Magazine article The New American

Free Enterprise Bridges Gap

Magazine article The New American

Free Enterprise Bridges Gap

Article excerpt

Richard Ruelle was a man with a dream. During the late 1950s, while bow hunting and exploring the woods of Michigan, he had discovered an unusual geologic feature known as a sinkhole. Despite its less-than-glamorous name, a sinkhole is a fascinating example of natural beauty, typically featuring a stream that flows into a depression in the ground, cascading into the unknown depths.

Rick (as he is known) became so intrigued by this natural phenomenon that he sought them out all over northeastern Michigan, compiling maps of their locations. His travels eventually led him to a discovery that made a strong impression on him. In his book, Mystery Falls Bridge, Ruelle describes it as "the most spectacular sinkhole I had yet seen--a rock-rimmed hole with a huge waterfall entering at the North and disappearing at the bottom." This particular sinkhole sported not one, but two, waterfalls. Because none of the local people Rick questioned had any idea where the water went, he named the site "The Mystery Falls Sinkhole."

Over a period of years, Mr. Ruelle repeatedly offered to buy the land from owners who were very willing to allow him to visit the property but initially unwilling to sell. He eventually was able to buy the land and is now the owner of his beloved site. He continued to research not only the geology, but also the history, of the area, and each interest built upon the other. His conclusion: "It became apparent to me that the two waterfalls themselves and the history of the property were of great scenic and historical interest to many people. …

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