The Mason County Sculpture Trail was launched in 2012 and includes nine sculptures in Ludington, Scottville, and Fountain.
Photo By Todd and Brad Reed Photography
Mason County Sculpture Trail
Table of Page Contents
Every community has something unique to call its own. Ludington has its carferry, but now it has something artistic to share-The Mason County Sculpture Trail. This one-of-a-kind trail was launched in 2012 and includes the nine sculptures at Waterfront Park, sculptures at both the Ludington Library and the Mason County Fairgrounds, at the Ludington State Park, Maritime Heritage Park on Ludington’s Lake Michigan shoreline walkway, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Stearns Park and the village of Fountain. A new sculpture is in the works for the green near the Scottville Clown Band Shell. “Forward March” will be designed by Harold Cronk, and will feature the Clown Band and Scottville’s agricultural history.
Waterfront Park Sculptures
The five-acre Waterfront Park between the two Ludington marinas is a beautiful place to picnic, watch the carferry, or listen to music at the amphitheater. Over the past dozen years, sculptures have been placed throughout the park, each one telling a story of Mason County’s past. They depict the lumbering era, farming, fishing, carferry history, and a past baseball team. Each one is so unique and a wonderful addition to this spectacular park. Read more about the Waterfront Park sculptures in downtown Ludington.
These are the sculptures approved by the Cultural Economic Development Task Force. Dial (231) 480-3084 and use the following extensions for an audio narrative:
"The Dummy Train" — Stop #400
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 400 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 400 on the map above.
A woman and her children on a railroad platform, with rails and a crossing sign in front of them, depicts the time when the railroad connected Ludington to Epworth. Created by George Lundeen, the cottagers at Epworth Heights presented this sculpture to the city of Ludington. From 1874 to 1919, the Dummy Train carried thousands of residents to Epworth Heights during the summertime. Portions of the actual rails used are included as part of the sculpture.
Learn more about the Dummy Train sculpture here.
"Follow the Leader" — Stop #401
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 401 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 401 on the map above.
One of the favorites in the park- five children and a dog playing “follow the leader” across stepping stones. One stone is empty, allowing a “real” person to be photographed alongside the “bronzed” ones. Created by W. Stanley Proctor, this sculpture was donated, courtesy of the Don Birtwistle family.
Learn more about the Follow the Leader sculpture here.
"The Spirit of Ludington" — Stop #402
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 402 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 402 on the map above.
Overlooking the harbor, this sculpture depicts a weathered captain at his ship’s wheel, and is dedicated to Charles Conrad. Created by Kristin Kokkin, it was the first sculpture to grace the waterfront, and pays tribute to those who have sailed on Lake Michigan.
Learn more about the Spirit of Ludington sculpture here.
"The Car Ferries of Ludington" — Stop #403
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 403 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 403 on the map above.
This 12′ tall bronze replica of a carferry was made possible by 113 donations from the community. Many lives here have been touched by the carferry industry, and this sculpture signifies one of the most recognizable and beloved sights in Ludington. The S.S. Badger carferry still sails out of Ludington’s port and travels across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin every May-October.
Learn more about the Carferries of Ludington sculpture here.
"Reflections" — Stop #404
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 404 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 404 on the map above.
Welcoming recreational boaters who spend leisure time on the water, this abstract, 17′ tall stainless steel sail stands out from the bronzed sculptures in the park. Created by Irina Koukhanova and donated by the Schoenherr family, “Reflections” symbolizes the time when lumber was carried by schooners from Ludington to other Great Lakes ports.
Learn more about the Reflections sculpture here.
"Hooked on Hamlin" — Stop #405
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 405 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 405 on the map above.
Dedicated in July 2009, this sculpture is truly a labor of love for those who grew up or vacationed around Hamlin Lake. Created by Stanley Proctor, the same artist who designed “Follow the Leader,” this lifelike sculpture shows a man and boy with fishing poles, while the man takes a fish from the boy’s hook. It is a representation of family and the special place that Hamlin Lake has in people’s hearts.
