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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hazen S Pingree

When driving through Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit, you can't help but notice this statue of Hazen S Pingree.  Did you ever wonder who he was? Born in Maine, he fought in the Civil War and then moved to Michigan and worked as a cobbler (shoemaker for you young readers). His sales eventually grossed over a million dollars a year! He was elected mayor of Detroit in 1889, promising to end corruption in city paving and sewer contracts and the school board. He was known throughout the country for initiating the "potato patch plan" of using vacant lots for local vegetable gardens to help feed the poor. He became governor of our state in 1897, and he is the guy credited with the 8-hour work day. He was "The Idol of the People" like it says on the statue above.

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