Posts Tagged ‘Lake Michigan car ferries’

S.S. Badger Has new Owner

January 5, 2021

The last surviving Great Lakes railroad car ferry boat has a new owner.

The S.S. Badger has been acquired by Interlake Holding Company, which operates nine Great Lakes freighters.

The coal-fired Badger was built in 1952 for the Chesapeake & Ohio and crossed Lake Michigan.

Interlake President Make W. Baker said his company plans to operate between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The Badger operated for the C&O until 1980. Since then it has had a series of owners including one that offered rail freight service through 1990.

Since 1992 the Badger, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, has operated for leisure travel, tourism, and commercial truck traffic purposes.

The boat was most recently owned by Lake Michigan Car Ferry Company.

PM 1910 Lake Michigan Shipwreck Found

September 10, 2020

A railroad car ferry that sank in Lake Michigan in 1910 has been discovered by divers.

The disaster of Sept. 9, 1910, resulted in the deaths of at least 29 people when the Pere Marquette 18 sank during a trip from Ludington, Michigan, to Milwaukee.

The ship, which was owned by Pere Marquette Railway, was carrying 60 passengers and 30 rail cars.

It began taking on water and the crew began dumping rail cars into the lake in an unsuccessful effort to lighten the load.

However, the ship foundered after several hours and some passengers and all of the crew members went down with it. Rescuers were able to save 32 people.

The remains of the ship were found in about 500 feet of water near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, by a pair of shipwreck hunters.

Badger Still Expected to Get Historic Designation

January 27, 2016

Despite a bureaucratic snafu, the former Chesapeake & Ohio car ferry on Lake Michigan is expected to receive National Historic Landmark status.

The designation could come as early as next month. The National Park Service recently mistakenly stated on its Facebook page that the S.S. Badger has received the landmark designation.

Badger logoHowever, the Park Service now says that the application to grant the Badger historic landmark status is still being reviewed and that the announcement had been in error.

The Badger entered service in 1952 to transport freight cars between Ludington, Michigan, and the Wisconsin cities of Manitowac, Milwaukee and Kewaunee.

The 410-foot vessel is the only coal-fired steamship still in operation in the United States. The ship remains in operation today between Ludington and Mantiowac and passage can be booked by visiting the ship’s website at

The cruise takes four hours and covers approximately 60 miles. The Badger can accommodate 600 passengers and up to 180 vehicles.

The Badger was placed in 2009 on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

“The snowstorm in Washington, D.C., was making it difficult to get through to anybody,” Chris Powell, the assistant director for communications for the National Park Service told the Ludington Daily News. “Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior, ultimately signs all such designations.”