|Arriving at Lakenenland on M-28, west
of Marquette, Michigan, you are met with signs saying "Welcome"
and open "24 hours." There are also signs saying "No Trespassing," which
are addressed to "Federal Officers of the IRS, HEW, HUD, Environmental
Health, and other unconstitutional agencies; and to all local members of
planning & zoning boards." The dichotomy of those signs tells you a
lot about the talented man who created these acres of drive through grassroots
Tom Lakenen (pronounced Lay-Kin-en) started creating these
metal folk art sculptures a few years ago as a hobby. He is a welder
in the construction industry and started building metal sculptures from
scrap iron obtained from different construction jobs. As he completed the
sculptures, he didn't want to let his art go. When his yard was full, he
purchased this property and Lakenenland was born.
Lakenenland is 37 acres with ponds stocked with fish,
a band shell, shelters and a winding two rut road leading past nearly 100
wonderful, wacky sculptures. A snowmobile trail cuts across the back of
the property and many snowmobilers visit the park, often stopping to warm
themselves at a shelter or enjoy treats which Tom provides at his own cost.
There is even a fire pit with a large pile of firewood.
I have met many grassroots artists for the Kansas
Grassroots Artists page on our sister website (www.KansasTravel.org).
Meeting every one of those artists has been a pleasure and I hope to run
across Tom LaKenen on my next visit to Lakenenland.
Lakenenland is always open.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Tahquamenon Falls in Winter
Eben Ice Caves