The new road marker at I-55 south of Springfield, Illinois. Photo courtesy of Mike Matejka
A commemorative road marker in honour of Cork-born Mother Jones was unveiled near Mount Olive, Illinois on Monday (11 December) in the presence of the Honorary Irish Consul in Chicago, Mr. Brian O’Brien.
Irish Consul General Brian O’Brien (Photo courtesy of Mother Jones Heritage Project MJHP)
The marker itself will be seen by over a million people a year who come to take a break just off the world-famous Route 66. After the ceremony, Mr O’Brien visited the indoor exhibition area at the location. They the group travelled to Mount Olive where Mr. O’Brien placed a wreath at the grave of Mother Jones in the Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive.
The wreath contained the words of her motto “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living” in both Irish and English. There then followed a toast to Mother Jones at the grave which was celebrated using Red-Breast Whiskey. Congratulations to everyone involved in this amazing project.
Group at the grave of Mother Jones at Mount Olive. (L-R): Brigid Duffy of Irish American Heritage Center, Mother Jones Performer Amy Rueff of Illinois American Federation of Labor, Rosemary Feurer of Mother Jones Heritage Project and Consul General Brian O’Brien
The Wreath with inscription in English and Irish
Our thanks to Prof. Rosemary Feurer of the Mother Jones Musuem for forwarding photos and other material.
A new Historic Marker to be unveiled to Cork born Mother Jones in Illinois near Route 66.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee welcomes the wonderful news that a new Historic Roadside Marker monument is to be unveiled near the I-55 Southbound Coalfield Roadway in honour of Cork born woman Mother Jones.
The large marker has been placed with the cooperation of the Illinois Department of Transportation and will be unveiled on Monday 11th December next by Mr. Brian O’Brien, Ireland’s Consulate General in Chicago.
“We are delighted to congratulate the Mother Jones Heritage Project committee in Illinois for their enormous work to ensure that Mary Harris/Mother Jones is never forgotten. We especially wish to thank Professor Rosemary Feurer who has brought this project to fruition in Illinois and who has supported and inspired the Spirit of Mother Jones festival over the past 6 years and has spoken at it twice.” stated James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.
In addition to the Irish Consulate, representatives of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Labour History Society, the United Mine Workers of America, the Irish American Heritage Centre, the Route 66 Association and many others will attend the historic unveiling of the Mother Jones Marker.
The Coalfield rest area where the Marker is placed receives over 1 million visitors each year. This is the brainchild of the Mother Jones Heritage Project which established a museum near Mount Olive where Mother Jones is buried.