Fundraising continues for maritime museum

November 9, 2013

maritime museumBy Carrie Klemm. MCP Correspondent.

LUDINGTON  –  A gathering of friends and interested parties met this week to review plans for The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.  Leading the discussion was John Thorp, president of the Mason County Historical Society Board of Directors, who explained the details of what is to come.

The museum will be housed in Ludington’s former U.S. Coast Guard Station, located at 214 S Lakeshore Drive. Built in 1934, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and much consideration is being put to restore the exterior as closely as possible to its original state. The Historical Society is working with the State Historic Preservation Office throughout the development process to maintain preservation guidelines.

Future exhibits within the museum will focus on Ludington’s rich nautical history ranging between the harbor’s heavy shipping past to the heroism of the Coast Guard. Thorp assures that the Historical Society is committed to a hands-on approach, adding that the museum is set to have a full-scale replica of the pilot house of the car ferry Pere Marquette 22 in which visitors may navigate the vessel in a video simulation. Other features include Jacob Lunde’s 100-foot long panoramic depiction of the Ludington Harbor around the late 19th century and a Fresnel lens that once lit the harbor lighthouse.

Brenda and George Reeber welcomed guests into their home on two separate occasions to showcase the project and give citizens a chance to learn more and ask questions. “John has put a lot of effort and hard work into developing this project and we wanted to help spread the word,” Reeber said, both she and her husband being major supporters of the museum itself.  Funding for the project arrives via cash gifts and pledges and though quite a bit has been received, the Historical Society is still seeking additional donations to meet the estimated four million dollar goal.

To learn more about the stages of the project, view the floor plans for the future museum or to contribute, visit