Mason County Sculpture Trail

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
File:OnCell ID post.JPG
QR codes for all the sculptures planned
SS Badger and SS Spartan carferries at municipal marina near the Waterfront Park at downtown Ludington, Michigan

The Mason County Sculpture Trail is a Western and Northern Michigan arts attraction of sculptures in Mason County, Michigan.[1] This county wide outdoor art exhibition is centered on Ludington, Michigan. "What originally started out as a sculpture park on the shores of Lake Michigan in Ludington has now expanded as a regional sculpture trail..."[2] In 2012, it was inaugurated with the idea of using sculptures as a cultural attraction and economic stimulus to Mason County.[3] The sculpture "trail" will eventually include sculptures in Scottville, Custer, Free Soil, and Fountain of Mason County.[4] Nine sculptures are at the Ludington Waterfront Park, two at the Ludington Public Library, one at the Ludington State Park, and one at the Mason County Fairgrounds, just east of the downtown.[5]

Each outdoor sculpture has a name and tells a story relating to Mason County's history.[6][7] A QR code that can be scanned by smart phones to get detailed audio and video information on each of the sculptures will be implemented later.[2] The project is envisioned as a cultural destination including a total of 25 sculptures in Mason County.[2] The Cultural Economic Development Plan Task Force of 11-members is organizing the Sculpture Trail for "a more cohesive and unified cultural experience".[2] The Ludington Waterfront Park with the nine bronze sculptures has been a centerpiece for various downtown events.[2]

The Sculpture Trail is one of five named trails of the Mason County Cultural Trails. The other trails are: Agricultural; Lumber Heritage;[8] Maritime History; and Quilt Barn.[9][10][11]


Waterfront Park

"The Spirit of Ludington" (The Sailor)

"The Spirit of Ludington"

The sculpture display overlooks the Ludington harbor and shows a weathered sea captain steering his ship.[5] It was dedicated to Ludington native Charles F. Conrad, founder of the Lake Michigan Carferry Service which contained the automobile ferry SS Badger.[12] The SS Badger, along with the SS Spartan and the SS City of Midland 41 carferries, were purchased by Conrad in 1991 from the defunct Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company. He converted the Badger to a passenger and auto ferry. The Lake Michigan Carferry Service then functioned as an independent enterprise for ten years without government subsidies. The S.S. Badger has ferried 34,000 vehicles and 115,000 passengers between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, from 1992 to 2014.[12]

The sculpture was created in 2000 and named "The Sailor" by the sculptor Kristin Kokkin.[13] It was the first sculpture to be placed at Ludington's waterfront park.[5] It honors those who have sailed on Lake Michigan. [5]

"The Carferries of Ludington"

The sculpture is a twelve-foot representation of a car ferry carrying automobiles. There were 113 local donations given for this bronze display. Ludington has a long history of car ferries. The S.S. Badger, traveling across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin every summer, is the last of the Ludington ferries carrying automobiles. There are several descriptive and history plaques around the 2007 main display by Tuck Langland of Granger, Indiana.[5]

File:Car Ferries display.JPG
"The Carferries of Ludington" display
File:Plague names 6.jpg
Plaque names of Carferry display
File:Hook on Hamlin sculpture.JPG
"Hooked on Hamlin" with empty stump, photo opportunity waiting for a subject

"Hooked on Hamlin"

The sculpture dedicated in July 2009 is a life-size representation of a man and boy fishing at the nearby Hamlin Lake. It has meaning to those that grew up at Hamlin Lake or vacationed there. The older man is taking a fish from the young boy's hook. It is one of the most significant and recognizable sculptures in Ludington. The sculptor that created this multiple piece bronze sculpture display is W. Stanley Proctor, the same artist who designed "Follow the Leader" which is another popular multiple piece bronze display.[5]

The 2009 adjacent descriptive plaque reads, "The many friends of Hamlin Lake dedicate this sculpture to the bond that links the generations of families with the natural wonders of our Great Lakes ecosystem. Wild and natural things make up our irreplaceable and fragile Hamlin Lake, and we pledge our commitment to the dream of sustainability for the lake we love."

