Collection: Flying Across The Grand Collection

Story Time:
This painting is a tribute to a special historical place and time: 1870-1908 Grand Ledge, a small town in Lower Michigan with a unique history.

Along the banks of the Grand River is a series of 'ledges'-Spectacular, sand stone rock formations surrounded by beautiful, near impenetrable forests. In the early 1870's, the Seven Islands Resort was built on one of the islands in the river. By 1879, a 600-foot steel railroad bridge, the highest in Michigan, anchored to one of the islands spanned the Grand River and the Pere Marquette Flyer brought throngs of visitors to the area to view the ledges.

The Seven Island Resort became the most popular in Lower Michigan second only to Petoskey for tourism. The Lanota, a local paddle wheel boat, would be seen cruising up and down the river offering unique and stunning views of the magnificent ledges. A picturesque fountain and bandstand, a roller coaster,refreshment stands and a pavilion that featured traveling theater and local entertainment. As many as 9 hotels were said to have operated in town to accommodate over night visitors. For nearly 40 years the Pere Marquette Flyer brought the crowds across the high bridge to visit the Seven Island Resort and be awed by the ledge before its final excursion in 1908.

Take yourself back to a simpler time, before TV, movies, the internet, and all the other modern-day amusements that we take for granted today. A time when most people had never traveled faster than a horse could run. For these people, taking the excursion train to the Seven Island Resort, speeding over that high bridge must have felt as though they were truly flying across the Grand!