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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 333 History Column Dave Petersen This weeks photographs are again courtesy of Thomas Nelson and the Edward Haupt photo album. I've been doing my annual trek around town on clean up days and in years past I was able to find scrapbooks, photograph albums and other ephemera that had to do with local history and haven't found a thing to date. I'm hopeful that means that people are saving these types of things rather than letting them go to the dump. So much of our history is lost that way, folks sometimes get a chuckle that I save old receipts from stores that are no more, or paper bags with advertising on them but that type of ephemera has a place in our history and deserves to be preserved as well. 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 is a great winter view of the Grand Trunk Carferry Milwaukee and I think that may be the Pere Marquette 17 in the background, I'm not as savvy about being able to identify the fleet as some of the other boat watchers are. The Milwaukee if you recall sunk with all hands October 22nd 1929 under the command of Robert "Heavy Weather" McKay. Pic2 The Pere Marquette 17 with a sheet of ice on it on a cold winters day. I don't usually use winter pictures after the weather breaks in the spring but I'm not entirely sure it won't snow again before Memorial Day. Speaking of, I'd like to run a story on Korean War Vets for the column that week, do you have in country pictures or a story to share? Pic3 Another winter view, this one is the tugboat Mercereau in the Pere Marquette Lake. The tug was named after the Superintendent of the Carferries W.L. Mercereau who served fro 1899 to 1931. Those were some of the big years in the development of the fleet and the carferry service out of Ludington. Mercereau kept a series of scrapbooks about the carferry operation that may be sitting in someone's closet, are they in yours? Pic4 This is a view from the deck of the Pere Marquette 17 of the pilot house, I always have liked these type of on board views of the boats, and close ups of the inner workings. There are many pictures of the carferries sitting in the harbor but those close-ups of the ships and the inner workings of the galley and engine room are harder to find. Pic5 Here is a group of the guys that worked on the boat in the 1920's. The one fellow looks like Ole Olson to me but the others are unknown. The people who worked on the boats were family, they had long runs where they were on the boats continuously and came to rely on each other. Pic6 I don't know how I missed this picture last week when we reviewed the Pere Marquette 3 sinking, this is an outstanding view of the ship, very striking as she sits docked possibly in Milwaukee. Quite a stark comparison when viewed side by side with pictures of the ship when it was raised.

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