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Traverse City Adventure: Grand Haven to Muskegon State Park

Eskimo family among Curtis’s images. The entire collection includes thousands of photographs.
September 10, 2017

DAY 29 • 9 SEPTEMBER 2017 • GRAND HAVEN

We rode 25 miles this day up the Lake Michigan shoreline to the city of Muskegon.  This is a significant port which served as a jumping off point for vessels that carried massive amounts of lumber to Chicago after its great fire in the late 1800s. That created a great boom for Muskegon which has significant cultural resources downtown.

One of those is the Muskegon Museum of Art which for the past few months has been showing the first-ever complete exhibit of photographs taken by Edward S. Curtis between 1908 and 1930 for a major ethnographical study called The North American Indian.  It’s an amazing collection.  As of September 9, people had come from every state in the union, except one, to see the exhibit.  The only state missing was Delaware.  We took care of that.  They said they would have given us free admission to complete the sweep but Sept. 9 was free admission day anyway.  

The Curtis portraits are an amazing window into the Native American culture of the west. I’ve included several photographs here.

We spent Saturday night at Muskegon State Park.  A pleasant park with hot showers and nice campsites and a trail to an amazing dune with thick grasses that reminded me of Connie Costigan paintings.

We spoke briefly with Carlo, a transplant to Muskegon from Italy.  After spending 20 years in mosaic tile manufacturing in Italy, he decided to move to the US.  Here, he said, he works for a company producing glass mosaic tiles entirely from recycled glass. “We’re the largest manufacturer of mosaic tiles in the US from recycled materials,” he said with humble pride.

Today’s miles brought our total to 970 miles.  Tomorrow, on to Pentwater and the Mears State Park.

(The internet is slow here on Sunday night at Mears where I’m doing. two days worth of blogs.  I’ll add more photos of the Curtis exhibit when I get a faster connection.)