Learning about Ludington’s historic homes

June 11, 2023

Sean Henne performs the role of Marshall Butters, in front of the Butters family historic home.

Learning about Ludington’s historic homes

Photos by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

Kara Rose performs the role of Sarah Culver in front of the Culver family historic home.

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Historical Society’s A Walk Back in Time historic home tours held Saturday and today sold out. The walking tour of some of Ludington Avenue’s historic homes included actors who told the stories of the original occupants of some of the houses. The tours were led by James Jensen, president of the historical society, and Mike Nagle, West Shore Community College history professor and author. 

The tours were part of the Love Ludington Weekend, celebrating Ludington’s sesquicentennial (150th anniversary). 

“We were pleased by the tremendous interest in our area’s history,” said Rebecca Berringer, executive director of the historical society. “There were a lot of volunteers who spent many hours preparing these tours and it’s great to see the support from the community and visitors.” 

Tour participants learned about many of the homes that are now part of the district that has been entered into the National Registry of Historic Districts by the United States Department of the Interior/National Park Service. They came face to face with several of Ludington’s most famous leading citizens—the indomitable and endearingly irrepressible Kate Cartier; her father-in-law and patriarch of the Ludington Cartiers, Antoine Cartier; Mrs. Sarah Culver, wife of Stearns Siding Lumber manager, W.T. Culver; Ludington and Scottville businessman Daniel Goodenough; famed orator, U.S. Senator, and presidential candidate who visited Ludington during one of his bids for the presidency– William Jennings Bryan; Marshall Butters, who, along with his father Horace, brought to this area the Mason and Oceana Railroad, often called the “Miserable and the Ornery” by those who rode its rails between Buttersville and Walkerville; Ludington resident and Vaudeville star Ms. Myrtle Moore Dahtanis; and the Sweedish-born Ludington resident and the longest employed and valued worker of the Star Watch Company August Hjalmar Lidberg. 

Tours are planned in August of Ludington’s cemeteries. The historical society’s next sesquicentennial event will be the Ludington Sesquicentennial Concert featuring the Scottville Clown Band, Wednesday, June 14, 7 p.m. at Waterfront Park. 

While stopping at the Cartier Mansion, Historical Society President and tour guide James Jensen points out a log that was retrieved from the Pere Marquette River. The log was branded with the Eber Ward brand.

 

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