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Mason County Memories

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History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News

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History Column 292 Dave Petersen Life in the Past Lane Our last two columns, the Ivan Reed Mini Museum and "I've got a secret" with our local Garry Moore came about from reader participation. I appreciate the opportunity to hear those family stories and see the albums and cannot thank those families enough for sharing their stories with our readers. This week we'll take a look at some of the other steamers that frequented the port of Ludington in our Maritime past. Thanks to a couple of local families I'll have some new and probably never published views to share in weeks to come. Pic1 The Captain of the Chequamegon was so tall that Lunde Boat Works had to renovate the cabin and build a lifeboat to accommodate his size. Louis Carier sold the boat in 1907 to a buyer in Traverse City. The boat was used there to make trips from Traverse City to Bassetts Island where a dance pavilion was built. (Photograph courtesy of James F Fay) Pic 2 A Ships pass such as this one would be issued to Captain and crew as well as other V.I.P.'s and family members to provide free passage on ships of the line. In the days before radio and television it was not uncommon for family members to take trips and spend the day on the lake as though they were on a Sunday excursion. Photograph Courtesy of Steve Elve.) Pic 3 The Virginia is shown here steaming out of Pere Marquette Lake circa 1930. She was built in 1902 by William R Trigg Company and launched as the Berkeley, a part of the old Dominion Line. Renamed in 1923 the Virginia became a part of the Pere Marquette Line of Steamers until 1935 when the company merged into Muskegon Dock and fuel Company. (Photograph by Erhardt Peters) Pic 4 The Missouri was built in 1904 for the Northern Michigan Transportation Company at the Chicago Shipbuilding yards in Chicago. Included in the list of owners was Warren Cartier, a Ludington Businessman and the Sand Products Corporation which operated the remaining ships of the Pere Marquette Line the Nevada and Illinois after 1935. Pic 5 The Illinois came under the ownership of the Goodrich Transit Company in 1922 and in 1933 the Wisconsin Michigan Steamship Company which also became the parent organization of the Pere Marquette Line once it moved to Muskegon from Ludington. Captain Hoxie continued to work for the restructured corporation as Captain of the Illinois until the new Milwaukee Clipper was launched. Pic 6 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.(Photograph Courtesy of James F Fay)

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