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Mason County Memories

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HISTORY COLUMNS

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

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City of Detroit III History Column Dave Petersen Pic 1 The City of Detroit III was the largest ship of its kind with 473 staterooms and 21 parlors, she was commissioned by the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, built by the American Steamship Company and designed by Frank E. Kirby. From 1912 to 1950 this magnificent ship sailed from to Detroit and Cleveland to Buffalo as well as Charters and Excursions. After being laid up in 1950, as the company that owned her had gone out of business she was sold for scrap and dismantled in 1956. The ship measured 455.8 feet in length and 55.5 feet in width, it was for all practical purposes a floating palace complete with all of the amenities of the time. The following photographs from The American Shipbuilding Company's catalog and their descriptions are quoted as follows. Pic 2 Interior Photograph of the Grand Salon " To the average mind a steamboat consists primarily of a hull containing some sort of machinery to drive it, and we take pleasure in submitting on a few of these pages , illustrations taken from one of our latest boats, as characteristic of the decorative feature of interior work. The careful selection of rare and beautiful woods which we obtain sometimes from foreign countries especially for this work, combined with the product expert artists and decorators all unite to make these interiors as beautiful and harmonious as those found ashore." Pic 3 Stairway "The prominent interior features of any vessel are the lobby and main stairway as they naturally make the first impression as a person goes aboard." Pic 4 LaSalle Window " Another illustration showing the difficult and intricate hand-carving and cabinet work on passenger boats. While all boats are not as elaborately finished s this, especial care and attention are is always given to all woodwork on our boats." Pic 5 Gothic Room " From the appearance of the above illustration one might easily imagine this to be a portion of one of the greatest cathedrals of Europe, instead of he interior of a steamboat. The elaborate carving, leaded glass windows, cabinet work etc are products of our own craftsmen in our own shops. The wood used is imported from Mexico and the Phillipine Islands and is especially selected for its beautiful grain and finishing qualities. We call particular attention to the hand carving on the arches and the caps of the columns." As a sidenote the entire Gothic room was preserved and returned to Detroit where it was restored and is currently located at the Dossin Marine Museum on Belle Isle. 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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