MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Shiras Park in Marquette is one of the most visited spots in town. Locals will park for lunch to look at Lake Superior and Picnic Rocks. Visitors can get some great views of the coast and snap some memorable photos. A collaborative effort, five years in the making has the hopes of keeping the history of the area alive.
The first phase was to have a blue, red and white City sign made and the second, to have a Michigan Historical Commission Marker for George Shiras III at the park.
Shiras Institute, the City of Marquette and a concerned citizen by the name of Diane Kordich helped bring two signs to the park.
“My husband and I came to Shiras Park and Picnic Rocks, and we knew how famous Shiras was. But the people of Marquette and even the tourists don’t have any idea, even though everything is named after him,” said Kordich.
George Shiras III contributed the land from the park that bares his name down to what’s now known as McCarty’s Cove. You’ll see his name on the planetarium at Marquette High School as well as other places around town.
Kordich created a proposal. “I got the city and Shiras Institute together and told them I would make the proposal to the state. I would fill out the application and do everything if they would support me financially.” Both of them shared their support.
Shiras was the first to do flash photography of wildlife at night. An entire issue of National Geographic in 1900 featured the work of George Shiras III.
To learn more about his impact on the community, conservation, and photography, you’ll have to visit the new marker which is located on the lake side of the bike path at Shiras Park.