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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 335 History Column Dave Petersen This week we are looking at some more of the Maritime images from the collection of Jim Fay, most of which are from scenes of over 100 years ago. I am looking for photographs and stories related to the Korean War for a memorial day column, 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 This picture of the mess crew of the Madison was taken by local amateur photographer Frank Tavolocci in 1967. The Madison was a carferry that belonged to the Grand Trunk. She was built in 1927 at Manitowoc Wisconsin and scraped in 1994. The Eastland is seen here in better days. The ill fated ship was the center of one of the greatest tragedies in Great Lakes shipping when on July 24th 1915 it rolled over at the slip in Chicago taking 844 people to their deaths in the river. It was the greatest loss of life in a single shipping disaster on the Great Lakes. The Tuscarara Crew in 1908. The boat was built in 1890 at the Globe Iron Works in Cleveland Ohio. The ships entire history was with the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company. The ship left from Montreal Canada December 6th 1917 and was lost with all hands. The Iriquois is a representative of the smaller steam launch that was built at the Giles Boat Factory and common on all of the inland lakes at one time. Similar boats were used to ferry passengers back in forth across Hamlin Lake to the resorts that had sprung up to service the growing tourist trade. The use of such boats declined rapidly once roads become better developed and cars more common. The SS City of Grand Haven built in 1903 at the Craig Ship Building Company is another of those wonderful passenger steamers that once plied the waters of Lake Michigan in such numbers that one could travel in leisure across all of the Great Lakes at a moments notice. Luxury cruises in their day, but still affordable to almost anyone wishing to take a week to vacation on the lake. Steamer Nyack is at the slip in our sister port of Grand Haven. Most of the towns along the shoreline of Lake Michigan had ports of a large enough size that the passenger steamers of the day could dock and allow passengers to get out to enjoy local sites and sounds. The Nyack was built in 1878 and ultimately abandoned in 1933 in the boneyard.

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