It also gives an old Chinese Proverb,

A father may teach his son to fish, but a grandfather teaches him to fish for his dreams.
File:Follow the children.jpg
Posing in "Follow the Leader" display

"Follow the Leader"

The multiple piece sculpture is of five children and a dog playing "follow the leader" across a stepping stone bridge. In the middle is an empty stone tempting a person to be photographed with the bronzed children. The sculpture was purchased by the Don Birtwistle family and donated to the community to highlight children who are the beneficiaries of the world.[14]

The "Follow the Leader" display was the first of the sculptures for the Mason County Sculptor Trail. It was created by W. Stanley Proctor who has since done two additional which are called "Hooked on Hamlin" and "Double the Fun".[5] It is a playful interactive sculpture and a favorite among children as they like to play with 'the bronze children.' There is a photo opportunity available with the empty stepping stone waiting for an imaginative person. It encourages people to shape their own image on the empty stepping stone.[5]

File:Logging wheels with horse display.JPG
Display of logging wheels with horse

"Ludington's Lumbering Era"

The eleven foot bronze sculpture represents Michigan logging wheels and the lumbering industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century. It shows a horse pulling logs as a typical Ludington event of that time period as its lumber industry played a historical role on the Great Lakes.[5]

The large stone display has Ludington's history etched into the wall. It explains how James Ludington set up a mill and lumber industry in 1859. The hamlet settlement changed its name from Pere Marquette to become the town of Ludington. The town was plotted out then and not only bear Ludington's names, but the names of his siblings and prominent lumber barons of the area at the time. The etched history goes on to explain that Ludington prospered because of the local lumber industry. It explains that a harbor was developed to allow large quantities of lumber shipments to go out of the port. There were fourteen mills operating around Pere Marquette Lake at the height of production. They thought that there was an unlimited amount of timber to harvest into lumber, however in less than forty years all the woods were cut down. The etched history on the stone wall explains that the local lumber industry had come to an end in 1917.[15]

"The Dummy Train"

File:Dummy train display.JPG
Dummy train display

The sculptor of this multi-piece display is George Lundeen. The bronze sculpture display represents the day when the railroad connected Ludington to the nearby resort of Epworth Heights. It is of a woman and her children near rails on a railroad platform. There is a crossing sign there. The display was purchased by the cottagers at Epworth Heights and presented to the city. The Ludington and Northern Railway was also known as the Dummy Train. It transported thousands of passengers to Epworth Heights from Ludington during the summertime from 1874 to 1919. The sculpture rails in the display are from the actual Ludington and Northern railway.[5]

"Fruits of Farming"

File:Fruits of Farming display.JPG
"Fruits of Farming" display

The sculptor who created this bronze sculpture is George Lundeen. It is of a man and a child sitting in a wheel-borrow. It has a woman standing with a basket of fruit. In the center of the display is a sack of vegetables, a milk can, and box of cherries. These fruits and vegetables represent the farming products produced in Mason County for its heritage of farming. This the ninth sculpture of the Mason County Sculpture Trail was added the summer of 2010. Lundeen also designed "The Dummy Train" sculpture display.[5]

Lundeen is from Holdrege, Nebraska. He was a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar studying at the Academia de Belle Arte in Florence, Italy. Lundeen has various degrees related to art from the University of Nebraska and the University of Illinois. He also holds a bachelor of arts from Hastings College. Lundeen lives and works in Loveland, Colorado. He has a sculpting studio there that he established in the 1970s. Lundeen has done commissioned work to sculpt portraits and interpretive works for universities, municipalities, foundations, and corporations.He is a member of the National Academy of Design and the National Sculpture Society.[16]

"Put Me in Coach"

