senate concurrent resolution no.10

Senator Brinks offered the following concurrent resolution:

A concurrent resolution to observe the 150th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the Michigan State Capitol.

Whereas, On Thursday, October 2, 1873, a crowd of over 30,000 Michiganders thronged to Lansing, a city of 7,000, for the laying of the cornerstone of the new State Capitol. Hotels in the city were full and residents opened their homes to house those who had come to bear witness on the historic day. The railroads offered half fare to those traveling and churches were turned into restaurants to provide food for the celebrants; and

Whereas, A mile-and-a-half-long parade, marked by the newspapers almost unanimously as the highlight of the day, made its way through the streets of the city and ended at Capitol Square where state officials, military officers and troops, civic organizations, fraternal organizations, and other spectators assembled for the official ceremony; and

Whereas, Several speakers made remarks, including Governor John J. Bagley, who said,

“To those of us who have watched the growth of Michigan from infancy to manhood the occasion recalls the toils and trials of early days, the anxieties and cares of pioneer life; while a pardonable egotism as we look about us tells of battles fought and victories won over nature in her most ragged mood. To-day we stand here as conquerors of forest and swamp, and can proudly say: ‘If thou seekest a beautiful peninsula, behold it here.’”

; and

Whereas, The cornerstone itself is five tons of granite from Quincy, Massachusetts, engraved on two sides with “A.D. 1872” and “A.D. 1878” to mark the beginning and end of construction; and

Whereas, During the Masonic rites, a list of the contents of the cornerstone was read which included the contents of the cornerstone from Territorial Capitol in Detroit, the act providing for the erection of the Capitol, the specifications for erecting the Capitol; reports of all state boards for 1872, legislative manuals, a pen used to sign the Constitution of 1835, and copies of the daily newspapers published on September 27, 1873, among other items; and

Whereas, Spectators from around the state including the communities of Detroit, Kalamazoo, Bay City, Constantine, Hillsdale, Adrian, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Ionia, Niles, Ann Arbor, Marshall, Dowagiac, Corunna, St. Johns, Lexington, Howell, Fenton, Three Rivers, Lyons, and others watched as the stone was raised twelve feet into the air and then lowered into place to the booming of cannons; and

Whereas, In 1978 and 1979, to mark the centennial of completion and dedication, the cornerstone was opened, refilled, and relayed in ceremonies under the direction of Governor William G. Milliken, Secretary of State Richard H. Austin, Senate Majority Leader William Faust, and Speaker of the House Bobby Crim. Numerous events also marked this important occasion including the publication of The Watch of the Capitol by Lansing historian and author Mary Jane McClintock Wilson. This work draws heavily from the Jenison scrapbooks, a set of six volumes compiled by local collector Orien A. Jenison chronicling the Capitol’s 1872-1878 construction. Jenison worked closely on this project with Allen Bours, the secretary of the State Building Commission; and

Whereas, The 1970s celebration of our Capitol’s centennial, and the publication of The Watch of the Capitol, began a movement to restore the much modified and neglected building; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the members of this legislative body observe the 150th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the Michigan State Capitol; and be it further

Resolved, That we recognize and commemorate the milestone of the sesquicentennial of the laying of the cornerstone of the third and current Michigan State Capitol; and be it further

Resolved, That we thank Mary Jane McClintock Wilson for her work educating Michiganders about the importance of preserving and restoring our historic Capitol; and be it further

Resolved, That we commend the work of the Michigan State Capitol Commission to maintain the Lion of Lansing, one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the United States, and the first of Elijah E. Myers’ three state capitol buildings; and be it further

Resolved, That we urge the citizens of Michigan to visit their State Capitol between 2023 and 2029 during the 150th anniversary of its construction.