This week has seen one of the most amazing developments in Michigan history. On Monday, in connection with the restoration and renewal of Detroit's Capitol Park, this blog's author was privileged to be present when an attempt was made to uncover the gravesite of Michigan's first -- "boy" -- Governor, Stevens T. Mason, located in the park itself. As news accounts later reported, the attempt was unsuccessful. On Tuesday, however, the grave was located several feet from the location it was thought to be. However, the media reports made it into a missing persons case -- or, perhaps, more accurately, something like the opening of King Tut's tomb only to find no pharaoh there.
What does this have to do with the Civil War? Not much, really ... except it might just go to show how to draw attention to a historical matter in these parts. One part fact, one part mystery, one part happy ending, and pretty soon you have a story picked up by television, radio, and print far and near.
Tomorrow is the actual removal day. Some have commented about whether it is appropriate to be engaged in the moving at all. The view from here is, quite simply, yes, absolutely. The redesigned park will end up with the Governor's final resting place being in a central place of honor on the site of Michigan's first capitol, as a territory and State. The prior move in the 1950's was, well, a travesty, done in the name of progress in order to build a bus depot where the statue and grave were located. Within a quarter-century or so, the depot was torn down. Meanwhile, Governor Mason was relegated to the edge of the park, almost into the intersection, where no one could really observe what the commemorative site was all about.
For once and for all, the resting place will be fitting and proper. And final.