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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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History Column 239 Dave Petersen This week I have a few things to share that came out of Steve Elve's Collection of Maritime photographs and ephemera. Steve is a long time collector and has written a book titled "Michigan City Lighthouse: Guardians of Lake Michigan" that was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2001. Remember if you have photographs or stories that you would like to share with our readers please contact me at 757-3240, davep@blackcreekpess.com or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi. 49431. Pic 1 A period pass from the Pere Marquette Line which was formed by Gus Kitzinger using the Black Boats which were sold off by the Pere Marquette Railroad. They specialized in Break Bulk shipments which meant less then a train car load and were hand loaded and unloaded at the warehouse and elevator. Pic 2 This is a nice example of the letterhead used by the Pere Marquette Railroad in the 19th century. This type of paper ephemera is historically important and unfortunately one of the first things usually burned or tossed away when an estate is cleaned out. Those paper items are important and need to be preserved. (off soapbox) Pic 3 This is a great circa 1905advertisement for the Pere Marquette Line's schedule and its benefits for travel around Lake Michigan at a time when roads and personal transportation was very poor. Pic 4 This timetable was printed in dark blue originally but it is very striking artistically with the placement of the image of one of the black boats on its cover. Pic 5 This is another advertisement for the Pere Marquette Line, this one features a picture of the Pere Marquette 4. which was built in 1888 in Detroit. She was sold and used as a floating clubhouse in Chicago and eventually burned as a spectacle in 1937. Pic 6 This is a hard to find image of the Pere Marquette 5 which was built in 1890 and served on the Great Lakes until 1916. In 1917 she foundered in the Atlantic Ocean and sank. Pic 7 If you look at the fire buckets behind the lads on deck here you can tell that this picture was taken aboard the Pere Marquette 4. Its unlikely that we will ever know the names of these sailors as there just is not very much information or very many photographs of the crews of those ships in existence. Time is another factor as its been 100 years since that picture of the crew was taken and they and the families that knew them have been gone for many years.

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