The Ludington Mariners, a past semi-pro baseball team of 1912–1924, is represented by a bronze display of a crouched baseball player with a bat in hand. They played at Culver Park and were not associated with any major league team. The sculptor that created the bronze sculpture is Mark Lundeen. It was donated by the Anderson family and the Reed family.[17]

The Ludington Mariners Old Time Base Ball Team started in 1912. In 1915 they took a break during the World War I. The team resumed again in 1920 and played for two years. They discontinued play, but resumed again in 1926 and renamed the Ludington Tars. The team played where the Ludington municipal marina is now located. The team was reassembled in 1993. Their home location they play at now is White Pine Village outside of Ludington. They sometimes play at Mackinac Island and Greenfield Village. The revived team, including the umpires, dress in the 1860s outfits. They play by the rules of that time period. The fans that watch the games sometimes dress in this spirit and wear period pieces. Some game players participate year after year and they are always looking for new ones.[18]

File:Reflections stainless steel.JPG
"Reflections", stainless steel

"The Reflections"

The seventeen-foot stainless steel sail abstract sculpture symbolizes when lumber was carried by schooners to Great Lakes ports from Ludington. It is the first sculpture seen from boaters who spend leisure time on the waters of Lake Michigan as they come back into the Ludington harbor. The abstract sculpture was created by Russian-born sculptor Irina Koukhanova. The Schoenherr family purchased the sculpture and donated it to the WaterFront Park at the Ludington harbor.[5]

Irina Koukhanova, the sculptor, was educated at the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts and Industry, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the University of Notre Dame. She has participated in United States exhibitions and international exhibitions. Koukhanova does two-dimensional work in printing techniques with drawings and three- dimensional sculptures. She was awarded Best of Show in Box Heart Gallery's "Art Inter/National" exhibition and had in 2010 an exhibition at DKO Galerie in Zurich, Switzerland. She has won awards at exhibitions at Boston Sculptors Gallery, Owensboro Museum of Art, Marlboro Gallery in Maryland, and the Indianapolis Art Center in Indiana.[19]

The stainless steel sculpture of a rendering of three sails was the sixth put in the Ludington Waterfront Park. The plan is up to ten sculptures for the park at the harbor near downtown. It was officially dedicated on August 12, 2006. Joan Schoenherr, one of the donors of the sculpture, is the chair of the sculpture selections group.[20]

Mason County Fairgrounds

"Rearing Horse Memory Pole"

The Mason County Fairgrounds just east of downtown Ludington on US-10 is the sculpture called "Rearing Horse Memory Pole." This hand-carved wooden rearing horse was created by Craig Convissor, a Scottville artist. It was purchased by the Mason County Saddle Club and donated to the Mason County Fairgrounds where dozens of horse shows take place each year. Thousands of spectators see the memorial at the fairgrounds entrance each spring, summer and fall.[3]

Ludington Public Library

File:Flights of Learning.JPG
"Flights of Learning", Ludington Public Library

"Flights of Learning"

The new Keith Wilson Children's Center addition in 2012 was completed with installation of the bronze sculpture "Flights of Learning" at the Ludington Public Library front exterior entrance. John and Anita Wilson first saw this sculpture at a Grand Rapids art prize competition. They decided to purchase the seven-and-a-half-foot 800-pound sculpture and donate it to the Ludington library. It was unveiled in June 2012. The creator and artist is Bryce Pettit of Monticello, Utah. The sculpture took Pettit about six months to complete. The Keith Wilson Children’s Center back addition was named for John’s father. Pettit wrote that his sculpture “Flights of Learning” represents the mission and purpose of a library.[21]

The model for the bronze sculpture was the sculptor's eleven-year-old daughter. The open bronze book at the statue explains that parents have the responsibility to make the world better through their children. The members of the community carry the responsibility of giving children the proper education to become outstanding citizens. The book represents a portal to knowledge. The birds represent the information that can be learned in the books.[22]

