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Mason County Memories

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4th of July Parades History Column 238 Dave Petersen With the fourth of July falling on a weekend I thought it would be nice to share some photographs of past parades. Some of these pictures will take you back. If you can name any of the people or know the year that some of these were taken in please feel free to contact me. As always if you have any stories or photographs to share with our readers please contact me at 757-3240 davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Michigan 49431. Pic1 This July 1955 picture is of the Dairy Queen riding on her float in the Mason County Centennial parade, this picture along with the others from the Centennial Parade were submitted by Renee Douglas, they were a part of her Grandmother Grace Murphy's collection. Pic2 Some of you will know this fellow by sight. He was Michigan's Governor Williams and was in Ludington for the Centennial Parade. Pic3 If you look to the left of the float you will see the Park Store and to the right you can catch just the corner of the park Dairy in this 1955 photograph. Pic4 The float here is Mason Counties Birthday cake, I doubt that anyone was able to have a piece of that particular cake but it is a good example of the time and energy as well as creativity that went into creating floats for the parades of years past. Pic5 Is that Paul Bunyan? He is riding the float belonging to the Ludington Lumber Company. That is a business that has had a long history in Mason County. Pic6 This picture of a parade looks like it is part of the Million Dollar Harbor Celebration back in 1914. The horse drawn floats are going past the old National Bank. Pic7 Ayers plumbing and Heating had an idea of how to cool down on a hot 1955 July day, who is that man with the brush? Pic8 This parade took place during the war years, the National City float is advertising war bonds, behind them is the Kuras appliance and record shop float with Nipper on top. Note the popcorn machine on the left hand side and the Park Dairy of Course before it was the House of Flavors. Pic9 Anyone know who this fine group of uniformed men are? They are marching past the Elite Shoppe on South James Street and are in front of the State Bank. Note the sign on the top of the building. Pic10 Blast Off Rotary! This float looks to be from the 1960's during the era when we were blasting rockets into space on a fairly regular basis. You can see Newberg's shell through the trees on the right hand side. Pic11 Irish Hoyt's Sportsman's Bar, I remember seeing this bicycle and rider when I was a kid. Some of those 4th of July parades were so cold we had to wear our winter coat in order to sit on the curb and watch the whole parade. Judging by the weather this last week I had to wonder if we would not be doing it again this year. Pic12 This is an old parade photograph from about 1910 to 1915. Note the Longfellow School float and what appears to be a float from the Paulina Stearns Hospital on horse drawn wagons.

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