The Lumber Heritage Trail, highlighting Mason County’s rich lumbering history, is one of four that comprise the Mason County Cultural Trails.
Waterfront Park Sculptures in Ludington
Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography
Sculptures Tell the Story of Ludington
What sets Ludington’s Waterfront Park apart from other parks? The answer lies in its nine bronzed sculptures that you’ll find throughout the five-acre park. Not only are they fascinating to look at, but each one tells a story that relates to Ludington’s rich history. The Waterfront Sculpture Task Force worked with various artists in creating pieces that fit with the natural beauty of the park. While admiring the sculptures, enjoy all that Waterfront Park offers, such as a playground, amphitheater, two marinas, and scenic walkways with benches.
“The Spirit of Ludington”
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.
“Follow the Leader”
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.
“Put Me in Coach”
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.
“Ludington’s Lumbering Era”
This portrays a horse pulling logs, and brings back memories of Ludington’s early days, when lumbering and sawmills were the main source of revenue. The town of Ludington emerged from this era and lumber plays as important a role in its history on the Great Lakes.
“The Dummy Train”
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.
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.
“Fruits of Farming”
This ninth and final sculpture was added the summer of 2010. The creator is George Lundeen, who also designed “The Dummy Train.” A man, woman, and child are featured, along with a sack of grain, a milk can, and cherries. Mason County’s rich, fertile soil along Lake Michigan is perfect for growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, and this sculpture is representative of our rich, farming heritage.
“The Carferries of Ludington”
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.
“Hooked on Hamlin”
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.
With the addition of six more sculptures throughout Ludington, the sculptures at Waterfront Park make up the
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