Tom Moran’s Northern Michigan Masterpieces

There is that moment on a roadtrip that you realize that you have completely shed any semblance of order and home routine…in my case, makeup (who has time in the morning?), dietary considerations (jalapeno potato chips and coffee are NOT good mid-morning snacks, no matter who says “try these”), and basics like clean clothes and travel mugs.

But I digress.  
Today, after having my sneakers tossed into a tree and visiting The Cross in the Woods and Nun Doll Museum (yes…and there is a patron saint of highway travelers,) we made it to Onaway, the home of Moran Iron Works, and owner Tom Moran’s incredible welded sculptures that grace many towns in almost upper Michigan.

Tom Moran, Welded Metal Sculptures

Moran Iron Works, Inc.
11739 M-68/33 Hwy.
Onaway, MI 49765

Business man, philanthropist,  Tom Moran doesn’t consider himself an artist.  After seeing his sculptures throughout Northern Michigan, I beg to differ. Since 1989, Tom and his crew from Moran Iron Works create a secret HUGE welded metal sculpture that is revealed at the Onaway Fourth of July Parade. Later, the massive sculptures are placed in various locations around town (and sometimes auctioned off to other townships and businesses)

(the following is from Moran Iron Works)

Who Knows? 2009

  • Name: Who Knows? WE DO! (and we aren’t telling)
  • Year: 2009
  • Info: Come out and see July 4th, 2009
  • Location: Onaway Independance Day Parade

Miss Liberty 2008

  • Name: Miss Liberty
  • Year: 2008
  • Info: Large Scale Bust of Lady Liberty
  • Location: M-68 Hwy, Onaway MI

Unknown Soldier 2007

  • Name: Unknown Soldier
  • Year: 2007
  • Info: Paying tribute to all soldiers
  • Location: M-68 Hwy, Onaway

Atlas 2006

  • Name: Atlas
  • Year: 2006
  • Info: Holding the World made of Tools
  • Location: G&T Used Truck & Auto Parts, Chesterfield Township, MI

Community Connected Globe 2005

  • Name: Community Connected Globe
  • Year: 2005
  • Info: Showing how we are all connected
  • Location: Cheboygan Community Hospital, Cheboygan MI

Liberty Torch 2004

  • Name: Liberty Torch
  • Year: 2004
  • Info: Lady Liberty’s Torch
  • Location: Lakeside Park, Rogers City MI

Stone Indian Head 2003

  • Name: Stone Indian Head
  • Year: 2003
  • Info: Made from Genuine Onaway Stone
  • Location: Michigan Magazine Museum, Fairview MI

Butterfly 2002

  • Name: Butterfly
  • Year: 2002
  • Info: Butterfly
  • Location: Charlevoix Library

Toad 2001

  • Name: Toad
  • Year: 2001
  • Info: Large Scale Toad
  • Location: Private Residence, Hubbard Lake MI

Bald Eagle 2000

  • Name: Bald Eagle
  • Year: 2000
  • Info: Bald Eagle
  • Location: Jesse Besser Museum, Alpena MI

Moran Minted Silver Coin 1999

  • Name: Moran Minted Silver Coin
  • Year: 1999
  • Info: Moran Minted Silver Coin
  • Location: N/A

George Washington 1998

  • Name: George Washington
  • Year: 1998
  • Info: Large Scale Bust of our First President
  • Location: Moran’s Field, M-68 Hwy, Onaway MI

Fresh Water Aquarium 1997

  • Name: Fresh Water Aquarium
  • Year: 1997
  • Info: Some Big Aquarium
  • Location: Black River Marina, Cheboygan

Musket 1996

  • Name: Musket
  • Year: 1996
  • Info: Working Large Scale Musket
  • Location: Yoopers Tourist Trap, Ishpeming MI

Water Pump 1995

  • Name: Water Pump
  • Year: 1995
  • Info: Hand Operated Water Pump
  • Location: Yoopers Tourist Trap, Ishpeming MI

Big Gus Chainsaw 1994

  • Name: Big Gus Chainsaw
  • Year: 1994
  • Info: Large Chain Saw
  • Location: Yoopers Tourist Trap, Ishpeming MI

Forge 1993

  • Name: Forge
  • Year: 1993
  • Info: Dismantled
  • Location: N/A

Liberty Bell 1992

  • Name: Liberty Bell
  • Year: 1992
  • Info: Tribute to United States of America
  • Location: VFW Hall, Onaway MI

Cantilever Hook 1991

  • Name: Cantilever Hook
  • Year: 1991
  • Info: Tribute to early lumberjacks of Onaway
  • Location: Cheboygan Fairgrounds

Axe 1990

  • Name: Axe
  • Year: 1990
  • Info: Tribute to early lumberjacks of Onaway
  • Location: Cheboygan Fairgrounds

Log Mover 1989

  • Name: Log Mover
  • Year: 1989
  • Info: Tribute to early Onaway lumberjacks
  • Location: Onaway Courthouse Lawn

In front of the company’s headquarters

Along the shoreline of Lake Huron in Rogers City (yea, I got to see 2 Great Lakes on this trip, so far)

In front of the hospital in Cheboygan

Cross in the Woods and the Nun Doll Museum
Indian River, Michigan

Shoe Tree
US Highway 131
Kalkaska, Michigan
(be careful of the traffic)

Lake Huron
Rogers City, Michigan