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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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History Column 263 1904 Plat Book 3 of 3 Dave Petersen This will be the last week that will focus on the 1904 plat book from Mason County. Publications such as this often gives us the opportunity to view photographs of businesses and individuals that don't exist anywhere else outside of the families albums. Its interesting to look at the individual township maps showing ownership though, there really were not that many individual landowners in many of the townships. The Plat maps also show plotted subdivisions that never came to pass such as in Hamlin Township or the property between Lincoln Lake and the cemetery that had belonged to Epworth and was plotted for cottages before it was traded for the 40 acres directly north of the original Epworth development. Pic1 Did you know that Amber was not just a township but also was plotted for a village? A small one across from the town-hall but the railroad did stop there. Early on there was a general store, icehouse and a hardware store. It seemed that Scottville was better situated for development and the little village of Amber quietly faded away. In 1915 a 40 acre plot which included 16 village lots were sold, the resultant fruit farm was named Amber Village Farm. Pic2 There is a story behind the old Fitch home that once stood on North Lakeshore Drive across from the cemetery. The home was built by Attorney E.N. Fitch in 1879 with the fees earned by the lawsuit filed by George Ford against James Ludington over 40 acres in the heart of Ludington he claimed still belonged to him. Pic3 Elijah Nelson Fitch earned a 10,000.00 fee ordered by the Chancery Court that heard the lawsuit. George W. Ford received a clear title to his forty acres which included Rath Avenue South from Ludington Avenue all the way down to Danaher and over to the Courthouse. 120 city lots in total. Fitch was the first city attorney for Ludington in 1873, and passed away in his home in 1915. Pic4 Frank Dunwell shown here with George Stray in 1904 were in the insurance business. Dunwell you could say was the father of Lenz and Associates as he began the insurance agency back in 1885 with Burnett Gibson. The names have changed over the years, Rohn, Hammond, Stram, Meny, Lenz, but the pedigree is directly traceable back over 100 years. Pic5 John Shoup was an early settler in the Tallman area where this house was located. He came from Roanoke Indiana in 1881 after his brother Dan wrote to tell him of the paradise he had found. Dan was a civil war vet and had secured work at the Butters mill in Tallman. John came to visit and loved the area so much he immediately moved his family and took a job as a teamster att he Butters Mill.

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