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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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More Winter Photos History Column Dave Petersen I have heard that our last installment of winter photos really got the attention of some of our newer residents that have not experienced a true Michigan winter and while I was not planning on running some additional photos I could not help myself when I received these photos the other day that were taken by Herman Schmock between 1915 and 1955. Herman Schmock was born 1892 in Stronach near Manistee and grew up there and in Buttersville. He spent most of his life working as a marine engineer first on the M.F. Butters and then for the Merchant Marine during WWI, for Morton Salt and Freighters on the Great Lakes before being employed by Abrahamson Nerheim in the last years before retirement. He was an amateur photographer and he took some very good photos of the Great Lakes and of scenes around Ludington. Our first photograph gives us a good idea of the kind of plows that were utilized by the railroad to clear the tracks of snow. If any of the railroaders out there have any information or would like to try and identify a group of photographs of Ludington Railroaders in the 1950's please feel free to call. When you take a look at this photograph of the Double Brick store (on the left) taken about 1915 you should really get a shiver. The building was recently razed as a part of the Pere Point Condominium Project on South Washington. If you look to the right above the snow piles you can see the second story window in the building next to the Artists Market. The next two photographs are of the Tugboat Merecereau, moving through an ice filled channel in Pere Marquette Lake about 1915. Named after W.L. Mercereau Superintendent of Steamships, he was also known as the Father of the Fleet due to his influence in building the fleet up during his tenure. The tug was built in 1910 by the Great lakes Towing Company in Cleveland Ohio. She was sold in 1937 and renamed the New Mexico and was sold again in 1997 and named the Punta Lima. Now there might be a restoration project, a 96 year old tugboat with a deep historical connection to our Maritime History. The South Pier Light is heavily encrusted with ice here, although that did not stop Herman from climbing up inside for this winter portrait. Several of his self porraits are referred to as having been taken by the "string method" although it seems like it would have been difficult to set this up in that way it would not surprise me either. Our last view is of Herman on one of the ice formations, it must have been one of the early novelties to go out and climb on the ice formations to get a photograph taken as I have seen quite a few of them over the years. Most of them taken in the 1910 to 1920 era. If you have any stories or photographs you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at davep@blackcreekpress.com or 757-3240

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