Knowledge is released and flies to new horizons to enrich and enlighten the lives of people through learning. Freedom is gained through the opportunity of "Flights of Learning". Different birds represent different areas of knowledge. The knowledge of science and mathematics is through the wise owl. The knowledge of history is represented by the falcon. The knowledge of literature is shown through the jay bird. The appreciation of music is given by the meadowlark. Fantasy is portrayed by the hummingbird. The skills of art is illustrated in the tern.[22]

File:Double the Fun 2014.jpg
"Double the Fun" sculpture at the rear of the Ludington Public Library

"Double the Fun"

This sculpture represents Sallie Peterson Ferguson reading to a young boy and a young girl. She was raised on a fruit farm on Meisenheimer Road in Summit Township, Mason County, Michigan. Ferguson was a Ludington High School graduate of the class of 1961. She was a valedictorian. Ferguson went to college and became a high school English teacher. She was one of the founders of the Montessori School of Kalamazoo.[23]

Because of Ferguson’s background in teaching Dr. Bill Anderson, chair of the Mason County Cultural Economic Development Task Force, proposed the idea that the sculpture be placed at the Ludington Public Library. The sculpture is at the Craig R. Rasmussen Outdoor Activity Area in the rear of the library. The sculptor that created this is W. Stanley Proctor, who also made the sculptures "Hooked on Hamlin" and "Follow the Leader" for the Mason County Sculpture Trail.[24]

Ludington State Park

"Community Cooperative"

A sculpture entitled “Community Cooperative” by Colette Pitcher of Greeley, Colorado represents nature with small animals living in an old tree. It was funded by John J. Helstrom of Muskegon, Michigan. It is located across from the office of Ludington State Park on the walking path near the Sable River. The Ludington State Park manager noted that it represents the wildlife found in the park as it would not be unusual to find the scenario the bronze sculpture represents. The head of the Mason County Cultural Economic Development Task Force claimed that it was a great accomplishment for the Mason County Sculpture Trail project, a garden of public art started at Ludington's Waterfront Park, to have such a piece of sculpture art located in the queen of Michigan State Parks.[25]

Mason County Sheriff's Office

"Helping Hand"

This sculpture at the Mason County Sheriff's Office was created by Colette Pitcher. Dr. Terry and Sandy Luxford bought the sculpture and donated it.[26] The sculpture shows appreciation and gratitude the citizens of Mason County have for the law enforcement personnel.[27] Dr. Luxford has been a dean for several years of occupational and vocational programs and started both the law enforcement and nursing programs at the West Shore Community College in Mason County, Michigan.[26]

Maritime Heritage Park

The Maritime Heritage Park, an area south of the Loomis Street Boat Ramp west of downtown Ludington has both the "Abby" sculpture and the "Sport Fishing" sculpture which is part of the Mason County Sculpture Trail.

The Abbie

The "Abbie" bronze bas-relief sculpture is a representation of the last schooner built in Ludington in 1886 for merchant Rasmus Rasmussen. Due to a storm on November 8, 1905 the "Abbie" was forced ashore and wrecked off Portage Point near the entrance to Portage Lake in Manistee County, Michigan. The "Abbie" was a double-masted schooner that was 88 feet long. It was named after a nineteenth-century Ludington postmaster's wife. While the schooner was being built the postmaster asked Rasmussen if he would name the schooner after his wife. In exchange the postmaster would buy a windsock for the ship. The end result was that the schooner was named "Abbie" and Harry Scott, the postmaster, furnished a windsock.[28]

Jack Rasmussen and his wife Shirley donated the funds for the sculpture. Jack is the grandson of Rasmus Rasmussen. The Abbie was a double-masted schooner 88-feet long. Rasmus Rasmussen often sailed the schooner between Ludington and Chicago with merchandise. The bronze sculpture was created by artist Tyson Snow of Salem, Utah.[29]

Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing Sculpture

The "Sport Fishing" sculpture represents the popular sport of Ludington, Michigan. Coho and Chinook Salmon were introduced into Lake Michigan in the 1960s. Fishermen caught large numbers of mature fish starting in the Fall of 1967. This fish program influenced the growth of tourism in Ludington. Carol Polston bought and dedicated this sculpture to her late husband, Barry, an avid fisherman in Ludington and Northern Michigan. His boat that he fished from was called "Trust me." Bryce Pettit of Durango, Colorado, created the sculpture. He is the same artist who created "Flights of Learning" (see above) located at the Ludington library that is also part of the Mason County Sculpture Trail.[30]


  1. "The Mason County Sculpture Trail". Visiting Ludington. Advantage Marketing & Publications, Inc. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Mason County Sculpture Trail". Miplace. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Sculptures of Waterfront Park". Advantage Marketing & Publications. 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Begnoche, Steve (June 6, 2014). "$25,000 grant to help extend Sculpture Trail throughout Mason County". Daily News. Ludington: Shoreline Media Group. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 "The Sculptures of Waterfront Park". Advantage Marketing & Publications, Inc. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Mason County Sculpture Trail launched with two works". Ludington Daily News. Ludington, Michigan. June 30, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Michigan Municipal League touts Mason County Sculpture Trail exemplifies positive impact of placemaking". Ludington Daily News. Ludington, Michigan. June 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Mason County Lumber Heritage Trail". Retrieved August 29, 2014. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "A Country Patchwork: Mason County's Barn Quilt Trail". Ludington Daily News. December 13, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Begnoche, Steve (June 6, 2014). "Mason County Barn Quilt trail squares coming to life". Ludington Daily News. Retrieved September 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Mason County Cultural Trails". Ludington Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved August 29, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Charles Conrad (1917–1995)". Lake Michigan Carferry. 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Monuments/ The sailor". Kirsten Kokkin Studio. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Follow The Leader - Ludington City Park, Ludington MI. - Figurative Public Sculpture". Groundspeak, Inc. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Ludington 1859 era". Flickr. Douglas Coldwell. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "George Lundeen biography". Lundeen Sculpture. 2012. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "West Michigan Celebrations Points of Interest / The Sculptures of Waterfront Park".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Ludington Mariners Old Time Base Ball Team". Advantage Marketing & Publications, Inc. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Irina Koukhanova". BoxHeart Expressions. Retrieved 2014-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Boomgaard, Joe (August 14, 2006). ""˜Reflections" dedicated". Daily News. Ludington, Michigan: Daily News newspaper. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Kiessel, Jeff (June 21, 2012). "Sculpture installed in front of library". Daily News. Ludington, Michigan: Shoreline Media Group. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Ludington Public Library - Later History - Flights of Learning Sculpture". Technology Trends. 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Braciszeski, Kevin (2014-08-16). "'Double the fun' adds to sculpture trail". Ludington Daily News, Front page + page A3. Ludington, Michigan: Ludington Daily News newspaper.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Alway, Rob (August 15, 2014). "Statue memorializes Sallie Ferguson, who loved reading, teaching". Mason County Press. Mason County, Michigan: Mason County Press newspaper. Retrieved 2014-08-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Begnoche, Steve (June 2, 2014). "Mason County Sculpture Trail sculpture dedicated at Ludington State Park". Daily News. Ludington: Shoreline Media Group. Retrieved 2014-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. 26.0 26.1 Alway, Rob (2015). "Statue will honor local law enforcement". Retrieved September 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "The Mason County Sculpture Trail". Visit Ludington. Advantage Marketing & Publications, Inc. 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Sculpture, The Abbie". Shoreline Media Group. August 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "The Sculptures of Waterfront Park / "The Abbie" and "Sport Fishing"". Advantage Marketing & Publications, Inc. 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "The Mason County Sculpture Trail". Lakeshore Family Guide. Advantage Marketing & Publications, Inc. Retrieved September 16, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links