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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



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Favorite Carferry Views History Column Dave Petersen Today I'd like to share some of my favorite carferry views, my thanks to Art Chavez for his help with identification and captioning. All photos were taken by Erhardt Peters. (pic #1) A sailor waves a broom in the traditional maritime "clean sweep" sign that is given either at the successful completion of a specific mission, sea trial, or race. This view appears to be a race between the two 14 mph twin car ferries Pere Marquette 21 and Pere Marquette 22. Pic 2 Looking aft from the portside wing track, the car deck of the brand-new City of Saginaw 31 is bathed in the glare of lights. On the right is the bumping post found at the bow end of each of the ship's four railroad tracks. The railcars are pushed tight against these posts to remove any slack between them. Then the cars are secured to the deck with a variety of gear, depending on the sea conditions, seen lying between the two sets of tracks. Pic #3 This unique perspective taken from the top of Maple Street slip's starboard apron counterweight, Pere Marquette 22 takes on a load of railcars, two of which seen here are hoppers of coal. This view looks south. The Pere Marquette 22 was built in 1924 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, 347.75 feet long by 56.16 wide. Pic #4 This detail of an ice-coated City of Flint 32 shows off the railing that surrounded the bridge wings and cabin front of Pere Marquette's two turbo-electric ferries. The 31 and 32 were the last Ludington car ferries constructed with traditional architectural detailing like this. In a nod to modernity, the later ferries had sheet steel plating in lieu of much of their railing. Pic #5 Photographed from the port upper bridgewing of the Pere Marquette 18(II), this scene provides a broad view of the Pere Marquette car ferry terminal. Immediately in the front center of the photo is #3 slip and just beyond it in #2-1/2 slip are several ferries in lay-up. Above the ships can be seen the grain elevator and to the left in the distance, the City of Saginaw 31 loading in #2 slip. Pic#6 This excellent view shows off the clerestory that provided light to the Pere Marquette 22's main saloon, or lounge. Note the man climbing down the ladder on the forward stack, and the steam leaking from around the whistle valve. If you have any photos or stories you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240 or davep@blackcreekpress.com

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