by Erica Beham
Since it’s days a lumber town, Cadillac has been rich with history. Today, you can travel throughout downtown and see what used to be and what still is. Monuments and sculptures are placed in remembrance of significant figures and times in Cadillac’s history as well as current noteworthy happenings and Cadillac’s future endeavors.
Heights of Knowledge: [44.2469, -85.3994] This statue features a young girl sitting atop a stack of books. The six-foot tall structure is made of bronze and is located in front of the Cadillac-Wexford Public Library. It was created by Gary Price and dedicated on June 10, 2014. The eye-catching piece, “represents the higher levels of learning and understanding that come to us through knowledge,” said Price.
Diversity: [44.215, -85.4069] A collaboration of Baker College of Cadillac and PADNOS Scrap Management and Recycling Solutions brought Diversity- a sculpture made completely out of recycled materials that features four children holding hands, each a different color. It is located on the Keith McKellop Walkway between the handicap-accessible playground and a parking lot. It was donated to the city in the summer of 2015 and represents diversity, individualism and respect for each other.
Frieed: [44.2505, -85.4020] Standing tall at City Hall, this linear, cord-ten steel and cable sculpture was created by Robert Pipenberg with a $10,000 grant and was erected on October 21, 1978. It sits lakeside, which in turn makes it catch the westerly winds off Lake Cadillac.
Sound Garden: [44.2512, -85.4108] The Sound Garden is a beautiful and welcoming park for people of all ages. For years the Cadillac Garden Club and City of Cadillac have put countless hours into growing it. Sitting across the road from Lake Cadillac, the park features many interactive structures for the public to make beautiful music with. In 2014, the newest installment of Kinder Bells was plotted. The bells sit next to the Sun Dial and Rock memorial and many more structures.
Eagle on Lake Cadillac: [44.2493, -85.4096] What was once a willow tree is now a chainsaw-carved eagle catching a fish. This work of art was made by Mark Eckles and erected in the fall of 2014 at the City Boat Dock.
Veterans Monument @ Courthouse: [44.2525, -85.3945] In 1922, the Marie Therese Cadillac Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a monument to the boys of the First World War. It was placed beside what was then the Cadillac State Bank (now where the Huntington Bank is located), sometime later, the monument was moved to Courthouse where the canon was located. It is still at the corner of Harris and Division Street in front of the Wexford County Courthouse. It is part of the Courthouse Hill Historic District.
Veterans Monument @ Naval Reserve: [44.2492, -85.4144] This monument gives recognition and thanks to those men and women who have, are and will serve in the United States Armed Services. The wall is located along the Keith McKellop Walkway on Lake Cadillac and features a canon in honor of veterans of foreign wars, too.
Veterans Memorial Stadium: [44.2499, -85.4164] It is unknown when the football stadium was built, but it was constructed with a monument in it that honors those who served and lost their lives in the World Wars as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Mitchell Family Monument @ Maple Hill Cemetery: [44.2380, -85.3931] At the top of Maple Hill Cemetery lays the Mitchell Family Monument. The monument features a goddess-like figure watching over the headstones of the Mitchell family and has two sitting benches on either side of her. The date of installation is unknown but it was placed with donations from the Mitchell family.
KISS Monument: [44.2496, -85.4138] In 1975, KISS took over Cadillac on Homecoming weekend. In 2015 outside the Veterans Memorial Stadium where they had performed 40 years ago, a monument was erected in their honor. The piece stands as a conversation starter, a walk down memory lane for those in attendance some 40+ years ago and brings people from all over the country to see the only KISS Monument ever made.
Historical Marker Tour: While you are exploring Cadillac, be sure to check out the eastern shores of Lake Cadillac, where you will find six historic markers. Take a walk, or ride your bike along the Keith McKellop Walkway. This 5.5 mile walkway highlights the history of Cadillac. Each marker showcases what once stood on the site along with providing an in-depth history with historic photos.
These are a few of the sculptures and monuments in our area. It took us a bit to find background information on some of these, if you have more, please share to this blog post, and help us update, identify and add more to this list. Make it fun and take the tour, post to our facebook page pictures of yourself with them, or post to your own page and tag us @visitcadillac or #visitcadillac