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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Ignace in Mackinac County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

State Ferry Service

 
 
State Ferry Service Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 19, 2019
1. State Ferry Service Marker
Inscription.  
This dock and the auto ferries which landed here were once the Upper Peninsula's "highway" to lower Michigan.

In the early 1900's, the few cars which reached the Straits crossed on railroad ferries, at a cost of $40 each! Better roads brought a surge of traffic and in 1923 the Michigan State Ferry service was established to transport autos between here and Mackinaw City at the reasonable cost of $2.50.

During the first year 10,351 vehicles made the crossing, weather permitting, in 1 hour. In 1936 winter service began. By 1950, over 600,000 vehicles rolled onto this dock each year. Summer weekends, holidays and the deer-hunting season brought line-ups of several miles and a wait of 6 to 12 hours.

In 1952 the State Ferries began landing at a new dock to the south. The Mackinac Bridge replaced the Ferry Service in 1957, after its 8 ships had safely carried more than 12 million vehicles.
 
Location. 45° 52.088′ N, 84° 43.382′ W. Marker is in St. Ignace, Michigan, in Mackinac County. Marker can be reached from North State Street
State Ferry Service Marker - upper images image. Click for full size.
2. State Ferry Service Marker - upper images
Top: Ariel (1923 - 1926)
The first state ferry was a wooden-hulled ship built in 1881, which carried 16-20 cars. Its low profile prevented operation on stormy days when waves were high.

Bottom: Straits of Mackinac (1928 - 1957)
Built specifically for the Straits with upper deck loaded by an elevator on the dock. Collided with the ferry "City of Cheboygan" in 1937, resulting in one fatality when a large kettle of boiling soup fell on the ship's cook.
(Business Interstate 75), on the right when traveling north. Marker is on the Huron Boardwalk at the Mackinac Island Ferry Dock 2. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Ignace MI 49781, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Ignace (within shouting distance of this marker); Michigan State Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Diving into History (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); People and the Great Lakes (about 300 feet away); Mooring Facilities (about 500 feet away); William H. Barnum (about 500 feet away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mackinaw Boat (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Ignace.
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels
 
State Ferry Service Marker - lower image image. Click for full size.
3. State Ferry Service Marker - lower image
City of Petoskey (1940 - 1957)
A converted railroad ferry, with a capacity of 105 cars. After retirement, she was used as a floating potato warehouse near Chicago.
State Ferry Service Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 19, 2019
4. State Ferry Service Marker
 

More. Search the internet for State Ferry Service.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 18, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 64 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 18, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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