Mason County Courthouse
Ludington is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 8,357. It is the county seat of Mason County.
nautical theme playground
Ludington is a harbor located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River. Many people come to Ludington in the summer for recreation, including boating and swimming on Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake, and other smaller inland lakes, as well as hunting, fishing, and camping. Nearby are Ludington State Park, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, and Manistee National Forest. It's also the home port of the SS Badger, with daily service in the summer across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Watching the Badger come in to port in the evening from the end of the north break wall is a favorite local pastime.
In 1675, Jacques Marquette, French missionary and explorer, died and was laid to rest here. A memorial and large iron cross mark the location.
The Spirit of Ludington
In 1845, Burr Casswell moved to the area near the mouth of the Pere Marquette River as a location for trapping and fishing. In July 1847 he brought his family to live there as well and began a small community known as Pere Marquette village. Two years later they built a two-story wood-framed house on their farm. After the organization of Mason County in 1855, the first floor of this building was converted into the county's first courthouse. Restored in 1976 by the Mason County Historical Society, the structure stands today as a part of White Pine Village, a museum consisting of several restored and replica Mason County buildings (see external links). The town was later named after the industrialist James Ludington, who owned some of the logging operations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and also lived here. The area boom in the late 1800s was due to these sawmills and also the discovery of salt deposits.
"Put me in, Coach"
Ludington's Lumbering Era
By 1892, 162 million board feet (382,000 m³) of lumber and 52 million wood shingles had been produced by the Ludington sawmills. With all of this commerce occurring, Ludington became a major Great Lakes shipping port.
Watching the Badger come in to port in the evening from the end of the north break wall is a favorite local pastime.
Ludington Car Ferries
In 1897, the Pere Marquette Railroad constructed a fleet of ferries to continue the rail cargo across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The fleet was also expanded to carry cars and passengers across the lake. By the mid-1950s, Ludington had become the largest car ferry port in the world. Unfortunately, due to disuse and declining industry, this fleet eventually dwindled. Currently only one car ferry, the SS Badger, makes regular trips across the lake from Ludington, one of only two lake-crossing car ferries on Lake Michigan.
Text from Wikipedia
SS Badger turning in Ludington
to meet the ferry dock to unload autos
ready to depart for Wisconsin
passing the Ludington breakwater
and the Ludington beach
the Captain watching as the SS Badger heads for Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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