The Italian Hall Disaster, Calumet, Michigan


The Italian Hall Disaster in Calumet, Michigan occured during the copper mine strikes on Christmas Eve in 1913. It was a benefit Christmas party for the children of striking miners in Calumet. The program was in the upstairs of the Italian Hall. During the program a man, or men, opened the doors at the bottom of the stairs leading outside and yelled "Fire". The participants of the party, mostly children, rushed down the stairs and tried to get out. There was no fire.The doors opened inward and the first children there were crushed against the doors. More and more came down the stairs. It was believed that strike breakers, hired by the mine captains who did this, but no one was ever found nor convicted. All that died, died of suffocation. Nearly whole families were killed this way. The Italian Hall was torned down a few years ago, but they left the doorway standing with a plaque in remembrance of this tragedy.

The name list with deceased was published in the book Tinsel & Tears written by Peggy Germain in 1984. The information in brackets are from the newspaper Amerikan Suometar, Dec. 27, 1913. More information about the Disaster at http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/1913.

Name

Age Sex Descent Comment
Ala [Aho] Lempi 12 y F Finnish   [366 Caledonia St.]
Alla [Ala] Herman 60 y M Finnish   [16 Bush St., Tamarack]
Aaltonen Sanna J. [Mrs., Oscar] 39 y, 1 m, 20 d F Finnish   [548 Wyandot St., Florida]
Aaltonen Sylvia [Silvia] 3 y F Finnish  
Altonen [Aaltonen] Wilma 9 y F Finnish  
Biri [Piira] Will [William] 7 y, 11 m M Finnish    
Bolf Ivana 9 y, 5 m F Croatian   [4994 Waterworks St., Calumet]
Bronzo Katarine 21 y, 8 m F Italian   [108 Calumet St., Laurium]
Burcar Victoria 9 y, 4 m, 26 d F Croatian   [126 North Kearsarge]
Butala Joseph [Jos] 7 y, 8 m, 7½ d M Slovenian   [118 Third St., Centennial Heights]
Cvetkovich Nick 33 y, 4 m, 13 d M Croatian   [8 Butler House, Red Jacket]
Giacoletto Jenny 9 y, 10 m, 12 d F Italian   [369 Seventh St., Wolwerine]
Gregorich Katarina [Kate] 10 y, 9 m, 3½ d F Croatian   [17 Bacok St., Centennial mine]
Heikkinen Edwin 7 y M Finnish Brothers. [Water St., Wolwerine]
Heikkinen Eino Felpus O. 10 y, 5 m, 12 d M Finnish
Heikkinen Eli Isaac 9 y, 5 m, 10 d M Finnish
Isola Ina [Mrs., Henry] 33 y F Finnish Ina Isola was mother of Tilma Isola. [2516 D St., Raymbaultown]
Isola Tilma [Philemena] 5 y, 4 m F Finnish [2516 D St.]
Jesic Barbara 25 y F Croatian Barbara Jesic was mother of Rosie Jesic. [2406 B St., Raymbaultown]
Jesic Rosie 5 y, 6 m F Croatian
Jokepii [Jokipii] Uno 13 y M Finnish   [Raymbaultown]
Kalunki [Kallunki] Anna E. 9 y, 7 m, 22 d F Finnish Sister to Efia P. Kalunki, daughter of Brida Liisa Kalunki. [364 Third St., Centennial Heights]
Kalunki [Kallunki] Brida Liisa [Mrs., Peter] 42 y F Finnish Mother of Anna E. and Efia P. Kalunki.
Kalunki [Kallunki] Efia P. 8 y, 3 m, 9 d F Finnish Sister to Anna E. Kalunki, daughter of Brida Liisa Kalunki.
