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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



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Article 331 History Column Dave Petersen For the next couple weeks we will be looking at some of the pictures out of the family collection of Tom Nelson. Tom stopped by and allowed me to scan pictures that had belonged to Edward Haupt. He was an engineer for the Pere Marquette carferries and passes away not long after his last promotion. Some of the pictures are of events we have talked about before but as I have said on a few occasions' family albums have been a great source of images from multiple angles and at different times and give us a better perspective of events. You get a better feel of what it was like to be there I think. Next week we will take a look at the aftermath of the sinking of the Pere Marquette number 3. We have all seen the pictures of the ship in the ice as it is being crushed but not much of the salvage operation afterwards. Edward's album shows us some of those views in much more detail. Many Thanks to Tom Nelson and also Janet Marx for sharing their family pictures, 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 circa 1880 view was taken by a photographer in Oceana County and could be any one of a number of camps from Oceana to Southern Mason County. I had to include it today after seeing the two characters in front dancing for the camera. Pic2 Bands were a big deal back around the turn of the 20th century, here we see the Ludington Boys Band and I will guess they are on the steps at the High School in Ludington. 100 years ago we did all of our socializing across the fence in the back yard, face time was in person and poked them with our index finger We met as a community at multiple community events that were planned and ongoing in every part of the County each week. Pic3 Back in the day when Ludington had 7 carferries running at one time it was a very busy port and harbor with ships often passing each other as they left for their destinations in Milwaukee. This is a great view of a full port when the maritime industry was running at full speed. Pic4 The Pere Marquette 4 met with her shipping end on May 15th 1923 when she collided head on with the Pere Marquette 17 in heavy fog coming out of Milwaukee. The PM 17 towed her back into port. Eventually she was sold to the Columbia yacht Club for use as a floating clubhouse and burned as a spectacle. This is a great-unseen view of the damage done to the bow in that accident. Pic5 I was immediately drawn to this picture of the Pere Marquette 17 when I came across it in Edward's album. I like the perspective as the ship looms up and back in the picture with it bellowing out plumes of black smoke as she powers up for the cross-lake trip. Pic6 Tugboat Mercereau is plying the waters of Pere Marquette Lake on a cold and icy winters day. The Tugs worked in all weather during all seasons and were an important part of the smooth operations of the carferry and shipping trade on the Great Lakes. Hopefully the weather we see in this picture is behind us for a while but after this last week I'm not so sure.

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