Learn more about the Hooked on Hamlin sculpture here.
"Put me in Coach" — Stop #406
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 406 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 406 on the map above.
This crouched baseball player, bat in hand, pays tribute to former ball players of our 1912-1924 semi-pro team, the Ludington Mariners who played at Culver Park. The Mariners were not affiliated with any major league team, but locals were thrilled to watch their favorite game right here in their community. It was created by Mark Lundeen and donated by the Anderson and Reed families.
Learn more about the Put me in Coach sculpture here.
"The Abbey" — Stop #407
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 407 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 407 on the map above.
The Abbey was a Great Lakes Schooner, built in Ludington in the late 1800s. The double-masted vessel made excursions between Ludington and Chicago, and eventually sank off Portage Lake Pier. This sculpture was designed by Tyson Snow of Utah and sponsored by Jack and Shirley Rasmussen.
Learn more about The Abbey sculpture here.
"Sport Fishing" — Stop #408
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 408 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 408 on the map above.
Sport Fishing is sponsored by Carol Polston in memory of her late husband Barry, an avid fisherman. It was created by artist Bryce Pettit of Durango, Colorado, who also did “Flights of Learning” at the library.
Learn more about the Sport Fishing sculpture here.
"Making Memories" — Stop #409
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 409 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 409 on the map above.
Making Memories, which features two children under an umbrella was also created by sculptor Tyson Snow. It is located in the central fountain area of Ludington Rotary Park in downtown Ludington, and was among improvements and upgrades to the park designed and coordinated by the Ludington Rotary Club through a donations campaign.
Learn more about the Making Memories sculpture here.
"Ascent of Heroism" — Stop #410
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 410 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 410 on the map above.
Ascent of Heroism is found at the Veterans Mall at Stearns Park, donated by the family of the late Milan S. Reed. It depicts a person from each of America’s wars. Sculptor Paula Slater created this sculpture, along with a bust of William “Bill” Charette, also located at Veterans Mall. Charette served in the Navy during the Korean War and received the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts.
Learn more about the Ascent of Heroism sculpture here.
"Helping Hands" — Stop #412
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 412 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 412 on the map above.
“Helping Hands,”was created by Colette Pitcher and donated by Dr. Terry and Sandy Luxford. This sculpture, erected on the grounds of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, pays tribute to the law enforcement personnel who have served the citizens of Mason County.
Learn more about the Helping Hands sculpture here.
"Flights of Learning" — Stop #413
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 413 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 413 on the map above.
Right in downtown Ludington is the majestic Mason County District Library, and right in front you can’t miss the “Flights of Learning” sculpture which was unveiled in June 2012. Children seem to flock to this sculpture, which is quite fitting, as learning from a young age is the prime focus of the library. The Keith Wilson Children’s Center at the Library was added in 2012, complete with a Sailboat Play Area.
Learn more about the Flights of Learning sculpture here.
"Double the Fun" — Stop #414
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 414 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 414 on the map above.
Another sculpture, “Double the Fun,” was dedicated in August 2014. You’ll find it at the Craig R. Rasmussen Outdoor Activity Area at the Library. It was done by Stanley Proctor and given to the people of Mason County by Jon Ferguson in memory of his wife Sallie Peterson Ferguson.
Learn more about the Double the Fun sculpture here.
"Rearing Horse Memory Pole" — Stop #415
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 415 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 415 on the map above.
At the entrance to the Mason County Fairgrounds, US-10, Ludington, is the Rearing Horse Memory Pole sculpture. Also dedicated in 2012, this depicts the role that horses play at the fairgrounds, to the numerous horse shows throughout the summer and to the Caswell Horse Park within the fairgrounds.
Learn more about the Rearing Horse Memory Pole sculpture here.
"Out of the Forest" — Stop #416
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 416 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 416 on the map above.
The Village of Fountain has a sculpture at Heritage Park, depicting two horses pulling lumber. It was created by Rueban Llano of New Era, and is the first sculpture in the eastern part of the county.
Learn more about the Out of the Forest sculpture here.
