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Mason County Memories

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Article 289 History Column Dave Petersen I've recently run across some more carferry photographs, some of which may not have been published before to share with you this week. Next week we are going to take a visit to Logan Township and I have a story for you from the far reaches of eastern Mason County that I think you will enjoy. 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 Pic1 The City of Holland is seen here in better days. The boat was built in 1893 in Saugatuck Michigan rebuilt as a freight vessel in 1919 and burned at the dock in Ohio in 1922. Pic2 How often do you get to see the underbelly of a carferry in drydock, and get such a close look at the screw propeller. This is the means by which a ship is thrusted forward, prior to the invention of the propeller paddle wheels and of course wind power propelled most ships. Pic3 The Ann Arbor number 4 is in drydock in this early real photo postcard view. Built in 1906 by the American Ship Building Company this great boat spent 31 years on the Ann Arbor Railway routes before being sold to the State of Michigan for use at the Straits of Mackinac until the Mackinac Bridge was completed. Sadly the boat was relegated for use as storage for potatoes and in 1973 was sold for scrap. Pic4 Captain Charles Robertson was a familiar sight at the carferry docks and aboard the ships that he commanded in his long career on the lakes. He commanded the Ann Arbor boats 1,2,3,4, and 5 and in 1917 moved to Ludington to take command of the PM 19. During his time with the Pere Marquette he brought out the PM 21, 31 and the City of Midland. Pic5 The Pere Marquette 4 was severely damaged in a collision with the Pere Marquette 17 in heavy fog in 1923. The damage was extensive and the cost of repair to great so the carferry was sold to the Chicago Yacht Club. They used her in that ashion for 13 years and in 1937 burned her as a spectacle in 1937. Pic6 The Carferry Madison was built by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitwoc Wisconsin in 1927. The boat was built with two triple expansion 2700 HP engines for the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Carferry Company. This 347 foot long steel carferry had a long career on the lakes before being scrapped in 1994.

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