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Mason County Memories

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History Column 270 1941 Ludington Businesses I pulled some old advertisements out for today's column for stores that were in operation in 1941 in Ludington. Not so far back that many will still recognize the names and possibly recall doing some business at these establishments. As you look over the ads for services and products long since available if you have memories or photographs of these establishments please feel free to call 757-3240, email to davep@blackcreekpress.com or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi 49431. Pic1 Coal was burned in many houses throughout Ludington and every type of coal had its own name. Regal coal was sold by the Ludington Lumber Company, itself a long time local concern. I recall the basement of our house had a coal room and we had one of those old furnaces with the octopus like arms that stretched out eerily across the basement. Pic2 Colvin's Jewelry and Gifts was a South James Street Business that was located in the same building that once housed Thompson's Candy Kitchen. That business was owned by Mrs. Beata (Miller) Thompson. Pic3 The Ethel Shoppe was opened in 1941 at 108 N. James Street by Ethel Williamson and managed by Esther Ruesch. There was a time when there were a number of Women's Clothing shops in the City of Ludington. Pic4 Baltzer Sales in 1941 sold Studebakers, there is a name we don't hear much anymore, and if things don't pick up in the economy our grandkids might be asking what a Ford was as well. In 1949 the company moved up on the avenue into a newly constructed building at 305 W Ludington Avenue and selling Chryslers and Plymouths. Pic5 If you did not like the Regal brand of coal you could always go over to L.A. Hawley and Son for their Black Watch Coal. I'm pretty sure it burned the same as the other but somehow Regal as a brand commands more attention. As I look over the myriad of advertisements back in 1941 I'm struck by the variety of businesses that used to operate in the city limits and how few of them still survive. Even though we went from blacksmiths, to tin lizzies, to Studebakers the community evolves and continues to change as the entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive people. We may not have as many brick and mortar stores in one sense but I suspect that we have hundreds of cyber stores and Internet businesses operating out of the County. The problem is in 50 years the local historian is going to have trouble finding those old cyber ads to show the newest generation how it used to be done.

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