Shrine of the Pines receives $2,500 grant

A Michigan Humanities award for cultural programming

BALDWIN — The Shrine of the Pines Rustic Furniture Museum in Baldwin was one of 32 Michigan museums to receive an award for cultural programing from Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We are very excited to provide grants to 32 Michigan-based museums, 15 of those who are new grant partners to Michigan Humanities. This grant round is a great reminder to take time to visit the abundance of museums that our state has to offer,” Jennifer Rupp, Michigan Humanities’ President & CEO said in a news release.

According to the news release, the Michigan Museum Recovery Grants, part of the American Rescue Plan Act funding to assist organizations with recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, awarded up to $10,000 for general operating support, programing support or a combination of both.

The Shrine of the Pines was awarded $2,500, board president Brenda Nelson told the Star.

The funding will be used to fund operations of the museum, including rent, utilities and supplementing the salary of the one paid manager on staff, she said.

“The storm that came through the area recently caused a significant amount of damage, which cost us thousands of dollars for clean up,” Nelson said. “We were behind on some things, so this funding will be a great help to us.”

Since they are a nonprofit, every little bit helps, she added.

Nelson said she would like to thank the state for the funding, and especially thank Shelly Kasprzycki, president and CEO with the Fremont Area Community Foundation, for making them aware of the grant.

The Shrine of the Pines Rustic Furniture Museum is founder Raymond Overholzer's ode to the white pines that were cut down during the era of lumbering companies in Lake County about 100 years ago.

The Shrine of The Pines houses over 200 pieces of art and furniture carved by Overholzer from pine roots and stumps over the course of 30 years. Overholzer held a very high regard for natural root formations which he showcased through his creations.

Some of the pieces you can view include a dining table produced from a 700 pound root with over 60 inlays in its surface, a revolving gun rack that holds twelve shot guns, a game table with five chairs, and a rocking chair made especially for Mrs. Overholzer.

The grounds include a nature trail that runs along the edge of the Pere Marquette River. About one mile in length, the trail offers an opportunity to enjoy the surroundings. Along the trail are signs with information about plant life found in the area and benches to stop and take in the beauty of the area.

The museum offers live tours, as well as audio tours, which allow visitors to listen at their ouw pace and review specific portions of the tour.

Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For more information, or to schedule a tour, call 231-745-7892.