Homepage | David K Petersen

Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


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



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Today we'll take a visit to Old Finn Town on the tip of the Buttersville Peninsula courtesy of several vintage photographs of the settlement, a couple you may have seen before and others will probably be new to our readers. If you have stories or photographs to share with our readers or can provide additional information on any of the photographs in today's column please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi 49431. Pic1 That spike of sandy peninsula that is referred to as Buttersville once had a small creek on the south end hence the nickname the island. It was once a community, actually several communities I guess, Buttersville, Taylorsville, Seatonsville, Finn Town, all ghost towns now that were once alive with activity from the sawmill, schooners at the dock, fish tugs going in and out. Pic2 Ludington, like many lakeshore towns had a fishing settlement where the fishing families built their shanties, shacks, homes, ice houses, and claimed their piece of sand for drying racks and the like. Not much is ever said about the settlement on "The Island" that the fishing community referred to as their home. Pic3 Once there was a home for the lighthouse keepers, Tom McIntosh and A.R. Dibble across from the Coast Guard Station. There was the Foot Ferry, John Johnson the boat builder and fisherman's home. Pic4 Fishing families during that time included Emil Bishop, Charles and Leander Johnson, Matt Anderson, John Gustafson, Matt and Andrew Borg. DeYouung, Holmstrom, Gustafson, Newberg, Rudstrom, Lindquist, and Hounsel among others had worked to build Fishhouses along the shoreline as well. Pic5 Mill workers such as John Nyland, John Widgren Andrew Anderson and others had their homes on the island as well. The Mason Oceana Railroad started on the island and Locomotive Engineer Victor Carlson had a home on the dune there overlooking both lakes. Here you can see that by 1930 all that was left were the remnants of the docks at Taylorsville. Pic6 There were several dozen buildings and homes, a dance hall, a Sauna, ice houses, and of course the Mills, salt well, cooper shop, shingle mill. Butters and Peter's Salt and Lumber Company were employing about 100 men in 1900

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