"Grace" Grand Rapids Things to Do Tip by Stephen-KarenConn

Grand Rapids Things to Do: 11 reviews and 12 photos

by Stephen-KarenConn

For many years we have admired this famous photograph as we have viewed it in homes, restaurants, and churches. It's of an old man pausing to give thanks (offer grace) over a simple meal of a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup. But until we visited the Itasca County Museum we knew nothing of the picture's history, nor did we know that the State of Minnesota has designated it their official State Photograph.

The picture was taken in 1918, by local photographer Eric Enstrom in his studio in the nearby community of Bovey. His subject was an elderly peddler of shoe scrapers, Charles Wilden.

"There was something about the old gentleman's face that immediately impressed me," Enstrom said in recalling the incident years later. "I saw that he had a kind face ... there weren't any harsh lines in it." The photographer's goal was to say something special: "This man doesn't have much of earthly goods, but he has more than most people because he has a thankful heart."

Millions of people, like us, would agree that the photographer achieved his purpose. "Grace" proclaims the message of gratitude more powerfully than any sermon we have ever heard.

Address: 10 N.W. Fifth Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Directions: The Itasca County Museum is in the Old Grand Rapids School, downtown.
Phone: 218-326-6432
Website: http://www.gracebyenstrom.com/history.html

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 21, 2004
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