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Mason County Memories

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Article-305 History Column Pentwater Dave Petersen This week will conclude our series of Oceana County related images. This week we feature postcards from the collection of Steve Elve of the Village of Pentwater. 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 This is an early view of the fishing industry in the Village of Pentwater. Like most lakeside villages and towns that had a good harbor there were those who made their living from the waters of Lake Michigan either fishing or fashioning the vessels that sailed the lakes. My Great Grandfather Anton Edward Peterson was a boat builder in Pentwater. Pic2 The Lifesaving Service was the predecessor of the Coast Guard and the men who served were at the ready to risk their lives in the service of others. The station was built in 1886-87 along the Pentwater channel. Pic3 This is an early view of the Main Street in the Village founded in the early 1850's by Rector and Cobb. The name of Pentwater is attributed to the local Natives and is thought to mean "penned up waters." Early occupations centered around lumbering and farming and the trades that supported them. Pic4 This group looks like they are enjoying the fabulous beaches and summer weather although by today's standards they would seem to be quite over dressed. Charles Mears Park was created in 1920 through a donation by Carrie Mears in memory of her father and became a State Park in 1922. Pic5 Camping is a staple of the north country. I am sure that these campers would be amazed that today's campers drive vehicles that are better equipped than their stick built homes were in 1920. Charles Mears the park's namesake was a lumber baron that had holdings along western Michigan. Mears was responsible for improving the channel at Ludington and establishing the villages of Hamlin and Lincoln. Pic6 Birdseye views such as this one of the Village give the casual observer a good view of the layout of the village. Originally land in the area could be purchased for 75 cents to a dollar an acre. The village was a center of activity and population thanks to the natural harbor but lost the bid for the county seat to Hart.

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