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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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History Column 304 Oceana County part 3 of 4 Dave Petersen We continue this week with part 3 of 4 columns related to Oceana County. This week the pictures are again courtesy of the Oceana Historical Society. If you have photographs or stories you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, email atdavep@blackcreekpress.com [mailto:davep@blackcreekpress.com] or mail in care of Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Mi 49431. Pic1 This is an early Birdseye view of Ferry which is named after Senator Thomas White Ferry. His father was a Presbyterian Pastor who among other accomplishments had platted the Village of Ferrysburg near Spring Lake. Pic2 Taking your peaches to market a hundred years ago was a little more difficult than it is today. Some of the same concerns such as bruising the fruit in transit exist but can you imagine moving over 200 bushels of ripe peaches by horse and carriage across roads (loosely termed) that resemble a washboard. Pic3 This year we have seen some great weather for many crops, especially corn. It does happen on occasion though as evidenced by this early 1900 view of a cornfield that was more than knee high by the 4thof July. Pic4 It is difficult to talk about Oceana County without making reference to Swift Lathers who was known world wide as the editor of the Mears Newz, the world's smallest newspaper that he published out of his home (currently a museum) in "The Land of Mears" He was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of fame in 1986. Pic5 Walkerville was platted by Fayette Walker in 1883. By all accounts it was a leap of faith as there were two existing country stores a short distance away. The site lacked water for powering mills, and it was near a swamp. Yet once the village was laid out settlers came and established homes and businesses and in 1888 the Mason & Oceana railroad came to Walkerville. Pic6 This is an early circa 1880 view of Hart Michigan. Hart started as the site of a trading post on Russell Creek established in 1857 by a man by the name of Hart. By 1864 Hart had become the County Seat, a one room courthouse was built and the Oceana Times was first published. In 1880 at the time of this picture the population was 464.

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