Event Pictorials
September 16, 2013
The Monument celebrating the life of Big Louie Moilanen, when it will be 100 years since he passed away on September 16, 2013, was dedicated on June 16, 2013, as a part of FinnFest USA 2013. It is located on the grounds of the Finlandia Finnish American Center in downtown Hancock, MI.
These first two images are of the publication announcing the effort to secure funding for the construction and placement of the monument. With the monument completed by Norway Granite & Marble, work starts on the concrete slab just west of the FFAC. And a few days later, the completed slab is ready for cleanup and final landscaping.
A City of Hancock fork lift loader removes the marble slab from the delivery truck ... about 3,450 lbs. of weight. It is carefully placed on wooden blocks. Media and others get a first look at the completed monument, as crews from Norway Granite and the City of Hancock, get ready to make the first of two lifts to set the slab on the concrete base. With two heavy duty slings now set in place, a lift to tilt the slab into a vertical position begins, a very careful process.
Gradually, carefully, it is swung into a vertical position. Up and up it comes, with some guiding help. Now things get interesting, as the slings must carry the full weight of the slab. Two 1" holes have been predrilled in the bottom of the monument and into the cement base, and two steel rods are inserted, first into the base. And the marble slab is carefully lined up and lowered onto the rods. Wooden pieces are under the marble to allow the subsequent removal of the slings, and to permit mortar to be set between the two.
Once lined up, the marble is slowly lowered. Success! Dana Richter (left), and Terry Wiitanen, of Champion Monuments of Hancock who coordinated the delivery of the stone and donated all his labor to the project, are happy it is successfully in place. But things still need to be done. Use of a special gripping tool, allows careful lifting of one end at a time, to remove the wooden sticks, and to insert monument mortar, then lowering the slab one final time.
Music was provided by one of the FinnFest USA music groups. Superior Sand and Gravel of Hancock donated the concrete and Halonen Landscaping donated part of the cost of the labor. Information on the bachground, and introductions of special people on hand, was made by M/C Dana Richter, who also credited donors to this project. And the unveiling, assisted by Jim Kurtti, Director of the FFAC.
Jim also makes some remarks, and gives credit to Dana and others who worked to make it all possible. And also introduced Jukka Pietikinen, Finnish consul General, from New York City. A brass plaque with his likeness will be added later when completed. And the unveiling of the new likeness of Big Louie. Later, the crowd moved to Lakeside Cemetery to view his gravesite. The new copper image added to the Memorial.
Photos: No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, & 7 - Courtesy of Dana Richter
All Others by Roland Burgan r-burgan@charter.net
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