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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 259 Dave Petersen Pere Marquette 4 This week we ill take a closer look at the Pere Marquette 4. This was one of the Black Boats so named because of the color of the hull and was originally built for the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad. If you have any stories or photographs that you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of the Ludington Daily news Po Box 340 Ludington Mi. pic1 The Pere Marquette 4 is shown here at the docks in Arcadia taking on a group for a Sunday Excursion along the lakeshore about 1910. The boat was built in 1888 by the Detroit Dry Dock Company to handle the increasing break bulk business that was being handled by the Railroad. Pic2 The PM 4 was built at a length of 186.5 feet and a width of 34 feet and while the ship worked year around it did not mean that it was without difficulties as seen here. The PM 4 is stuck fast in the ice and it is of sufficient depth that the crew has disembarked onto the ice for the photographer to set up and take a photograph. (Photograph Courtesy of James F. Fay) pic3 The Captain and crew pose for a rare glimpse into the past in this circa 1905 photograph taken in Chicago. The PM 4 was purchased by the Columbia Yacht Club and used as a floating clubhouse in 1924 after a collision with Pere Marquette 17 thus ending the boats commercial career. (Photograph Courtesy of Steve Elve.) pic4 The PM 4 provided a unique clubhouse for the Yacht Club which held an annual Regatta. They repaired the damage of the sliced bow on the boat and used it for 12 years before dry rot became excessive and the club opted to purchase the Steamer Florida as a replacement. (Photograph Courtesy of Steve Elve.) pic5 The PM 4 is coming down the channel at Manistee to unload and take on passengers at the Pere Marquette Line's dock. Manistee was the home of Gus Kitzinger the owner of the PM line and the boats were frequent visitors as they completed their daily runs. (Photograph Courtesy of Steve Elve.) pic6 The PM 4 was again stuck in the ice near the break-wall in Manistee Michigan on February 25th 1910. The final disposition of the boat was that it was towed out into Lake Michigan and set fire to the amusement of the crowds on the beaches at Chicago on January 7th 1934. When the fire did not result in its sinking the Coast Guard Cutter Rush opened fire and sunk the boat. (Photograph Courtesy of Steve Elve.)

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