"Daedayl" — Stop #417
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 417 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 417 on the map above.
This bronze sculpture, Daedayl, is a replica of one of a series of composite wood sculptures begun by Dawson in 1948. Dawson took the title from the name “Daedalus,” the character in Greek mythology who was employed by the king of Crete as an architect, engineer, and artist.
Dawson shared the same artistic path as Daedalus, and personal similarities as well.
Learn more about the Daedayl sculpture here.
"Tools of the Trade" — Stop #418
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 418 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 418 on the map above.
Many visitors are surprised to learn Ludington’s Fire Department is not staffed by full-time career firefighters. Fire protection is provided for the City by a dedicated group of part-paid volunteers.
Learn more about the Tools of the Trade sculpture here.
"Johnny's Band Stand" — Stop #419
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 419 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 419 on the map above.
This Sculpture entitled “Johnny’s Bandstand” depicts musicians performing and couples dancing to the music. Johnny Urban started Johnny’s Bandstand with up-and-coming artists in the mid 1950’s. Crystal Gayle was a great example of Johnny’s foresight. She was booked before her first big hit was released so when her scheduled performance came, she was well known and drew a huge crowd to our little Village.
Learn more about the Johnny’s Band Stand sculpture here.
"Driving Force" — Stop #420
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 420 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 420 on the map above.
The propeller featured in this sculpture “Driving Force”, once powered the City of Midland 41 by converting the energy of the ship’s powerful steam engines to the driving force that moved the ship. It was likely damaged while operating in heavy ice. The propeller is 14 feet in diameter and weighs more than 14,000 lbs. The City of Midland was converted to a tug barge in 1998 and now transports a variety of bulk materials to several ports on the Great Lakes.
Learn more about the Driving Force sculpture here.
"Community Cooperative" — Stop #421
Dial (231) 480-3084 and use stop number 421 for an audio narrative. Also see locator number 421 on the map above.
In 2013, the Ludington State Park received a sculpture across from the park office. “Community Cooperative” is a charming depiction of a community of animals living in an old tree. It celebrates the wildlife that is in abundance at the park and around Mason County plus the beauty of nature. This sculpture was sponsored by John J. Helstrom of Muskegon and the artist was Colette Pitcher of Greeley, Colorado. With the addition of this sculpture, the Mason County Cultural Economic Development Task Force hopes that people may come to the park that might not otherwise. And those at the Ludington State Park may venture out to view the other sculptures in Ludington.
Learn more about the Community Cooperative sculpture here.
New Sculptures & More Information
A new sculpture is in the works for the village of Custer. Set to be placed just south of Mason County Eastern Schools, this sculpture will pay tribute to Johnny’s Bandstand.
Several of the sculptures have scanner codes so people can use their smart phones to access information about each piece, making the journey on the Mason County Sculpture Trail that much more enjoyable. More sculptures are planned for the future in Ludington and surrounding communities.
For more information on the Mason County Sculpture Trail, please visit:
More Trails & Tours in Ludington
Mason County is home to several trails that tell stories with fascinating histories. Explore these self-guided tours to learn about each one!
Enjoy an afternoon drive around the Ludington area in October and fill your senses with the vibrant colors of fall.
Water fun in the Ludington State Park! Float down the Big Sable River, paddle Hamlin Lake water trails, launch a pleasure boat, or swim!
The Barn Quilt Trail, highlighting the lost art of barn decor, is one of four trails that comprise the Mason County Cultural Trails.
The Music Heritage Trail will take you from Idlewild to Baldwin and from Scottville to Ludington as it explores the historic music scene!
The Maritime Heritage Trail highlights the lighthouses, industries, art, and figures that make up the maritime history of Mason County!
Agriculture plays a large role in the economics of Mason County. Take this self-guided tour to learn about agriculture in Mason County.
The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant and Lakewinds Energy Park are the two main sources of energy that power Ludington! Check them out!
The Lumber Heritage Trail, highlighting Mason County’s rich lumbering history, is one of four that comprise the Mason County Cultural Trails.