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Mason County Memories

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david k petersen

History Column 237 Dave Petersen Last week we took a look at a timetable for the Northern Michigan Line, this week I pulled some of the vintage paper I have on the Pere Marquette carferries and a timetable from 1938. Next week I think some vintage 4th of July and Centennial photos would make a good column. If you have photographs or stories you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, davep@blackcreekpress.com or in care of the Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Michigan 49431. Pic 1 This view is from a 1942 timetable of the PM carferries. CONSERVE YOUR CAR! Is one of the selling points for taking the ferry rather then driving around the state at a time when we did not have a Mackinac Bridge. These were times when the roads were a lot harder on the cars and the cars did not handle the high mileage. How much in 1942? A round trip was 3.50 per person and 7.50 for the car. Pic 2 This is a City of Midland ticket envelope. It states " All staterooms in the City of Midland have controlled air circulation, soft roomy berths, hot AND cold running water. Pic 3 A nice period photo during a time when women wore hats and skirts. The timetable states " The electrically driven steel steamers in the Pere Marquette fleet are the largest and finest of their type on the Great Lakes, each with ample storage for automobiles, trucks and trailers." Pic 4 Fine Dining was available on board the carferries. "Good Food in cheerful surroundings" take note the waiter with his white shirt and black pants. Everyone in the dining hall is dressed for Sunday supper. Without a doubt a more elegant dining era. Pic 5 This little gem was put out in 1940, a list of cities on the right hand panel, you pull the card which has the cities on the upper section with mileage listed on the pull out card. You can quickly see the mileage from one city to another. Marinette to Antigo in Wisconsin for instance was 90 miles. A nice little advertising piece for the carferries. Pic 6 In 1936 when this timetable came out it pressed the idea that this was a low cost and economical way to travel during a time when the nation was mired in the middle f the great depression. "Whatever your idea of a perfect vacation you'll find just the place to enjoy it in Western Michigan with a wide variety of accommodations to meet your budget requirements. Pic 7 This vintage menu from the Pere Marquette carferries for Service A-La-Cart features soups for 15 cents a cup, fried lake Michigan trout for 45 cents, Sirloin Steak for 75 cents, and select figs with cream for 20 cents. (figs?) waiters were forbidden to serve any item ordered verbally, the orders had to be written by the customer. Can anyone out there offer an explanation for that policy?

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