Curwood Castle Park, Owosso: Beauty and History on the Banks of the Shiawassee River

Curwood Castle Park, Owosso: Beauty and History on the Banks of the Shiawassee River

Curwood Castle Park Sign Owosso Michigan

Curwood Castle Park in Owosso is home to historic buildings, sculptures, fishing spots, a bridge, and lots of greenspace along the Shiawassee River. Curwood Castle, the writing studio of author James Curwood, is the centerpiece of the park and is open to visitors for tours. This is a great park for a stroll along the river, a picnic, or trying your hand at catching bass or walleye in the river. Let’s take a look at everything you can see at Curwood Castle Park:

Curwood Castle Park Owosso Woodard Paymaster Building

Woodard Paymaster Building – At one time the Woodard Furniture Company was the largest maker of caskets in the world. This building dates back to the 1800s and was part of the lumberyard. This was where employes received their paycheck many decades before direct deposit was a thing.

Curwood Castle Park Owosso Comstock Cabin

Comstock Cabin – “Elias Comstock was the first pioneer to erect a permanent residence in Owosso. He moved here in 1836. Comstock was a merchant, school teacher, justice of the peace, township supervisor, judge, and county clerk. This one-room structure was built for him in the mid-1830s. Though the cabin has been moved three times (the last in 1969), the original logs are still intact.”

Curwood Castle Park Owosso Shiawassee River Bridge

Shiawassee River Bridge – The suspension bridge that crosses the river here has two beautiful stone pillars on each end. It was dedicated in 1984 and connects pedestrian traffic between downtown Owosso and Curwood Castle Park.

Curwood Castle Park Owosso Renewal Sculpture

Art and Sculptures – We saw several pieces of art out and on display in the park, including “Renewal” by Louis Marinaro.

Curwood Castle Park Owosso Shiawassee Arts Center

Shiawassee Arts Center i – Open daily, “the Arts Center has nine galleries, multiple classrooms, meeting space, and a permanent art collection on three levels totaling 8,700 square feet.” This non-profit also offers a lot of classes for kids in school and provides scholarships for those pursuing the arts.

Curwood Castle Park Owosso James Curwood Statue

James Curwood statue – A more recent addition to the park (it was not there the first time I visited), this statue honors the author who loved the area so much. Sculpted by the late Ryan Leslie, it is an excellent addition here to have an almost life-size James Curwood next to his castle, enjoying a successful day of fishing.

Curwood Castle Park Owosso Michigan Historical Site

Curwood Castle – The centerpiece of the park is Curwood Castle, which is open to the public Tuesday 0- Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. for a $5 admission fee. The Michigan historical marker here reads: “James Oliver Curwood was born in Owosso on June 12, 1878, and lived here most of his life. Writing and love of nature were his boyhood interests, and by 1908 Curwood was earning his living as a novelist. Most of his stories were adventure tales set in the Canadian north, where the author spent much of his time. During the 1920s his books were among the most popular in North America, and many were made into movies. The castle, built in 1922, was his writing studio, and a number of his later works were composed in the tower, overlooking the Shiawassee River. Curwood became a zealous conservationist, and in 1926 he was appointed to the Michigan Conservation Commission. He died at his nearby home on Williams Street on August 13, 1927.” Not only is this one of the more unique buildings you can tour in Michigan, it is an amazing lasting tribute to an author whose works were read by millions and adapted into more than a hundred motion pictures.

Curwood Castle Park Shiawassee River Owosso

Curwood Castle Park is located on M-21 on the west side of the Shiawassee River. There is a small parking lot by the park sign and more parking available off of Curwood Castle Dr. The Owosso Historical Commision frequently offers events centered around these buildings and museums as well as other historical attractions in town.