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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 265 Dave Petersen Can anyone say BRRRRRRRR! Whether you call him Old Man Winter, King Winter, or something else we can't put into print. Winter is upon us in all of its glory and venom. Its nothing new, we know it's coming and yet here we are knee deep in ice and snow, flurries and blizzards. (not the kind we want from DQ either) There was a time that I enjoyed sliding down a hill but that was back in the days when I bounced rather then shake rattle and roll. While hitting those bumps and launching air borne is all right, it's the landing I can't handle anymore. There's no give, only a painful WHUMP! Followed by a prayer that the sled come to a quick stop. Our cars and trucks especially four wheel drive can get around pretty good, makes me wonder how those old tin lizzies made it unless they were light enough to sled over the top of the drifts. We complain about it, shovel it, plow it, wade through it, slide, ski, and snowmobile over it. Today we have some images of blizzards and winters past. If you have photographs or stories you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, email at davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi 49431. Pic1 Here we are loading ice from the harvest, if you wanted cold lemonade in the summer, and ice for your household fridge you either cut your own ice or you paid the iceman to bring you a block of it for the icebox. Just pick the straw off, and ignore anything that might be frozen in the center, the spiders were not plastic back then. Pic2 William Whitaker is shown here with a load of logs that he had cut and brought into town. Whitaker was an early lumberjack and Victory resident. These logs may have been cut out of Foley Woods near Victory Corners in the 1915 season. During the February storm 16 vessels were frozen in the ice pack stretching 10 miles out from Ludington. Pic3 Lunde Boat works is shown here with a good dusting of winter as they prepare for warmer and better days to come. Eric Lunde began the boat building company about 1899 and it was taken over by his sons Albert, Edward and Charles. During the February 11th blizzard of 1936 George Sterns reported that 12 people who had been stranded stayed at his farm. When you got stuck in the country in those times you stayed at whatever farmhouse might accommodate you. Pic 4 This youngster doesn't look too concerned about the weather as he sits in his sleigh about 1919. We had an Armistice Day storm that year too. The Ludington Country Club burned to the ground. Dave Laidlaw braved the flames and rescued one chair from the building before it collapsed. Pic 5 Here is another view of a bone chilling job out on Hamlin Lake nearly 100 years ago. In 1924 Abrahamson Nerheim had a crew of 24 men working out on the local lakes putting up ice. Vorce and Son reported putting up 1200 tons of ice for local residents from Lincoln Lake alone. Pic6 This view is of the house at 805 E Foster street, I'll need to take a drive by later today to see if anything has changed besides the model of the car. According to the Daily News "King Winter took Ludington by storm Christmas eve and established an absolute Monarchy in the County seat under vehement protest of the citizens." Pic7 This 1926 view gives us a little bit of an idea of how their winter was progressing, those of us who have been around town for awhile can recall some pretty good storms where the snow wound up piled higher then the school bus. On December 28th 1926 we were digging out of a blizzard that had gale force winds of 56 MPH.

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