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Mason County Memories

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

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Ludington Landmarks part 4 History Column Dave Petersen This is the last in the series of Ludington area landmarks showcasing some of the architecture and locations of our past that in many cases continue to be important today and will hopefully be there for the future. National Bank of Ludington This building, on the southeast corner of James and Ludington Avenue has been in constant use since 1907 and sits in a prominent place on Ludington's main avenue. I remember being in the bank as a youngster, we all had those Christmas Club accounts and I would go in with my dime every week. There was a doorway into Schohl's Jewelry Store from the bank. The bank to moved to its new location on the corner of Harrison and Ludington Avenue in October of 1965 and has changed names twice since then, First of America and then to National City. Longfellow School Built in 1880 at a cost of 10,000 it was first used as a high school and later as Longfellow Elementary School until 1957. The building was used for the school systems central business office for a few years until being razed for the Longfellow Towers Apartments in 1976. Old Baldy Once this was a popular attraction for locals out on a Sunday picnic event, climbing to the top of Old Baldy was just something you had to do, just like taking a walk on the breakwall during the summer. People packed their picnic baskets, lined up, paid their nickel, took a ride on the Ludington and Northern (Dummy Train) and spent an enjoyable afternoon. Here we see Old Baldy being loaded up and being hauled out, eventually it was all taken to Chicago. Cartier Mansion There are many fine mansions on Ludington Avenue but the Cartier Mansion stands out of the pack. Built by Warren Cartier one of Ludington's lumbermen it is currently the Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Warren was the son of Antoine Ephrem Cartier who came here from Canada to Manistee in 1854. In 1877 Antoine purchased the interests of the Pardee Cook and Company moved to Ludington and established himself as an important lumber baron in the area. Courthouse The First Courthouse was at Burr Caswell's house in 1855. The second at the village of Little Sable, (Lincoln) after Charles Mears successfully maneuvered his village into a position of more influence. In 1873 due to the growth, increased population, influence and the establishment of Ludington's city charter it was voted upon and moved back to the City of Ludington to its third location 1893-94 the present courthouse was built and is still in occupied as the Mason County Courthouse. Epworth Hotel This magnificent building was erected in 1894 and had 80 rooms and a dining hall. It was operated by Justus Stearns for ten years, and during this time he made improvements in the Hotel and the services, When he turned it back to the Epworth League it was running in the black and was a much improved facility. Currently it houses the Museum and is used as a community center. If you have any photographs or stories to share with our readers please feel free to call Dave Petersen 757-3240 email davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News.

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