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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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Pere Marquette 3 History Column Dave Petersen I've come into some more images of the Pere Marquette 3 as she sank near Ludington courtesy of Thomas Nelson and the Edward Haupt photo album. There are several very common pictures of the sinking but there have been few printed that show the salvage operation that took place afterwards. I'm always surprised by the number of ships that "sank" but yet were at a later time salvaged, refitted and sent back out often under a new moniker to serve many more years on the Great Lakes. The PM 3 did not get so lucky as the damage was too great and the cost of refitting too much to bear and like many others her machinery was stripped and the PM 3 met her end. Pic #1 A great view of the PM 3 in winter prior to her loss. This is an exceptional view of the PM3 in her glory days, we've used this picture before and I wanted to include it today for a comparison to the salvage pictures. The PM 3 had been built in Gibralter Michigan by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in 1887. It was a wooden hulled boat 190 feet long and 32 feet wide. Known as the HooDoo ship for her many mishaps The PM 3 made it into Ripley's Believe it or Not. Pic#2 Allan Hoxie went to work for the Pere Marquette Line in 1910 as Captain of the PM #4 He was master of the PM 4 from 1910 to 1913 and again in 1920 after the loss and sinking of the PM 3 on March 7th 1920. Here is one of the more common pictures of the sinking. The PM 3 was disabled in 1888, ran aground in 1890, 1893, 1902, and 1916. In 1917 a draw bridge fell on the ship tearing off the pilot house and Texas deck, and she sunk in 1920. Pic#3 Not much left of the hull after being raised. Hoxie was named Captain of the PM #3 in 1913 and on March 7th 1920 was on vacation for a month when his substitute Captain McCauley took the ship out and it was caught in a field of ice and sank just outside of Ludington. Pic #4 As the story goes this was the only vacation the Hoxie ever took when his ship was in operation and that the ships under his command never left port without him after the sinking of the PM 3. Hoxie had a steam whistle from the first steamship he sailed on that he used on the PM 3, quick thinking by his first mate saved the whistle for the Captain before the boat sank. He carried that steam whistle with him on the SS Nevada and also on the Milwaukee Clipper before it was stolen from the ship while docked in Chicago. Pic #5 The PM 3 is coming up from the deep, a mere shadow of the ship she was. Hoxie had written in his own hand " Steamer Pere Marquette 3 crushed in the ice and sank off Ludington Harbor on the night of March 7th 1920 at 10:30 PM and stayed in this position, her bow held up by ice until 10 AM Tuesday March 9th 1920. when she sank leaving the top of the pilot house smoke stack and spurs above the water and which was carried away two days later by the moving ice. Pic#6 Note the workmen taking a break on the ships lower deck. Much of the ships cargo was liberated by the residents of Ludington, a loss of about 100,000.00that nearly bankrupted the Pere Marquette Line which was operated by Gus Kitzinger. The PM 3 had run across Lake Michigan for 32 years winter and summer." The PM 3 was raised by the tug Favorite in July of 1920 and towed to Manitowoc Wisconsin. The Ship was declared a total loss.

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