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Mason County Memories

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PM 3 Sinking Photo Album History Column Dave Petersen Over the last few months I've come into some more images of the Pere Marquette 3 as she sank near Ludington. There have been articles in past years that have relied mainly on one or two of the more common pictures of the sinking. I have arranged here a number of them in a photo array in the hopes that they will all appear as I believe that the grouping tells a story more then maybe words can. Winter shipping could be a dangerous proposition, it's surprising that we did not loose more ships during the winter season and is a credit to the crew's seamanship and the Captains skill. Pic #1 A great view of the PM 3 in winter prior to her loss. The PM 3 had been built in Gibralter Michigan by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in 1887. It was a wooden hulled boat 190 feet long and 32 feet wide. Pic#2 Allan Hoxie went to work for the Pere Marquette Line in 1910 as Captain of the PM #4 He was master of the PM 4 from 1910 to 1913 and again in 1920 after the loss and sinking of the PM 3 on March 7th 1920. Pic#3 Hoxie was named Captain of the PM #3 in 1913 and on March 7th 1920 was on vacation for a month when his substitute Captain McCauley took the ship out and it was caught in a field of ice and sank just outside of Ludington. Pic #4 As the story goes this was the only vacation the Hoxie ever took when his ship was in operation and that the ships under his command never left port without him after the sinking of the PM 3. Pic #5 One of our illustrations Pic#8 is a postcard photo of the sinking and on the back we quote what was written by Hoxie in his own hand " Steamer Pere Marquette 3 crushed in the ice and sank off Ludington Harbor on the night of March 7th 1920 at 10:30 PM and stayed in this position, her bow held up by ice until 10 AM Tuesday March 9th 1920. when she sank leaving the top of the pilot house smoke stack and spurs above the water and which was carried away two days later by the moving ice. The carferry to the right [PM 18] was only one hundred feet away and is the one that the crew went aboard that night. Pic#6 Much of the ships cargo was liberated by the residents of Ludington, a loss of about 100,000.00that nearly bankrupted the Pere Marquette Line which was operated by Gus Kitzinger. If you look closely you can see people out on the ice and milling about the ships as it was being crushed and sinking. Pic#7 The PM 3 had run across Lake Michigan for 32 years winter and summer." As Captain of the PM 3 Hoxie weathered his first great storm and was later quoted as saying "In 1913 we [the PM No. 3] were caught in the blow soon after leaving Milwaukee bound for Ludington where we laid for the rest of the storm". The PM 3 was raised by the tug Favorite in July of 1920 and towed to Manitowoc Wisconsin. The Ship was declared a total loss If any of our readers have photographs of the sinking of the PM 3 that are different then what we have in today's column I would be very interested in seeing them. If you have any stories or photographs 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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