Tom Moran’s Northern Michigan Masterpieces

May 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

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 2007Name: Unknown Soldier

Year: 2007Info: 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

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


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




Entry filed under: george washington, iron works, liberty, metal sculptures, tom moran.

The Art of Dewey Blocksma Legs Inn, Polish restaraunt & folk art environment to behold

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