Stevens T. Mason celebrates the big 2-0-0

Who’s celebrating his bicentennial tomorrow?


Stevens Thomson Mason is one of my all-time favorite characters from Detroit history. Determined! Dreamy! Stubborn! Stylish! Triumphant! Tragic! The boy governor had it all.

This time last year we were re-interring Stevens T. Mason for the FOURTH time. Buried first in New York City after his death in 1843, his remains were moved to Detroit with great fanfare in 1905, then disinterred and moved across the park during a bus station improvement project, then lost, and found again, in 2010 during Capitol Park’s renovation. Here is what I wrote about him in the closing chapter of my book:

Every time Detroit feels young again, we turn to the Boy Governor. Just nineteen when President Andrew Jackson appointed him secretary of the Michigan Territory and only twenty-five when he became acting governor, Stevens Thomson Mason is a handsome touchstone for anyone in a youthful, voracious mood. And he was the perfect first governor for a capital city perpetually on the brink of a massive shift.

Every generation dredges up his memory. Most generations have also dredged up his casket.

Please enjoy these posts about Stevens T. Mason as a celebration of America’s youngest-ever (and studliest-ever? And certainly most frequently unearthed) Governor.

Settlers beware (June 10, 2011)

Scenes from Stevens T. Masons Reburial (October 28, 2010)

Walking with Stevens T. Mason to Capitol Park (June 30, 2010)

173 Years of Michigan Statehood (Jan. 26, 2010)

You might also want to join the Michigan Historical Commission and the Detroit Recreation Department at Capitol Park tomorrow —that is Thursday, 10/27, at 12:00 p.m. — for a 200th birthday bash. The commission will unveil a new state historical marker at the site. More info at!

See you there!

#birthdays#boy governor#hidden history of detroit#stevens t mason