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Mason County Memories

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Article 323 Hamlin Township Part 2 History Column Dave Petersen Last week we took our first look at some of the sights around Hamlin Township during this Sesquicentennial year. I grabbed a view of Mt Epworth out of my photographs which is technically in Pere Marquette Township. I'm surprised I didn't get any emails or calls about that (which I usually do) Epworth was originally 100% in Pere Marquette Township having the property that comprises Cartier Park. That piece was traded for the property north of Lincoln River and taking in the site of the Village of Lincoln thereby splitting the community between Hamlin and Pere Marquette. 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 first Mason County lifesaving station was built in 1876 at Big Point Sable and was in operation until 1921. The little cluster of buildings on the dune's edge are long gone having been razed about 1935. The channel at the entrance to the State Park was dug to divert the channel that had exited near the original lifesaving station about halfway between the Park and the Big Sable Lighthouse. Pic2 The crew quarters and tower of the lifesaving station are illustrated here. The crew's life at the station was most likely quiet most of the time, and in 1876 they were quite isolated from the little communities to the south. The action though was quite dramatic when a crisis on the lake arised, placing their lives in immediate danger. The building was raised in the 1930's after a failed attempt to preserve it as a Maritime Museum. Pic3 Mt Baldy in all its glory. In the days before satellite TV and our other modern distractions you could find a great many local people out for a walk up My Baldy on a Sunday afternoon. It was the thing to do, pack a picnic lunch, take a ride on the Ludington and Northern Railroad to Hamlin and spend the day playing in the great outdoors. Mt Baldy has long disappeared having been loaded onto railcars and sent to foundries in the south. Pic4 A very old view of Abe Lincoln's Town, established by Charles Mears it served as the County Seat for a time until Mears lost the seat to the newly incorporated City of Ludington in 1873. The first County seat was in Pere Marquette and the Courthouse in Burr Caswell's home. The second at Lincoln, the third in Ludington and the current Courthouse is the fourth building to be used. Pic5 The Beachhouse at the Ludington State Park was built during the 1930's by the CCC boys. This has been an outstanding attraction at the State Park and used by countless families over the years for everything from picnics reunions and weddings. Pic6 Another view of the Dam that created Hamlin Lake. The first tow dams washed out. The accounts of the one washout reflected on the homes and buildings in the Village of Hamlin that were picked up on the current and rode the surf out to Lake Michigan where they broke up. Remember they rode out the old channel and passed by near the lifesaving station. A sight I'm sure they were not prepared to see.

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