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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 246 Dave Petersen I've pulled a few favorites out of my albums to share with you this week. Some of them are photographs taken by Ludington photographer Harold Holmes. Many of his photographs and negatives were lost in a fire in his studio in 1956. Pic1 The City of Midland is being prepared for its launching Pic2 Schools and stores were closed in anticipation of the arrival of the new Flagship the City of Midland in command of Captain Charles Robinson. Crowds were estimated to be in the range of 10,000 people on that Wednesday afternoon. As the Midland came through the channel she was first greeted by the foghorn and then by a series of signal flags before being escorted by the Ludington Coast Guard. (Photograph by Harold Holmes) Pic3 It was indeed a noisy welcome for the Midland as every factory with a whistle, tugboats, and locomotive within earshot joined the welcome to the cheers of the thousands of people who lined the channel entrance. The Ludington High School Band was also at the dock to serenade the arrival of this new three million dollar addition to the carferry fleet. (Photograph by Harold Holmes.) Pic4 The City of Ludington and its residents have always turned out to welcome new carferries into the City and the fleet . Here we see the Ludington High School Band down at the docks to welcome the new SS Spartan. (Photograph by Harold Holmes.) Pic5 A wheelsman aboard the City of Saginaw watches the horizon as the newly launched boat steams along at 18 miles an hour. The PM 31 and PM 32 had small brass wheels as opposed to the older ships that had larger wooden wheels in the pilot house. (photograph by Erhardt Peters) Pic6 The Pere Marquette 18 is shown here steaming into the harbor at Ludington. Two other ships of similar design also sank, the Marquette and Bessmer December 9th 1909 in Lake Erie has never been found and the Grand Trunk's ship S.S. Milwaukee which sank October 22th 1929 and was found in 1972. The PM 18 is believed to be in more then 400 feet of water and its location has continued to elude those who search for it. (Courtesy of Jim Fay) If you have photographs or stories you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at davep@blackcreekpress.com 757-3240 or mail care of Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi 49431.

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