Three Sons of Ishpeming monument awarded
ISHPEMING — Ishpeming’s Three Sons of Ishpeming monument was recently recognized by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers with an award for Outstanding Public Service.
The monument began construction in the summer of 2020 and was unveiled to the public in July of 2021. The creation of the monument represented countless hours of volunteer work from community members, including some retired bricklayers. Located in Ishpeming Heritage Plaza, the Three Sons of Ishpeming monument honors three of the city’s most famous and notable citizens: chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, aeronautical engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and John D. Voelker, author of “Anatomy of a Murder” and former judge who held a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court.
Project organizer Bob Marietti believes that the project would have been impossible without support from community members, businesses and organizations. Marietti said that a conservative estimate of the cost for the monument was roughly $250,000 and that there was at least 22 weeks of work that went into the project.
“We were lucky because we saved money. There was no engineering cost, no design cost,” Marietti said.
A big part of the cost saving is thanks to the many hours of volunteer work. Marietti credits bricklayer Alex Sovey as being a major reason that the project worked out so well.
“We had no plans to go by when the project started. That’s what made it so interesting,” said Sovey. “It was very inspiring and it the project became personal to me. To the point where I would be lying in bed, dreaming about the project. I woke up one morning and realized that we needed to have a stepped wall.”
Marietti is thrilled with the recognition of the BAC Outstanding Public Service award, which was recognized earlier in March at the organizations winter meeting in Florida. The local chapter of the BAC, Local 2 Michigan, will be recognizing the award at its semi-annual meeting in April.
“We just really want to shine a light on the bricklayers and volunteers who made the project possible,” Marietti said.
Marietti gave a special thanks to: Alex Sovey, Adam Saari, Tim Etter, Brian Lantto, John Holiday, Victor Tullala, Brian Ranta, Brent Bleckiner, Bill Eman and Norman Duman.