The place I stayed the longest while hiking was the city of Onaway. It has quite an interesting history. Its slogan is "Onaway Steers the World."
This comes from the former industry that made wooden steering wheels, and before that, wooden bicycle wheels. The American Wood Rim Company was founded in 1901 and burned to the ground in 1926. They used fine-grained hard rock maple to make outstanding products.
Now the local industry is Moran Iron Works, a national leader in custom metal fabrication. They have created a park on the site of the former Wood Rim factory with walkways, sculptures, and interpretive signs.
Many of the sculptures/constructions are made by Thomas Moran.
Counting the bust outside town at the Moran building, there are four famous heads: Washington, Gerald R. Ford, Lady Liberty, and Abraham Lincoln. I had seen the one of Ford before, at ArtPrize a number of years ago.
I don't know the artist for this catfish, but it's not in the park, but downtown. Northern Michigan seems to have a thing for big fish- Kalkaska has a rainbow trout and Baldwin has a brown trout. There's one I often pass in Ontario too.
This park connects to another city park, which was in full autumn splendor.
One of the really interesting places to me was practically across the street from the motel. This building appears to be abandoned. Most of the people I asked about it didn't know what it had been, but one person thought it was a former Masonic Hall. It's just a shame that places like this cost way too much to save.
Just a sampling of my recent trip that wasn't directly related to hiking. That said, I'm making a fast trip back tomorrow to hike those last few miles. It has to happen!
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