The Sculptures of Waterfront Park

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.

With the addition of six more sculptures in Ludington, you can now follow the Mason County Sculpture Trail.

"The Spirit of Ludington"

Overlooking the harbor, this 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.

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"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 as 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.

The Carferries of Ludington

"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

"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.

"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,
Fruits of Farming
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.

Sculptures Beyond Waterfront Park

"Flights of Learning"
Dedicated at the completion of the new Keith Wilson Children's Center, this sculpture was first seen by John and Anita Wilson at a Grand Rapids ArtPrize competition and decided it would look perfect in front of the Mason County District Library. Artist Bryce Pettit admires Ludington for placing so much value on art.

"Double the Fun"

This sculpture was dedicated in August 2014 by Jon Ferguson and depicts a woman reading a book to two young children. It was created by artist Stanley Proctor and is in memory of Ferguson's late wife Sallie Peterson Ferguson, who was a former English teacher.

"Rearing Horse Memory Pole"

This hand-carved wooden rearing horse was created by Scottville artist Craig Convissor and donated by the Mason County Saddle Club. It serves as a memorial to members who have died. The Mason County Fairgrounds plays host to numerous horse shows throughout the spring, summer and this sculpture seems right at home, where it can be seen by the thousands of people who visit the fairgrounds.

"Community Cooperative"

Across from the park office at the Ludington State Park you'll find this charming sculpture of animals living in an old tree. This symbolizes the nature and wildlife found within the park and around the Ludington area.

"The Abbie" and "Sport Fishing"

These sculptures were dedicated in the summer of 2015, in the area south of the Loomis Street Boat area now known as the Maritime Heritage Park. "The Abbie," sponsored by Jack and Shirley Rasmussen, was a Great Lakes Schooner that made many excursions between Ludington and and Chicago in the late 1800s. It eventually sunk off Portage Lake Pier. "Sport Fishing" pays tribute to this popular sport, always a major draw to Ludington. It was sponsored by Carol Polston in memory of her late husband.

"Helping Hands"

Created by Colette Pitcher, who also designed the sculpture "Community Cooperative," this bronze sculpture pays tribute to all law enforcement personnel who serve the citizens of Mason County. It is being donated by Dr. Terry and Sandy Luxford, and is the newest sculpture to join the Mason County Sculpture Trail.

More on the Ludington Art Scene...

More Summer Events in Ludington...

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

West Michigan Map
Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.

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Last Updated: 10-31-2023 01:30 PM ID: 177