Kiemaki Johan Emil 7 y M Finnish    
Klarich Katarina 7 y, 1 m, 16 d F Croatian Sisters. [Waterworks St.]
Klarich Kristina 11 y, 6 m, 25 d F Croatian
Klarich Mary 9 y, 2 m, 5 d F Finnish
Koskela Johan Hendrik 10 y, 9 m, 5 d M Finnish    
Kotajarvi [Kotajärvi] Anna [Annie] 4 y F Finnish   [353 Franklin St.]
Kotajarvi [Kotajärvi] Anna [Anny, Mrs., Matt] 39 y F Finnish   [353 (358?) Franklin St.]
Krainatz Mary 11 y F Croatian   [22 Tamarack St.]
Lanto Hilja K. 5 y F Finnish Maria G. Lanto was daughter of Hilja K. Lanto.  
Lanto [Lantto] Maria G. [Mrs., Peter] 40 y F Finnish [living on a farm near Tower]
Lauri Sulo Rubet 8 y, 4 m M Finnish    
Lesar Mary 13 y, 4 m, 1½ d F Slovenian Brother and sister. [229 Seventh St., Red Jacket]
Lesar Rafael 2 y, 6 m, 14½ d M Slovenian
Lindstrom [Lindström] Arthur 12 y M Not listed   [Pine St.]
Luoma Lydia Johanna 10 y, 26 d F Finnish    
Lustic [Lustig] Alfred J. W. [Jacob] 7 y, 9 m, 8 d M Finnish   [Raymbaultown]
Manley Elina [Mrs., Herman] 26 y, 4 m F Finnish   [North Tamarack]
Manley Wesley M. 4 y M Finnish   [North Tamarack]
Mantanen [Montonen] Ella E. 8 y F Finnish Brothers and sister.  
Mantanen Mathias E. [Edrum] 10 y M Finnish [22 Cherry St., Tamarack]
Mantanen Y. H. [Albert] 13 y M Finnish
Mihelchich Agnes 7 y, 5 m, 21 d F Croatian Cousins. [Tamarack]
Mihelchich Elizabeth 9 y, 1 m, 16 d F Croatian  
Mihelchich Paul 5 y, 7 m, 26 d M Croatian [Tamarack]
Murto Walter [Matti] 9 y M Finnish   [Walmut St., Tamarack]
Myllykangas Edward Emil 7 y M Finnish   [County Road, Osceola]
Myllykangas Johan W. 10 y M Finnish  
Niemela [Niemelä] Abram 24 y M Finnish Married. [Wolwerine]
Niemela [Niemelä] Maria Elizabeth 22 y M Finnish  
Papesh Annie 6 y, 4 m, 19 d F Slovenian Sisters. [High St., Osceola]
Papesh Mary 14 y, 7 m, 7½ d F Slovenian
Petteri [Peteri] Kate 66 y, 18 d F Finnish   [4016 Portland St., Calumet]
Raja Saida M. 10 y F Finnish   [Iroquous St., Bollman]
Renaldi Terresa 12 y, 1 m F Italian   [45 North Tamarack]
Ristel [Ristell] Elma W. [Ellen] 6 y F Finnish    
Rydilahti Emilia 16 y F Finnish Sisters.  
Rydilahti Heli 13 y F Finnish  
Saari John [Jalmar] 5 y, 11 m M Finnish   [corner of Iroquois and Seventh St.s, Laurium]
Saatio [Satio] Elida [Aliti] 11 y, 9 m, 1 d F Finnish   [Centennial Heights]
Smuk Mary 5 y F Slovenian   [2406 B St., Raymbaultown]
Staudohar Antonia 7 y, 2 m, 29 d F Croatian / Slovenian   [288 Mine St., Osceola]
Taipalus Elisina J. [Elena] 6 y F Finnish   [Centennial Heights]
Taipalus Sandra M. 4 y F Finnish  
Takola [Takala] Edward Richard [Henry] 9 y, 1 m, 21 d M Finnish   [310 Iroquois St., Bollman]
Talpaka Lydia E. 10 y F Finnish    
Tulppo Kaisa G. 45 y, 1 m F Finnish   [123 North Iroquois St., Florida]
Tulppo Mamie L. 10 y, 6 m, 5 d F Finnish  
Wualukka [Wuolukka] Hilja [Helga] 8 y F Finnish   [366 Caledonia St.]
Westola Johan Peter 48 y M Finnish   [clerk at an insurance company]