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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



david k petersen

History Column 271 Dave Petersen Spring is right around the corner, at least I hope it is. The seed catalogs have started to trickle in and thoughts of spring and breaking out the rototiller are popping up more frequently for me these days. Winter for the time being is holding on hard but at least we have been able to give our snow shovels a break for the time being. Hope I didn't jinx us by saying that now. Here are some more winter views of years past to take a look at while you are warming up by the fire and drinking that cup of hot cocoa. Thanks to Art Chavez for his help in identification of several photographs. Since we are in the grips of old man winter, it would be a good time to drag those family albums out of the closet and from under the bed (and give me a call). I'd be happy to do some columns on local family history. 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 It was rough at times during the crossings on board the carferries in the winter. Layering up clothing and wool socks were the only real defense the men had against the relentless winter winds and weather. The caption on the back of the photo reads " Had to rub our feet to keep from freezing -10 degrees, Pete, January 1926" Note his shoes are off. Pic2 Having just completed a rough crossing in heavy seas and freezing conditions, the Pere Marquette 21 takes on a load of freight at slip #2 at Ludington. Pic3 The fellow seems to be about frozen while working outside on the carferries. I get a shiver just looking at the picture. On the back the picture is inscribed "Rolf J on watch -12 degrees" Brrr. Pic4 This is a stern view of the PM 17 stuck in the Ludington channel about 1935. The ice is not solid but mush and small cakes which pack around the sides of the ship and the propellers. It is many feet deep and can hold fast against the ship and freeze. Pic5 A heavy field of heavily packed slush ice blocks the Ludington harbor entrance for the Nevada and the twin turbo-electric car ferries, the PM 31 and 32. Pic 6 The railyard of the Kewaunee, Wisconsin ferry terminal is full of inbound and outbound freight cars during the heavy winter season. Since the lake freighters tied up in the winter months, much of the freight normally carried on the "lower lakers" was placed in railcars during the winter for transport via the Lake Michigan car ferries.

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