"Spring into Action" with Labor History Walk
Marshall, Michigan – A walk between two labor landmarks in Marshall on Saturday, May 4 will give people an opportunity to "spring into action", put some of their own labor into cleaning things up, and talk afterward about next steps. The event, which is open to the public, is posted at https://www.facebook.com/events/289001138684843/
The walk will start at 11:30 am at the intersection of East Drive, East Mansion Street, and Michigan Avenue, across from the VFW Hall -- original site of the house where a union known as the Brotherhood of the Footboard was founded in 1863.
South Central Michigan Greens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2019
The site has a monument put up by the union in 1943 -- and a plaque to another piece of what could be called Marshall's "labor" history and its standing as an early sanctuary city: the 1847 Crosswhite Incident, where city residents helped protect an escaped slave and his family from agents of his former owner.
The house, home to founder Jared C. "Yankee" Thompson, has been moved to 633 West Hanover (at the corner of Linden) -- where the walk will end. One of Marshall's many state historical markers stands there.
The union -- perhaps the oldest in the US -- has also endured, and is now known as the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.
After reading the inscriptions on the two monuments at the start, walkers will pay their respects to those who have labored before -- including a site clean-up, weather permitting -- and then start toward the Thompson home.
On the way, walkers will see the year's first outdoor Marshall Area Farmers' Market in the parking lot across from the Marshall District Library -- which will be
Walkers will also stop at the Marshall Peace Park on the south side of Michigan Avenue a block and a half east of the Fountain Circle, clean up the park, then finish the 1.3-mile trip to the Thompson House site on Hanover. A map of the route is available here.
After the walk, participants can decide to continue the discussion over lunch or a snack. The endpoint is near the Dark Horse Brewing Company, 511 S. Kalamazoo; other possible sites are in the downtown area on the way back to the VFW parking lot.
The walk is sponsored by the South Central Michigan Greens local, which covers Calhoun, Jackson, and Hillsdale Counties -- but is open to anyone interested in celebrating the history of working people.
"Michigan has a total of fifteen entries in the Inventory of American Labor Landmarks, and two of them are right here in Marshall," notes local co-founder John Anthony La Pietra, who has been making similar walks on Labor Day for years -- and started a spring walk close to International Labor Day (May 1) last year.
"We welcome anyone who is willing to join us in taking time to spring into action and help clean up our state -- physically and politically."
WHO: The public at large; sponsored by South Central Michigan Greens local.
WHAT: "Spring Into Action" Labor History Walk
WHEN: Starting at 11:30 am on Saturday, May 4.
WHERE: Starting at the intersection of Michigan Avenue, East Drive, and East Mansion Street in Marshall (across from the VFW Hall).
WHY: To kick off an effort to "spring into action" and work to clean up Michigan.