I was in Ludington a couple of days ago, and visited the Twin Queens of the Lakes, the S.S. Badger, and S.S. Spartan.
Here's the S.S. Spartan, one of the queens. She's not a very happy queen, but because she's not operational, it's possible to get a nice clear picture.
This one is the S.S.Badger. From May to October, she is one of the two ferries on which you can cross Lake Michigan. There's a high-speed ferry that goes from Muskegon to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Badger crosses from Ludington to Manitowac.
The Badger and the Spartan were built in 1952, and at 410 feet are the largest ferries ever built on the Great Lakes. They were part of the fleet of rail car ferries in the C&O Line, but also carried autos and passengers. When the railroad shut down in 1990, everyone thought it was the end of the ferry era.
But the ferries are a much-loved part of Ludington history, and offer a valuable service. A series of local businessmen have invested huge sums of money to keep them operational. The Badger still survives and runs twice daily from May through October. That makes it harder to get a good picture, she's snuggled up to a loading ramp.
And since that puts us on a state border, Ludington gets a "Welcome to Michigan" sign. I've included a link below to more car ferry history.
Oh, you want to know about yesterday's pictures? I'll tell you tomorrow.
|See Lake Michigan Carferry History|