Bicentennial birthday celebration for Michigan’s first governor on Oct. 27

A birthday bash is scheduled for noon on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at Capitol Park in Detroit to honor Michigan’s first elected governor, Stevens T. Mason. Dubbed the “Boy Governor” because he was only 19 when he assumed the post of secretary of Michigan Territory, a position vacated by his father, John T. Mason.

In this position, Mason served as acting governor when Governor George Porter was absent. When Governor Porter died of cholera in 1834, the then-twenty-two year old Mason became full-time acting governor. He was later elected governor in his own right.

As governor, Mason led Michigan through the  border dispute with Ohio known as the Toledo War and helped Michigan, then a territory, achieve statehood. A champion of education, Governor Mason endorsed a state school program in which he appointed John D. Pierce superintendent of public instruction and promoted Ann Arbor as the University of Michigan’s permanent site.

Presented by the Michigan Historical Commission and Detroit Recreation Department, the celebration will feature background on the Governor and his role in Michigan history. A state historic marker commemorating the boy governor’s contribution to Michigan history will be unveiled as well.

Capitol Park is located at Griswold and State Streets in downtown Detroit. Detroit was the site of Michigan’s first Capitol.

Click on link to see photo of first Capitol building.

Read more about the boy governor at Seeking Michigan. 

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