1953 : S. S. Badger Makes Maiden Vogage

March 21, 2023 all-day

S.S. Badger departs from Ludington, photo by RJE, courtesy of Flickr

On March 21, 1953, the S.S. Badger made its maiden voyage. Originally built to carry railroad cars across the lake, the Badger was considered a trainferry, rather than a carferry. However, when the business of transporting trains across Lake Michigan declined, the ship was converted into a carferry. Today, the car ferry, the last coal-fired steam powered passenger ship sailing on Lake Michigan, still transports customers to and from Ludington and Manitowoc across Lake Michigan.

Thanks to a consent decree from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the S.S. Badger will be allowed continue sailing through 2013 and 2014.

For more information, see History of the Lake Michigan Carferry, the S.S. Badger

Dave Alelxander, “S.S. Badger coal ash permit could be in limbo through early 2013”, MLive, January 2, 2013.

Noah Adams, “Steamship Anchors A Community, But Its Days May Be Numbered”, NPR, March 4, 2013.

Dave Alexander, “Congressman Bill Huizenga: S.S. Badger to start sailing season May 6 as coal ash issue could end up in court”, MLive, March 15, 2013.

Stephen Kloosterman, “EPA agreement outlines rules for the S.S. Badger to keep sailing”, Muskegon Chronicle, March 22, 2013.

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