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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 250 Dave Petersen Over this past summer I've been working on a book for Arcadia Publishing that will feature Ludington's Maritime History. My deadline is near and I thought I would share a few of the pictures and captions from that upcoming publication with our readers. 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. Pic1 The Mary Scott was named for Miss Mary Scott of Pentwater when she was a baby. She was the daughter of a local postmaster Harry A. Scott. Captain Turgeon a shipbuilder was also Master of the boat which ran across the channel connecting Ludington to Buttersville. Built in Ludington in 1892 she burned and was lost in September 1926 at Hilton Beach Harbor, Canada. Pic2 In 1867 Captain Caswell brought up from Chicago to Ludington a Tug named the Cyclone for harbor towing. This tug owned jointly by Captain Caswell and James Ludington was built in Vermillion Ohio in 1866. After purchasing Ludington's share of the Tug Cyclone Caswell formed a partnership with Captain Amos Breinig and his Tug Aldrich [built 1868 in Milwaukee] which lasted until Caswell's death in 1889. Pic3 From 1875 to 1882 the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad relied on contracted ships of the Goodrich Line to carry freight for the railroad. Initially the Depere, Corona, City of Alpena, and Oconto were given that task. The City of Midland a similar sized boat is pictured here on a charter cruise to Sault Ste Marie about 1885. The lines that the contracted ships ran were originally serviced by the Engleman Line out of Manistee. Pic4 Break bulk boats is the term referred to boats that carried package freight and were loaded and unloaded by hand by "Dock Walloppers." Men would await the arrival of ships from the vantage point of a sandy dune near the intersection of Dowland and James Street. When a ship arrived the men would run down to the docks to hopefully be picked for a days work and wages. Photograph courtesy of James Fay Pic5 The railroad made the decision to build their own boats to handle the growing break bulk trade. They had relied on contracting for those services with the Goodrich Lines which was mutually beneficial until a rate war ensued. They had also contracted for a short time with the Northern Transit Company for the City of Toledo and Nashua for the Milwaukee Ludington run but the endeavor did not generate the income that Northern Transit expected and they withdrew. Pic6 Excursions were popular at a time when travel on poorly maintained roads was difficult. Regular trips to Manistee, and other port towns were a regular feature generating passenger fares to help augment the income from break bulk package service. The Pere Marquette 2 was operated by Gus Kitzinger from 1901 to 1906. The boat was sold to a Canadian firm, renamed the Dundern which sank in 1919 with two lives lost. (Photograph Courtesy of Steve Elve.)

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