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Mason County Memories

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Article-343 History Column Dave Petersen Thursday night I was again privileged to make a presentation at Epworth as a part of their fireside series and it got me thinking about the significance of Epworth and it's place in the early development of post logging activities and I thought I'd include some images this week that reflect upon the Community and the area surrounding it. If you have images or stories that you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at davep@blackcreekpress.com, 757-3240 (leave a message) or in care of the Ludington Daily News. Pic#1 The interior of the Epworth Hotel circa 1902. Many thousands of people and families have crossed the threshold of the Hotel at Epworth during their stay. The museum is housed in the second floor and they have some unique and interesting items on display. PIC#2 The Epworth Hotel circa 1900, Justus Stearns took over the operation of the Hotel for a ten year period and turned its fate around and when he turned it back over to the Epworth League it was a profitable enterprise. Pic#3 The lots at Epworth are not owned by the Cottage owners but rather by the Association. When Epworth began they initially intended to subdivide the area that comprises cartier Park but worked out a trade with the Cartiers and exchanged that 40 acre parcel for the one to the north of Mount Epworth that comprised the old village of Lincoln. PIC#4 Looking across Lincoln Lake on north Lakeshore Drive we can see Mount Epworth prior to development of the Epworth circa 1894-95, you can see the grade for the dummy train at the base of the dune but there are no cottages on the hillside yet. PIC#5 Good photos of the dummy train are hard to find prior to 1902. This image shows the train after Justus Stearns purchased the line from the Epworth League and renamed it the Ludington and Northern Railway. I've yet to find one of the train at the downtown Ludington Station. You can really see how fragile the open cars are in this image. It helps us to understand how easily they could be damaged by the troop train from the National Guard in the 1907 collision. That accident helped spur the support for the hospital association to establish Paulina Stearns Hospital. PIC#6 A popular picnic and summer outing destination was Old Baldy, this huge old sand dune was carted off one railroad car at a time until nothing was left. Back in 1902 we made our own entertainment and yes pleasures were a lot simpler then. A picnic basket, a trip out to the dunes on the train, an afternoon playing in the dunes, fishing, and hiking around Hamlin Lake. Hmmm, see ya!

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