Anyone who read Jim Cabot’s “From Our History” columns that ran for many years in the Ludington Daily News won’t be surprised by the richness of the photos assembled here. Nor will they be surprised by the detail and insight Cabot provides in the 128-page pictorial history of Ludington’s first century.

Those at the newspaper who got know the local historian, sometimes felt he knew as much about Ludington of 100 years ago as today. In short, he was a walking encyclopedia of information about Ludington’s past.

Cabot puts it to use in the captions accompanying the over 220 photos gleaned from his collection of old photographs, post cards, clippings and other resources.

Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series has struck a resonating chord with those who thirst for or enjoy the history of America’s small towns. The company formed in 1993 now boasts over 3,000 titles in its series. Wisconsin-based carferry historian Art Chavez has published two titles concerning the Ludington carferries through the “Images of America” series.

Using black and white photography and captions, the series provides a glimpse at the histories of the communities and industries it covers.

Cabot provides a wealth of detail in the captions for his photos. In fact the book could be the basis for a good game of Ludington trivia:

1) What was the 1909 cheer of Ludington High School?

2) Who was Ludington’s first Presidential elector? Who was its most recent Presidential elector?

3) When was “Ludington on the Lake” first chosen as a slogan for the city? Why was it then?

4) What was the first sawmill in Ludington?

5) Who was the last surviving owner of a Ludington sawmill?

Bonus question: Who used in the early 20th Century the site of what is today the Lincoln Hills Golf Club?

(Answers follow the rest of the story.)

If you’re a fan of Ludington history or old photos of Ludington, this book deserves a place on your book shelf. Jim Cabot did a nice job, which comes as no surprise to us at the Ludington Daily News.

— Steve Begnoche


1) LHS cheer, 1909, as printed on a post card:

Rickety! Rackety!

Sis! Bum! Bah!

Ludington High School

Rah! Rah! Rah!

2) Justus S. Stearns was the first Presidential elector from Ludington. The year was 1892. Anne Schwaibold was the most recent in 1980.

3) In 1909 when the first “Ludington-on-the-Lake” motto was chosen, the reasoning was because Ludington was the only city on the region’s Lake Michigan coastline not separated from the lake by barrier dunes.

4) The first mill at Ludington was built in 1849 and later passed into the hands of the Pere Marquette Lumber Company.

5) Charles E. Cartier, former Ludington mayor and state senator, was, in 1955 at the time of the Mason County Centennial, the last surviving former owner of a Ludington sawmill.

Bonus: Lincoln Hills Golf Club was established in 1919 at the site formerly used by the Michigan National Guard for summer encampments most years from 1904 to 1912. In 1913, the Guard moved its summer encampments to Camp Grayling where it remains to this day.

All information from James L. Cabot’s “Ludington 1830-1930”