Remember When …

Taken on a recent trip to Stepping Stone Falls in Genesee County. Photo by Mona Ballge

Taken on a recent trip to Stepping Stone Falls in Genesee County. Photo by Mona Ballge

What kind of sound brings you into a reflective or peaceful place? Maybe the wind blowing the leaves around or the waves in a nearby lake or the ocean?

The oldest waterfalls known, found in 1952, 255 meters tall, they think is 160 million years old, “The Cave of the Three Bridges” located in Lebanon is made of limestone.

“Angel Falls” in Venezuela is the largest (on land), at 3,212 feet of continuous waterfall. There is one in Demark that is taller, but it is an underground waterfall the “Denmark Straight cataract”, at 11,500 feet.

The largest in America, found at 2,425 feet, is the Yosemite falls and Michigan’s largest waterfall is the “Tahquamenon Falls,” in the Upper Peninsula is at 50 feet high and 200 feet wide, have you seen it?

I was there with my grandparents in the 1960s. The most famous natural waterfalls are the “Niagara Falls.” It’s in Canada and New York and after going there a few times, watching the sun rise and set was breathtaking.



We have a beautiful waterfall here in Genesee County, where the Flint River becomes Mott Lake and it’s called the Stepping Stone Falls.

Do you know the story behind our falls? General Motors brought many men here to build automobiles and they stayed here to make our community great. Charles Stewart Mott was such a wonderful man. While alive and founded the Mott Foundation, that is still giving since 1926. He has been part of our history, always making the Flint area a better place for us all.

In 1964 they started plans for the Genesee County Recreation area, Mott wanted to see it all finished in his lifetime, but it wasn’t. He was there when they started the project to begin in 1971 and seeing the beach and falls done before he passed away in 1973 at 97.

To make Mott Lake, a dam for the waterfalls that was named by a contest winner to The Stepping Stone Falls. By 1972 Mott Lake had its first beach called Blue Bell Beach and on July 2, it was opened and still going.

Genesee County Parks was a rich history to make this a fun place to live, there is even lights behind the water at the falls.

Living in Michigan we have a lot of natural resources from trees to 300 waterfalls, bordering four great lakes, 11,000 inland lakes and streams that are good for peaceful meditation.

What do you like about Michigan’s autumn season being the best in the states! I love to take a drive around to see all the colors our trees can share; the smell of the cool breeze and fresh apple cider with donuts, of course, at our orchards.

Tunnel of Trees on M-119 in Emmet County, by the shoreline of northern Lake Michigan is something everyone should drive through in their life, during the changing of the colors of the trees, you will be in awe at God’s wonderful beauty. Leg’s Inn in Cross Village is also there with wonderful ethnic food, my cousin Stefanie and I really enjoyed the trip. When Michigan was settled 450 years ago, it was 90-95 percent trees, some trees were 150 feet tall; now we only have 38 percent or about 14 billion trees, but it is still an awesome sight to see the colors pop.

Columbus Day was Oct. 11 and now shares the day with a new national holiday known as “Indigenous Peoples Day” for the first time nationwide. I am so thankful to see this, we worked together to settle America.

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email