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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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Carferrymen of the Great Lakes History Column 278 Dave Petersen This week we are going to take a look at some of the men who worked on the boats out of Ludington. I'm collecting pictures and stories of the men and women of the lakes so if you or a family member worked on the carferries or shipping out of Ludington please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, davep@blackcreekpress.com or in care of the Ludington Daily News at PO Box 340 Ludington 49431. Pic1 Warren Duncil seen here was born in Haymond Kentucky in 1919 and after his marriage in 1943 to Delores Krause he packed up the next year and moved to Manistee before settling in Fountain. He worked as an oiler for 15 years retiring in 1983. Pic2 Floyd Fay started in 1939 and spent his career working aboard the carferries. He began as a coal passer and worked his way up through the ranks to Chief Engineer. He is seen here in the Engine room of his favorite boat the City of Flint. Pic3 Homer Gillette another career carferryman of Ludington is seen here in the Engine room in this picture taken by Frank Tavolocci about 1955. Vintage interior pictures of the ships are difficult to come by. Pic4 Captain Ernest Barth had a career on the Great Lakes that spanned more than 4 decades. His first Great Lakes Ship was the Wabash, and a year later he was working on the PM 18. In 1958, eight years after receiving his Pilots License he became Captain of the City of Saginaw. He continued as Captain until retirement in 1989. Pic5 Mike Evans Wheelsman was working summer jobs on the boats and is holding steady at the wheel in this circa 1960 photograph. The ships wheel indicates that this picture may have been taken aboard the PM 22. The PM 31 and 32 has smaller metal wheels as opposed to the larger wooden wheels on the older boats. Pic6 Frank Tavolacci. Seen here is most likely aboard the City of Midland. Frank was an Amateur photographer who chronicled and recorded ship life during the 1950's and 1960's. Pic7 Theodore Ted Schultz seen boarding the carferry for another run to Wisconsin began working on the carferries about 1940 and made a career out of it retiring in 1979. He worked as a purser and the purser also served as the ships radio operator.

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