Michigan to commemorate 1901 Adrian train victims
Adrian — Two historical markers and a monument will be erected to commemorate a 1901 train wreck in southeast Michigan.
A memorial ceremony will be held Sept. 24 at Oakwood Cemetery in Adrian for the victims who died Nov. 27, 1901, when two trains collided on the Wabash Railroad near Sand Creek.
During the ceremony, the historical markers featuring information about the incident and the monument will be dedicated. Also, an urn containing bone fragments collected from the scene of the accident will be buried at the cemetery, where five coffins holding unidentified remains from the wreck have been located at an unmarked grave.
As many as 100 people, many of whom were Italian immigrants traveling from Detroit to Colorado to work in the mines, are believed to have died in the train collision or the explosion that followed.
On Tuesday, the city of Adrian and the Consulate of Italy in Detroit announced that artist Sergio De Giusti, a native Italian sculptor who’s now based in Detroit, will design the monument for the burial site. His work has been exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Smithsonian Institution, and he has created many public works of art displayed around the Detroit area.
“De Giusti will be able to capture the spirit of this tragic event and transform it into a notable work of art,” Italian Consul in Detroit Maria Luisa Lapresa said in a statement.
Adrian Mayor Jim Berryman said he apologized for the way the incident had been handled on behalf of the city and Lenawee County when he met earlier this month with Lapresa, as well as with other officials from the consulate and the county, at the Italian consulate in Detroit.
“After 115 years, we felt it necessary to right what was done wrongly,” the mayor said in the joint statement with the consulate.
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