Filled with rare images, charming nostalfic advertisements, and local accounts, discover the unlikely history of the determined, scrappy S.S. Badger and her impact on Lake Michigan.
One of the last operating coal-burning steamships in the world, the S.S. Badger provides travelers and their automobiles with what is now the only opportunity to ferry across Lake Michigan. Each summer, thousands of tourists enjoy sailing the 60-mile run between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In 1892, the Ann Arbor Railroad Company introduced a fleet of cross-lake ferries intended to transport railroad cars. By 1897, the Pere Marquette Railroad launched its own fleet out of Ludington, beginning with the S.S. Pere Marquette. For decades, these ships carried freight, and eventually automobiles and people, across Lake Michigan. Today, only the Badger remains. Through a unique collection of archival and contemporary images, this book documents the S.S. Badger's historic career as a provider of cross-lake transport. Vintage advertisements, memorable photographs, rare diagrams, and informative text reveal the fascinating details behind the Lake Michigan Car Ferry's now-rare steam propulsion system, her design and layout, and her development from an icebreaking railroad ferry to a seasonal passenger ferry.