• In 1675, Jacques Marquette, French peopleFrench missionary and explorer, died and was laid to rest here. A memorial and large iron cross mark the location. In 1845, Burr Casswell moved to the area near the mouth of the Pere Marquette River as a location for trapping and fishing. In July 1847 he brought his family to live there as well and began a small community known as Pere Marquette village. Two years later they built a two-story wood-framed house on their farm. After the organization of Mason County in 1855, the first floor of this building was converted into the county's first courthouse. Restored in 1976 by the Mason County Historical Society, the structure stands today as a part of White Pine Village, a museum consisting of several restored and replica Mason County buildings (see external links). The town was later named after the industrialist James Ludington, who owned some of the logging operations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and also lived here. The area boom in the late 1800s was due to these sawmills and also the discovery of salt deposits. By 1892, 162 million Board footboard feet (382,000 m³) of lumber and 52 million wood shingles had been produced by the Ludington sawmills. With all of this commerce occurring, Ludington became a major Great Lakes shipping port. In 1897, the Pere Marquette Railroad constructed a fleet of carferryferries to continue the railroadrail cargo across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The fleet was also expanded to carry cars and passengers across the lake. By the mid-1950s, Ludington had become the largest car ferry port in the world. Unfortunately, due to disuse and declining industry, this fleet eventually dwindled. Currently only one carferry, the SS BadgerSS Badger, makes regular trips across the lake from Ludington, one of only two lake-crossing car ferries on Lake Michigan. During the late 1910s and early 1920s, Ludington was the home of the Ludington Mariners minor league baseball team. A team of the same name currently plays "old time base ball" in historical reenactments of the original version of the game. Source:

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