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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

Article 319 History Column Dave Petersen This week we will take a look at some of the pictures taken by another premier maritime photographer, although it may be one most Michiganders are not familiar with. I don't have much information about Les Borst but I have seen enough of his work to know he had a great eye and took some wonderful pictures of the Great Lakes Fleets. These views are courtesy of the Robertson collection and I thank the family for making these available to us in this weeks column. 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 Detroit Edison was launched in 1954 at 589 feet in length and by 1965 we saw her lengthened to 661 feet. This mammoth ore carrier served the American Steamship Company until being towed out and broke up for scrap in 1986. Seen here in anticipation of her launch in 1954 at the Manitowoc Shipbuilding yard. Pic2 We've seen some pictures of the Ann Arbor No. 6 before, this fine ship was launched in 1917 from the Great lakes Engineering Works in Ecorse Michigan. The ship was renamed the Arthur K Atkinson in 1959 and for awhile was moored here in Ludington before being owed to the Upper Peninsula where at last report was still sitting idle awaiting her fate. Pic3 This is a great view of our own City of Midland in much better days before conversion to a barge. Seen here in all of her original glory with a full load of cars and passengers she prepares to embark for the Michigan side of the Lake about the summer of 1955. Pic4 A group of school children pose in front of the Laurence C Turner while in dry dock. This fire tug was built by the Ship Owners Dry Dock Company in 1903 for the City of Milwaukee Fire Department. Served as a fire tug until 1948 and by 1954 had been rebuilt as a towing tug. The tug was renamed the Ohio in 1972 and its current status is unknown. Pic5 The City of Flint Pere Marquette 32 is seen here in the river on the Wisconsin side of the lake about 1955. For some reason the 32 is the one I always think about first. It might have something to do with those days sitting on the break wall watching the Flint leaving the harbor back in the days when I was a kid with nothing to do except enjoy the lazy days of summer. Pic6 The Isle Royal was originally built in 1893 by the Chicago Shipbuilding Company and was a grand old lady of the Lakes carrying thousands of passengers in style and fashion during the glory days of steamer travel in the early 20th century. Eventually the improvement of roads, cars, and the depression took their toll and the ship burned while being scrapped in Manistee. Reportedly reduced to a barge after the fire the once luxurious liner slipped into the misty past.

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