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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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Article 320 History Column Dave Petersen This week we will continue with some of the images from the Robertson Collection, a few of them show some of the conditions of winters past to remind us that what we have seen this week weather wise is nothing new to Michigan. In the next week or so I'll put together a column devoted to winter storms of the past and if you have some interesting pictures of a storm that you recall 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 City of Holland was built in 1893 by WT Rogers in Saugatuck, Michigan. The ship served for 26 years before she was reduced to a freight vessel in 1919. Like many wooden hulled ships of the era a fire of undetermined origin burned her at the dock in 1922 at Toledo Ohio. This image was taken prior to 1912 when the ship was renamed the Melbourne. Pic2 The tugboat W.L. Mercereau was named after the Superintendent of Steamships for the Pere Marquette. The William L. Mercereau was built in 1910 by the Great lakes Towing Company in Cleveland Ohio. She was renamed the New Mexico in 1937 and the Punta Lima in 1997. No indication of the final disposition, maybe we could bring her back here for the new maritime museum? Pic3 The Elizabeth plied the waters around where else? Elizabeth, New Jersey, a reminder that the carferry business is not exclusive to Michigan. Pic4 This is an excellent view of the original freight shed at Ludington, in looking over the picture and magnifying it you can see a group pf men on the docks near the Steamer Lawrence, one can see a dock and steamer near where the Yacht Club is. Fishtown would eventually be built across the Pere Marquette Lake where a row of freight cars on the M&O railroad are waiting. This image dates from the 1880's and the original colorized version is nothing short of beautiful. Pic5 Another reminder that Ludington was not the only town in the carferry business. This 1920's view of the entrance to Frankfort shows an Ann Arbor Carferry atop the welcome sign. In the days of tin lizzies Frankfort was a bustling maritime community with a rich and diverse history. Pic6 The Tug Favorite is shown here, we have seen some other images of the Favorite as she was a frequent visitor to ports up and down the lakeshore. Built by the Buffalo Drydock Company in 1907 this steel hulled tug was a powerhouse at a 180 feet in length. The ship was purchased by the Peruvian Navy and converted to a submarine salvage vessel.

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