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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ludington in Mason County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

S.S. Badger / Ludington Car Ferries

 
 
S.S. <i>Badger</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
1. S.S. Badger Marker
Inscription.

(Side A)
S.S. Badger
S.S. Badger is one of fourteen ships that served in the Ludington railroad car ferry fleet. Badger and its sister ship S.S. Spartan, were built in 1952 by the Christy Corporation of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C & O). Named for the athletic teams of the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University, the boats were a vital commercial link between the two states. The ferries joined the fleet begun in 1897 by the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad. Car ferry traffic peaked in the 1950s, then declined steadily. In 1983 the C & O sold off the last of its fleet, including Badger and Spartan. Badger, newly renovated in 1992, resumed automobile, truck freight and passenger service between Ludington and Manitowoc.

(Side B)
Ludington Car Ferries
Beginning in 1875, the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad shuttled produce, passengers and freight in wooden steamers between Ludington and ports in Wisconsin. In 1892 railroad car ferry service began on the lakes, eliminating the need to unload and load the cars before and after crossing the lake. Five years later, the Pere Marquette, the first steel railroad car ferry on the Great Lakes, sailed from Ludington. The Pere Marquette could carry

Ludington Car Ferries Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
2. Ludington Car Ferries Marker
thirty fully loaded freight cars. By 1930, nine boats made up the Ludington fleet. During the peak season of 1955, the ferries carried 205,000 passengers, 71,000 automobiles, and 141,000 freight cars in nearly 7,000 crossings.
 
Erected 1997 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S0656.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 43° 56.952′ N, 86° 27.026′ W. Marker is in Ludington, Michigan, in Mason County. Touch for map. Marker is adjacent to the S.S. Badger offices, located at the south end of James Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 Maritime Drive, Ludington MI 49431, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Swedish Lutheran Church (approx. half a mile away); World War I Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Mason County / Mason County Courthouse (approx. half a mile away); Mason County Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away); "Sport Fishing" (approx. 0.6 miles away); "The Abbie" (approx. 0.6 miles away); S.S. Pere Marquette 18 (approx. 0.7 miles away); S.S. City of Flint 32 (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ludington.
 
Also see . . .
S.S. <i>Badger</i> and S.S. <i>Badger</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
3. S.S. Badger and S.S. Badger Marker

1. History of the S.S. Badger. (Submitted on August 28, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Lake Michigan Carferries. (Submitted on August 28, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Carferries of the Great Lakes. (Submitted on August 28, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. "The Golden Link" C&O Carferry Promotional Film (1950s). (Submitted on October 2, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Ludington Car Ferries Marker and S.S. <i>Spartan</i> image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
4. Ludington Car Ferries Marker and S.S. Spartan
<i>S.S. Badger</i> Builder's Plate image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
5. S.S. Badger Builder's Plate
<i>S.S. Badger</i> Bridge image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
6. S.S. Badger Bridge
Builder's Plate is just below the center of the Bridge
<i>S.S. Badger</i> Main Deck Railroad Tracks image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
7. S.S. Badger Main Deck Railroad Tracks
At stern of ship, showing how cars would be switched to be four wide on main deck
S.S. <i>Badger</i> Dock and S.S. <i>Spartan</i> image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
8. S.S. Badger Dock and S.S. Spartan
S.S. <i>Spartan</i>, sister ship to S.S. <i>Badger</i> image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
9. S.S. Spartan, sister ship to S.S. Badger
Permanently moored, no longer in use
S.S. <i>Badger</i> Entering Ludington Harbor On Evening Eastbound Trip image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 27, 2016
10. S.S. Badger Entering Ludington Harbor On Evening Eastbound Trip
S.S. <i>Badger</i> Rebirth Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 28, 2016
11. S.S. Badger Rebirth Marker
One of several informational markers onboard the ship
S.S. <i>Badger</i> and S.S. <i>Spartan</i>, Twin Queens Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 28, 2016
12. S.S. Badger and S.S. Spartan, Twin Queens Marker
One of several informational markers onboard the ship
Amphicar in Ludington Harbor to Greet Arrival of S.S. <i>Badger</i> image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 23, 2016
13. Amphicar in Ludington Harbor to Greet Arrival of S.S. Badger
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 3, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 28, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 242 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on August 28, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   10. submitted on October 2, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   11, 12. submitted on October 3, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   13. submitted on August 28, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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