Fountain heritage day. America at its best.

April 15, 2017
Dedication of Fountain sculpture.

Dedication of Fountain sculpture.

Fountain heritage day. America at its best. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

FOUNTAIN — Earlier today I attended Fountain Heritage Day in the Village of Fountain. The highlight of the event was the dedication of the very impressive sculpture in Fountain’s new Heritage Park. The sculpture, created by Rubin Llano of Oceana County’s Claybanks Township (west of New Era), depicts two massive work horses pulling logs. It honors Fountain’s lumber heritage and is the 18th sculpture on the Mason County Sculpture Trail and the first to be installed outside of the immediate Ludington area.

From left: Dr. Bill Anderson of Mason County Cultural Economic Committee, Jerry and Shirley Chancellor and artist Rubin Llano.

From left: Dr. Bill Anderson of Mason County Cultural Economic Committee, Jerry and Shirley Chancellor and artist Rubin Llano.

I could write a story about the facts and figures of the sculpture. I could quote the speakers who talked about the great benefits a sculpture like this has to attracting visitors to Fountain and how it adds to the cultural richness of our community. But, that’s really not what the day was about. As I stood on the edge of the crowd watching the dedication I walked over to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole and asked him how many people he thought was there. Sheriff Cole said maybe 250, maybe a little more. Then he said something that struck me. He said: “You know, Rob, as I look at this crowd I think to myself, ‘this is really what America is all about.’”

He was right. You had basically folks from every walk of life coming together to celebrate an accomplishment that this little town achieved. You also had folks from every part of the county.

One of the speakers talked about how so many of the lumber communities from the late 1800s and early 1900s have faded away. And while this was his first time visiting Fountain, it was quite clear that Fountain had survived the test of time and appeared to be thriving. The town has a group of people who have recently established a community center for both the youth and the seniors. There are nice sidewalks, a country store and gas station, a pub, a couple service/retail businesses and of course, the fire department. Just outside of town is McCormick’s Sawmills and Michigan Farm Cheese Dairy, two of the oldest businesses in Mason County with deep roots to eastern Mason County.

This is the thing about living here in Mason County. We have towns that rally and come together for a common purpose and they have great pride. These are towns where people come together not only in the worst of times, but also in the best of times, like today.  As singer/songwriter John Mellencamp sang in his song “Little Pink Houses”,  Ain’t that America?

Good job Fountain, you make all of Mason County proud.

PS: A special shout out to Jerry and Shirley Chancellor for taking the reins (pun intended) on this project. 

Story and photos copyrighted © 2017 by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the owner. 

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