Additional related attractions
Cascades at Sparks Foundation County Park
The best known attraction of the 457-acre Sparks Foundation County park is the Cascades, a man-made, illuminated waterfall with musical accompaniment enjoyed by all since 1932. The Cascades is a great example of the many roadside Americana attractions in the greater Jackson area.
Ford Rouge Factory Complex
Behold the small city that is the 2,000 acre Ford Rouge Factory. Henry Ford began buying property that would become the Rouge Plant in 1915. Measuring 1.5 miles wide by 1 mile long, the complex included 93 buildings with nearly 16 million square feet of factory floor space when it was completed in 1928. At that time, it was the largest integrated factory in the world.
Greenmead Historic Village
Stroll through Livonia history and imagine life displayed in over 20 buildings dating back more than 150 years. The historical village located on the grounds of the 1841 Hill House Farm now preserves Michgan's rich agricultural heritage and showcases the evolution of Livonia from farm town to modern city.
Irish Hills Twin Towers
Perhaps the most infamous stop along the Irish Hills driving tour, stop by the Twin Towers to learn about the bizarre tale of Ed Kelley and his quest to one-up a local company that had built an observatory tower next to his property on Brighton Hill.
Kalamazoo Valley Museum
A hands-on museum geared toward children and families, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum also preserves local history and the region's automotive past within its special collections. This museum also tells the fascinating story of the world famous Checker Cab Co.
Michigan State Capitol
Marvel at one of the nation's best surviving displays of the Victorian painted decorative arts. Home to the state Legislature and staff, the Michigan State Capitol Building stands as one of the state's magnificent architectural landmarks where many automotive-related matters have been deliberated.
Motown Historical Museum
The iconic Motown Historical Museum - also known as Hitsville, U.S.A - preserves a truly golden era in music and stands as one of Detroit's greatest treasures. Visit the original recording home of superstars such as The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder,
Plymouth Historical Museum
The Plymouth Historical Museum preserves community history including that of a little-known, early 20th century automobile company called Alter. The Alter Motor Car Co. produced 1,000 vehicles between 1914-1916, and the last known Alter car is on display at this quaint museum located in downtown Plymouth.
St. Joseph Shrine
Located on U.S. 12 west of the Irish Hills Towers, this historic structure was built by Irish pioneers as a missionary church in the 1850s. The St. Joseph Shrine is one of many unique road trip stops along U.S. 12 in the Irish Hills area.
Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center
You may not be able to meet Marion and James Turner, but you can feel their smile and maybe catch their pioneering spirit!...
Woldumar Nature Center
The "Woldumar" mansion was built in 1930 by auto legend R. E. Olds for his daughter Gladys Olds Anderson. In 1966, Anderson donated 120 acres for a natural science camp known as "Camp Discovery." The Woldumar Nature Center now offers guests 178 acres of outdoor programs and environmental education.
Looking back on those famous 1930 Ford models
By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian
Images courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection
The 1930 Ford Models not only reflect a very innovative and prosperous era for the Ford Motor Co., but they also remind us of the early days of the Rouge Complex.