikkinen

14 Jul 1904 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Aina <I>Eskola</I> Isola

Aina Eskola Isola

1881 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Thelma Isola

Thelma Isola

5 Aug 1908 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Barbara <I>Nerick</I> Jessit

Barbara Nerick Jessit

1891 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Rosie Jessit

Rosie Jessit

1908 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

 Uno Jokepii

Uno Jokepii

1900 – 24 Dec 1913

Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

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