Posts Tagged ‘SS Badger’

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.

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.”