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7 Pieces Of History Near Ludington, MI

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Ludington, Michigan, is a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Despite its size, Ludington has a rich and fascinating history that stretches back centuries. From Native American encampments to famous shipwrecks, here are seven historical events that have taken place near Ludington.

1. Indigenous Peoples and French Explorers

Before European settlers arrived in Michigan, the area that is now Ludington was home to several Native American tribes, including the Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Ottawa. French explorers arrived in the region in the early 17th century and established trade relationships with the local tribes.

2. Logging and Lumbering

In the mid-19th century, the forests surrounding Ludington attracted lumber barons who established sawmills and logging camps in the area. The town grew as a result of this industry, and by the late 1800s, it was a major center for the production of timber and lumber.

3. The S.S. Badger

The S.S. Badger is a historic car ferry that crosses Lake Michigan from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The ship was built in 1952 and has been in continuous operation ever since, making it the last coal-fired steamship operating on the Great Lakes.

4. The Pere Marquette Railway

The Pere Marquette Railway was a historic railroad that operated in Michigan and Indiana from the late 19th century until the mid-20th century. The railway had a major hub in Ludington, and passengers and goods traveled on the line to and from the town for decades.

5. The Big Sable Point Lighthouse

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located about 15 miles north of Ludington. The lighthouse was built in 1867 to guide ships along the Lake Michigan coastline, and it remains in operation today as a museum and tourist attraction.

6. The Ludington Massacre

During the Civil War, Confederate agents plotted to launch a raid on various northern towns, including Ludington. The raid was foiled before it could take place, but the incident became known as the Ludington Massacre.

7. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald was a Great Lakes freighter that sank in Lake Superior during a storm on November 10, 1975, killing all 29 crew members. The ship was carrying a cargo of iron ore from Superior, Wisconsin, to Detroit, Michigan, and many Ludington residents have since paid homage to the victims of the tragedy.

In conclusion, the small town of Ludington has played a significant role in the history of Michigan and the Great Lakes region. From its early days as a Native American encampment to its role in the timber and shipping industries, to its involvement in the Civil War and beyond, Ludington has a rich and varied past that continues to fascinate visitors and locals alike.
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