ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) — Ten volunteer members of Michigan Masons Local 2 Chapter 6 received a 2022 Craftsmanship Award for outstanding public service on Friday. The ceremony took place at the “Three Sons of Ishpeming” memorial on Hematite Drive.
The ten volunteers received the award after spending 22 weeks creating the memorial in the summer of 2020. The recognition comes from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen (BAC) craft awards program. The program recognizes local unions, as well as BAC artisans for excellence in the trowel trades industry and outstanding union and community service in the United States and Canada.
“It was for the best volunteer project for the Masons’ Unions across these two places,” said Robert Marietti, project engineer for the Three Sons Memorial. “It’s really a source of pride and community service reflected in that, and it was a very well done project. And I think the judges recognized that.
The memorial honors three historic Ishpeming natives: Dr. Glenn Seaborg, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and John Voelker. The busts of all three rest on a 15-ton hematite rock from the Republic mine.
Seaborg was a Nobel Prize-winning chemist. He is credited as the discoverer or co-discoverer of Ten Elements and was a member of the Manhattan Project.
Voelker was a judge on the Michigan Supreme Court. He was also an author, with his most famous work, Anatomy of a Murderbeing adapted into an Oscar-winning film.
Johnson was an aeronautical engineer and designed over 40 aircraft. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The work carried out by the volunteers has an estimated cost of over $100,000, with 45 tons of concrete used to complete the memorial. Volunteers said they felt the memorial was appropriate to recognize some of Ishpeming’s upcoming important figures.
“Pretty honorable people from this little community,” said Alex Sovey, apprentice instructor for Local 2 Bricklayers. “It’s called the heritage museum, and it reflects the real heritage of this area, this mining community. It’s not just a small mining town, it has created some very remarkable people.