At A Glance: McCourtie Park

chicago-05-36 This bridge, constructed entirely of concrete carved to look like wood, is a good example of the sculpture form known as “faux bois”.  Translated literally from the French words,  examples of “false wood”  can be found all over the world-even here in Michigan.  There is a park in my greater neighborhood devoted to this art form; lucky for me.  McCourtie Park, in Hillsdale County, in the Irish Hills,   is a folly of the best sort-built in the 1930″s by a man who made his living in the cement business.

beautiful open bridge

chicago-05-42covered bridgechicago-05-43faux bois rails that become a bench

chicago-05-45faux bois roof detailchicago-05-46 side detailchicago-05-47faux bois plankschicago-05-48 bridgechicago-05-51 flat bridgechicago-05-41 bridge house


  1. That is amazing! I have never seen such elaborate pieces!

  2. How very cool is that. Do such thin concrete “branches” really stand up to freeze-thaw cycles?

    • Since they were built in the thirties one would have to assume they were WELL BUILT in the thirties. There is nothing thin about them….concrete all the way through.

  3. Sheila McCourtie says

    The bridges are very realistic. There is also a tree house and “tree”. The tree is by the carriage house at the park. We, as in the McCourtie family, found it all to be very interesting when we visited during a family reunion.

  4. Wendy McCourtie says

    My son had his senior pictures taken there last year. I felt it was very important for him to see his mother’s side of the family.

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