Badger, PM 41 sold to Ohio shipping company.

December 30, 2020

Escorting the SS Badger

Badger, PM 41 sold to Ohio shipping company.

By Rob  Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — The S.S. Badger, along with the Pere Marquette 41 and its tug, Undaunted, have been sold to a family-operated shipping company based out of Middleburg Heights, Ohio.  Interlake Holding Company announced today the purchase of Lake Michigan Carferry Company and Pere Marquette Shipping Company. The acquisition signals the creation of a new business entity, Interlake Maritime Services, which will manage the new businesses along with The Interlake Steamship Company and its fleet of nine freighters.

“This is an exciting day for us and we are thrilled to be welcoming new employees into our Interlake family, new vessel lines into our Great Lakes operations, and new customers and cargoes into our portfolio of business,” said Mark W. Barker, president of Interlake Holding.

Barker said there are no major changes for the operation of the 410-foot long Badger, which has been owned by LMC since 1992. 

“The nice thing about this is that Bob Manglitz and Don Clingan (owners of LMC) have run a nice family business,” Barker said. “We are a family business as well and we are very impressed with the folks here in Ludington. We want to build upon what they have done and learn the operation.”

Barker said Interlake Holding Company operates nine freighters on the Great Lakes. His family also operates several other companies including a ferry company in New York state and a shipping company in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The sale marks the fourth time the Badger has changed ownership since it was launched in 1952. It was built in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. and originally owned by the C&O Railroad, which later was acquired by the Chessie System. In the early 1980s, a local company, Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company, purchased the Badger, Spartan and City of Midland, the last remaining Ludington carferries. That business continued to operate the Midland as a rail service ferry until mechanical issues caused the company to switch to the Badger. MWTC ceased operations in 1990 and filed for bankruptcy. Ludington native and entrepreneur Charles Conrad formed Lake Michigan Carferry Service in 1992 and acquired the company following bankruptcy proceedings. LMC has operated the Badger as a passenger and light freight vessel since. 

The company also formed Pere Marquette Shipping by re-purposing the City of Midland into a barge. 

Barker said he has known Manglitz for several years and has always been interested in the Pere Marquette Shipping Company’s unique niche operation.  

The SS Spartan, which has not sailed since the mid-1970s, is also part of the sale.

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