Homage to Bart King: Marquette Regional History Center, local scout troops commemorate the Sugar Loaf monument | News, Sports, Jobs


Mason Simmons, left, and Tobias Simmons of Marquette Boy Scout Troop 372 take part in the Bart King Centennial Event at Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette Township on Wednesday. Troop 372 created a “Scout Timeline” along the trail to the summit, describing to participants the different eras of Scouting over the years. (Newspaper photo by Ryan Spitza)

Dr. Nick Dupras, professor in the Department of History at Northern Michigan University, delivers remarks at Bart King’s centennial event at Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette Township on Wednesday. The event was held to commemorate the King’s Monument at the Top, which was originally built by the Scouts of Troop 1 in 1921

The Bart King monument atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette Township is pictured. A centennial event was organized by the Marquette Regional History Center and local Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs to commemorate the monument, originally built in 1921. (Newspaper photo by Ryan Spitza)

Andon Buyarski of Marquette Boy Scout Troop 309 places a stone at the base of the Bart King Monument atop Sugarloaf Mountain. (Newspaper photo by Ryan Spitza)

TOWNSHIP OF MARQUETTE – Alanson Bartlett King could be considered a local legend for his involvement in scouting, education and the United States military.

This is why a monument in his honor can still be found today at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in the township of Marquette.

The stone monument celebrates its 100th anniversary this fall. Built in 1921, it was the idea of ​​Perry Hatch and Marquette’s Boy Scout Troop 1. This was King’s troop, where he served as an assistant scout alongside Hatch, Morris Stevenson and Tracy Kaye.

Seven years after the formation of the troop in 1910, each member enlisted in the United States Army in the midst of World War I. King was a soldier with the 107th Engineers of the 32nd Division who fought on the front lines in France.

“Barth” died of pneumonia at the age of 24 on October 7, 1918, while in France. Three years later, Troop 1 built the monument which is today one of the most popular hiking spots in the Marquette region.

“Standing on the beach at Little Presque Isle, we could only think of one place to build Bart’s monument; it was the place he preferred: Pain de Sucre, Hatch said, according to a document from the Marquette Regional History Center.

Today, a century later, the monument is still in place today.

Last Wednesday, the MRHC and local Boy Scout troops and Cub packs commemorated the monument’s centenary with a presentation and a mountain top ceremony.

“It’s been 100 years since they completed this monument to Bart,” said Betsy Rutz, museum educator at the MRHC. “It was actually November 1921, so we thought that with the 100th anniversary of the centenary of this monument, we should recognize it, along with the Boy Scouts and community members who put in so much effort to build a monument to a veteran of the First World War.

“All of Troop 1 signed up for the war, and Bart was the only scout in the troop who didn’t return. So they were able to really commemorate him.

And it wasn’t just about building and ending it. The monument took a long time to build.

“It took a while,” Rutz said. “It took several weekends to build this stone monument. Over the years, the monument has changed. (Marquette) County took over the property in the 1930s, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) were the first to build the steps, there were numerous fires, but the monument has been rebuilt and repaired several times , and it’s in pretty good shape today for 100 years later, and still commemorates that WWI soldier and scout. “

The centennial commemoration was a collaborative effort between the MRHC, local Scout troops and other volunteers.

“We like to make programs open to the public and which really welcome the community” Rutz said. “We worked with a number of different volunteers and collaborators, and then there were scouts who were like ‘We too, we want to do something.’ So we said, “Let’s work together. “

The program began at the foot of the mountain where participants were greeted with a backgrounder, an artifact exhibit and the option to purchase a commemorative centennial t-shirt.

As the individuals climbed the mountain to the summit ceremony, they were greeted by scouts from Troop 372 along the way, sporting various uniforms and styles to signify eras of Scouting over the years.

After everyone reached the top, a speech was recited by Dr. Nick Dupras, professor in the Department of History at Northern Michigan University.

“The story of Bart King and the monument began in Marquette over 100 years ago”, Dupras said. “In fact, it started over 110 years ago. There was a group of boys and young men who gathered from the First Methodist Church in Marquette and they would canoe along the shore past Sugarloaf towards Little Presque (Isle). Then they loaded all their gear, canoes, bags, and hitchhiked on the local fisherman’s boat to Big Bay. They would spend a week camping and living in the woods, canoeing, fishing, all the things we associate with Boy Scouts. This was all before the scouts came to America. The group was an outgrowth of the Methodist Sunday School class, called themselves the Junior Epworth League. Their leader was Perry Hatch, but he had several other young men who would help him lead the troop as they became a formal Boy Scout troop in the early 1910s. Perry Hatch was nicknamed the “Great Old Man of Boy Scouting” or the ‘father of scouting’ in Marquette and even ‘Mr. Scout.’ He had with him a number of other young men who helped him lead the troop; Morris Stevenson and Alanson Bartlett King, or Bart, as all of his friends called him.

Bart was born February 5, 1894, and according to Perry Hatch he said, quote: “I don’t think I’ve met a boy with so much desire to do the right thing. He was a smart young man, he was really something and everyone loved him.

Hatch died in 1975 and Dupras ended his remarks with a poem Hatch wrote in 1935:

“Today I should climb to the top of a mountain, where the air is free of conflict. I should struggle, then stop and take on a new outlook on life.

After his address, the Scouts who attended the commemoration were invited to lay a stone at the foot of the monument. Stones were provided to each scout at the foot of the mountain, in the same way that members of Troop 1 had to carry large beach stones to build the original monument in 1921.

According to Martha Hatch, Perry’s wife, the Scouts of Troop 1, parents and community volunteers. “Wore the stones in their shirts by tightening the waistband of their breeches, so they could use their hands to help climb the rough north side. “

King was born in Marquette to parents William and Lilia. In 1914 he obtained his teaching certificate from the Northern State Normal School, known today as the NMU, and taught in the forest town of Thompson.

After his death in France, his body was returned to Marquette and was buried in the park cemetery where his grave is today. The king received the Croix de Guerre, a French military decoration “Created to recognize French and Allied soldiers who were cited for their valiant service during World War I”, according to Wikipedia, but he didn’t live long enough to physically accept the price.

The original monument required 4,000 pounds of sand, 1,600 pounds of cement, six tons of trap stones and 1,500 boulders, according to the MRHC. The finished obelisk had a four-sided point. Standing 12 feet tall atop Sugarloaf Mountain, it was said that the King family could see the monument three miles from the second story windows of their home on Hewitt Street.

The monument would have been repaired in 1940 and 1950, but there are few records to verify this information, according to the MRHC. A major reconstruction of the monument took place in the summer of 1988 with stonemason Bill Smyth overseeing the project, which was completed by more than 160 volunteers from the Upper Peninsula Boy Scout Troops, the Marquette Exchange Club and the Kiwanis Club. . Nine hundred new rocks were used for the reconstruction, along with plastic bags of mortar and milk jugs filled with water to replace the 1921 jute bags. Replicas of the bronze plaques were created by the pack of Wolf Cubs from Diane Lantto to Harvey for the new monument. .

For more information on the Marquette Regional History Center, visit www.marquettehistory.org or call 906-226-3571. The history center is currently open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed on Sunday. Admission is $ 7 for adults, $ 6 for seniors, $ 3 for students and $ 2 for children 12 and under.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is [email protected]

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