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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 318 Dave Petersen This week we will again be looking at some of the images and ephemera from Jim Fay's collection. He dug deep into his albums and pulled out some unusual and rare items to share with our readers. 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 Earlier we had a chance to view an old image of the Pierce Manufacturing plant that produced among other things brooms. The concern was located in the old James Ludington Big Store across from the current City Park. This is another rare view of that business circa 1900. Pic2 By the looks of the dress of the actors this appears to be a circa 1920 school or community play that took place on the stage of the Lyric Theatre. Interior pictures of the theatre show up occasionally. While we miss our old theatre and love our history here in Ludington the blackface actors remain a relic of our past as we move toward a brighter future. Pic3 These young Epworth summer people are enjoying a day out on Lake Michigan on a hot August day in 1905. That is quite a boat that they are in and without life preservers at that, flotation devices were not widely used until much later. You can see cottages along the beach in the background. Pic4 Robert Adams, first mate of the Pere Marquette 17 (circa 1905) poses here in his uniform not long after the ship was built and put into operation. Built in 1901 the PM 17 was eventually sold to the State of Michigan in 1940 and renamed the City of Petoskey. The re tasked ship carried cars and passengers across the Straits of Mackinaw until the Mackinaw Bridge was completed in 1959. Pic5 This is the back of an advertising trade card of the type that was popular in the Victorian era in the late 19th century. The only word to describe this item is extremely rare as it came from Stearns Michigan. This was the logging community built by Justus Stearns just over the Mason County border in Lake County and has disappeared leaving but depressions in the woods where a thriving town once stood. Pic6 We are unable to show the vivid colors on this frontal image of another trade card that traces back to Orser and Keiter, local tailors that kept shop in Ludington in the Clayton Block in 1881. These bright scraps of paper were collected and kept in Victorian scrap books and kept as souvenirs by their young owners.

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