Bay View Rolling Mill : The Reason We Exist
Photograph of Rolling Mill Massacre historical marker. The marker is located at the intersection of Superior and Russell streets, and was erected in 1985.

What's the story?:
On Wednesday, May 5, a crowd of about 1,500 met near St. Stanislaus Church and marched to the mill. The commander of the militia was ordered to keep the crowd from the mill "at all hazard." The militia was grouped together on a hill, just north of today's Three Brother's restaurant. As the marchers reached the intersection of Bay St. and Lincoln Ave, they were told to stop. After a second warning---which marchers may not have heard because they were 200 yards away---shots fired. Seven were killed, and the rest of the marchers ran back to the city. Most of the dead were Polish laborers, but a man watching from his backyard was killed, as was a boy who was playing hookie from school.

In the aftermath, the other casualty was the push for the eight-hour day. The militia commander was cleared of any wrongdoing, but several labor leaders were jailed. Public reactions varied. Some agreed with Rusk's firmness, and Rusk Avenue was evenutally named for the Governor. Others were vehemently against the shooting. An annual commemoration of the Bay View Tragedy has been held the first Sunday of May since 1986.
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