Consumers Energy donation helps maritime museum project move forward.

March 18, 2016
Rick Plummer

Rick Plummer

LUDINGTON — The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to Mason County Historical Society’s new Port of Ludington Maritime Museum Thursday, March 17, 2016. The grant was awarded to recognize the organization’s contribution in enhancing the area’s cultural and historic development.

“This generous grant from The Consumer Energy Foundation will help to hasten our opening and ensure that the museum will contain a variety of family-friendly, interactive exhibits,” said Rick Plummer, executive director of the historical society. “The museum will provide visitors with a captivating look at the rich maritime heritage of Ludington and the greater west Michigan region.”

“Consumers Energy has a significant and long-time presence in Mason County, a popular Michigan tourist destination,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer for the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We’re pleased to support development of the new Port of Ludington’s Maritime Museum which will honor the region’s rich heritage and encourage more visitors to this beautiful part of our state.”

The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum is slated to open in the spring of 2017.

Situated in the former Ludington U.S. Coast Guard station, built in 1934, the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum will entertain, enlighten, and instruct, according to the MCHS board of directors president, Thomas Calabretta. The museum is located at the end of Lakeshore Drive, adjacent to the current USCG station.

The Coast Guard operated the station in its original condition until 1972 when the boat launch ramps to the channel were removed and replaced with a concrete dock. In 2004 a new station was built just west of the previous station. Soon after the station’s decommissioning, in April 2007, the City of Ludington and the MCHS signed an agreement allowing the historical society to create and operate a maritime museum at the site. In July 2010, the U.S. General Services Administration formally deeded the station to the city and the the renovation of the station and the construction of the museum commenced.

“This generous grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation, along with the many contributions from area businesses and individuals, are all vital to the museum’s completion,” Plummer said. “We are close to reaching our $5 million goal for Phase One, but support is still needed.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy. It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community and civic development, culture and the arts, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

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