On this day in 1835, Stevens T. Mason became governor of the proclaimed State of Michigan. However, Congress refused to recognize Michigan as a state until the dispute over the Toledo Strip was settled two years later.
Also on this day in 1926 at Barnes-Hecker iron mine in western Marquette County, unsuspecting workers set off a blast that ripped open an underground lake and the roof collapsed. In a matter of 15 minutes, the lake above flooded the shafts without warning.
One worker survived, racing up the ladderway 800 feet just ahead of the rising water. 51 men lost their lives on this day in ‘26, leaving behind 42 widows and 132 orphans in Michigan’s worst iron-ore mining disaster.