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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 285 Dave Petersen There was at one time a lot of activity and industry that took place around the harbor entrance and the Buttersville Penninsula. Once home to lumber, schooners, fishing shanties and drying racks as the times changed the area changed with it. We would like to think that things remain the same but in reality change is all about us and the community is changing every day right in front of us. If you have photographs to share with our readers please contact me at 757-3240, e-mail to davep@blackcreekpress.com, or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News, P.O. Box 340, Ludington, MI, 49431 #161 This aerial view of the Harbor at Ludington shows very clearly the position of the slips and layout of the channel and harbor. Three of the carferries can be seen at dock with one taking on a load of railcars in preparation for its crossing to Milwaukee. Photograph by Harold Holmes #162 That spike of sandy peninsula that is referred to as Buttersville once had a small creek on the south end hence the nickname the island. It was once a community, actually several communities, Buttersville, Taylorsville, Seatonsville, and Finn Town, all ghost towns now that were once alive with activity from the sawmill, schooners at the dock, fish tugs going in and out and home to over a thousand souls. Photograph by Erhardt Peters #171 The fish Tug Arrow was built in Ludington by the Giles Boat Works in 1914. Shown here newly launched you can see the Pere Marquette 17 and the grain elevator in the background. The tug operated on the Great Lakes under a series of owners until being scrapped in 1987. #176 The Steamer Puritan glides across Pere Marquette Lake on its way out to new ports along her service route. You can see some of the fish shanties and nets at Finn Town directly to the right of her bow. Long since gone the shanties were replaced by the Crosswinds Condominiums. #188 One of Ludington's fish tugs is coming home with the days catch past the Coast Guard Station at Ludington. In the 1940's the boats used by the Coast Guard were housed inside the building at the ready to be launched down rails into the channel. The lookout tower and radio antenna can also be seen. (Photograph by Erhardt Peters Author's Collection) #177 The Schooner Mary A. Gregory is shown here docked at the Buttersville Peninsula at Finn Town. Several locals are shown standing on the beams to show of for the cameraman. Built in 1875 in Chicago by John Gregory this schooner served on the Great Lakes until being abandoned in 1925. (Photograph Courtesy of James F Fay)

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