The Village of Mackinaw City, MI welcomes you to participate in the Ironworkers Walk of Fame project. This extraordinary tribute commemorates and celebrates the legends and stories of Ironworkers and Mackinac Bridgemen from North America. Specially designed and engraved bricks are imbedded in the sidewalks adjacent to a monument area on North Huron Avenue.
The first phase of the monument, designed and crafted by renowned iron sculptor Thomas Moran was unveiled at the 1st Annual Ironworkers Walk of Fame inductee event. The monument has four components. A 25ft globe represents the “We Build the World” creed of the Ironworker profession. The spokes of the globe are made of I beams. The Ironworker characters, 2 men and 1 woman, are 7ft tall and constructed out of ironworker tools and components.
The monument is being built in stages. The 1st stage, unveiled in August of 2010, is that of an ironworker throwing a rivet. This figure was made out of over 3000 ironworker tools donated by ironworkers from across the USA and Canada. Over 160 Ironworkers were inducted into the Ironworkers Walk of Fame on August 13, 2010.
J.C. Stilwell, 84, of Mackinaw City, passed away peacefully Saturday evening, Jan. 26, 2013 at Mackinac Straits Hospital following a short illness.
He was born in Emmet County near Mackinaw City on Aug. 9, 1928 to John C. and Inez (Quinn) Stilwell. J.C. will be remembered as an icon in the Straits Area, and was an Ironworker Local 340 and worked on the Mackinac Bridge from its inception in 1954 until opening in 1957, and has honored the ironworkers with a fabulous museum in Mackinaw City for over 30 years. He was the founder of the International Ironworkers Festival and that has continued for 30 years.
He has been a businessman in Mackinaw City since 1964 owning Mama MIa's Pizza on Central Avenue; a well-known business in the area where familieis could come and dine and enjoy a reasonable meal. It was destroyed by fire in August of 2005, and was rebuilt and reopened in May of 2007. He never retired and was busy at the restaurant until closing in the fall of 2012. J.C. also built the Flamingo Motel in 1954, which is still run by his son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Fay. He was an active member of the Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce, Sons of the American Legion, and St. Anthony's Catholic Church. He also sailed on the Chief Wawatam for a short time.
Ironworkers Walk of Fame streetscape construction and monument placement area is complete. The construction timeline is ahead of schedule.
- Groundbreaking August 8, 2008
- Project Site Plan Complete, Spring 2009
- Streetscape Construction Complete September, 2009
- Monument Placement, Phase One Inductee Pavers and Dedication Ceremony 3pm, August 13, 2010. Ceremony Open to the Public.