´¯`•. July 10, 2017

Jackson Day Trip (1 of 3):  McCourtie Park

Our latest adventure was to the wilds of exotic… Jackson Michigan.
No, don’t laugh.  Not yet.  Just wait.

Here’s the thing:  I read in a book once about a place called McCourtie Park.  It’s about 15 minutes south of Jackson Michigan, and it’s a 42 acre property that used to belong to a Portland Cement mogul named McCourtie (obviously).  Mr. McCourtie did an interesting thing with his cement – he built bridges.  But it’s not what you expect.

He sent to Mexico for artists who were capable of making cement look like rope, trees, cut lumber… and he had them sculpt cement into seventeen unique bridges spanning different parts of the creek that meandered through his property.  And then he donated the property, so that people could enjoy the park for years and years to come.  It’s now on the National Registry of Historic Places.  Oddly, though, it’s not in the ‘Experience Jackson’ brochure, so it seems this is a little known secret, here in Michigan.

Are you ready for pictures?  ((grins!))

Of course, we went over every one, back and forth across the creek.

Impressive?  Definitely!

Looks realistic, doesn’t it?  The ropes, the logs, the ‘cut’ benches…?

The park is lovely.  And yes, that’s a cement bridge.

One of the family, because I do that.

There was a very pregnant lady on one of the bridges, watching her little boy and husband down in the creek with nets.  You gotta know me… I talk too much.  So I asked, “Is it frogs or minnows, today?”  She said, “It’s crawfish.  Would you like to see?”  And she pulls this HUGE round ‘critter keeper’ out.. and holy COW, but it was just full of crawfish!  Not what I was expecting.

Each bridge is unique.  Which makes it fun, with seventeen of them!

I let each kid pick a bridge to get their picture on.

The thatch looks so good.  It’s all so intricately done.

I don’t have room for all of my pictures, but you get the idea.

This is the underground ‘guest house’.  Do you see the ‘dead tree’ on top of it?  It’s one of two chimneys – that’s right, it’s cement!  Anyhow, in the summertime, they have concerts out here, at the park.  People lay out blankets on the lawn, and the band sets up on the patio.  Isn’t that great?!  There’s also a playground, a pavilion for events, and all across the grounds is a frisbee golf course.
‘Cuz you like pictures of me.
And what else, with a kissing bench?!

Anyhow, if you ever find yourself in the lower middle part of Michigan, it’s definitely a beautiful, spacious, and unique place to visit.  My family wasn’t sure what I was hauling them off to visit, but they were definitely impressed!

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