The Mason County Quiz, Carferries, April 26, 2024

April 26, 2024

The Mason County Quiz is presented by Lake Michigan Senior Living, located on the bluffs of Lake Michigan in beautiful Summit Township.

How much do you know about Mason County? See answers here.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

1. What year was the SS Spartan carferry launched? 

a. 1941

b. 1952

c. 1953

d. 1979

B: 1952

The SS Spartan was launched in 1952, the first of two sister ships built for the C&O Railroad by Christy Corporation of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The sister ship, SS Badger, was launched the following year, 1953.

2. What was the last year the SS City of Midland 41 sailed as a carferry?

a. 1941

b. 1973

c. 1988

d. 1997

C. 1988

The SS City of Midland 41 was launched in 1941. When the Chessie System shut down carferry operations in 1983, the boats were sold to Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company, a local company owned by Glen Bowden and George Towns. The company’s mission was to continue cross-lake rail and passenger service, initially utilizing the SS City of Midland until, in 1987, U.S. Coast Guard inspections showed the boiler mounts on the 47-year-old ship had deteriorated and needed replacement. The company then replaced the Midland with the SS Badger as its flagship.

3. What year did the SS Badger begin sailing under the company name Lake Michigan Carferry Service?

a. 1947

b. 1953

c. 1983

d. 1992

D. 1992

The SS Badger launched in 1953 as the last carferry in the C&O Railroad fleet. The C&O had acquired the Pere Marquette Railway in 1947. In 1991, Ludington native and Holland businessman Charles Conrad purchased the carferries from Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company following its bankruptcy. The Badger re-entered service under the company, Lake Michigan Carferry Service, in 1992.

See answers here.

Lake Michigan Senior Living, 4895 S. Lakeshore Dr. in Summit Township, offers beautiful views of Lake Michigan, activities and exceptional care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The facility consists of four housing units on the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. For more information, call 231-843-9963 or go to


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