BY BROOKE KANSIER
LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS — March 13, 2017
From the caw of gulls and crashing of waves to the friendly visage of famed Captain Nels Palmer, walking into the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum is like stepping back in time.
Immediately, attendees are met with an information desk modeled after the Pere Marquette 36 to the right, and a massive, child-friendly model lighthouse to the left. Authentic, wooden canoes hang overhead, and dead center lies what Dr. Rick Plummer, executive director, calls the pièce de résistance of the museum, an interactive model of a carferry pilothouse that looks over the museum’s first floor. The pilothouse will allow young, adventurous visitors to take the helm of a carferry as it journeys out of the Ludington harbor heading toward Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
“There will be one visitor to man the helm, and another visitor will man the chadburns, the two telegraphs back to the engine room, there will be two visitors in the engine room, a first mate and second mate. And they are literally bringing the ship into harbor,” Plummer said. “There’s nothing like this anywhere. People will be lined up, it’ll be like Disneyland.”
“I’m just happy to be involved with the group making this happen,” he said.
“This museum is going to be a hands-on learning experience, bringing our rich maritime history to life. That comes from two qualities — not just the interactivity, though many of the exhibits will be participatory or technology-driven — but it will also be informed by its authenticity. When you walk into this museum, virtually every artifact will be original.”
The Maritime Museum’s grand opening will be held Saturday, June 10 at 5 p.m. during Love Ludington Weekend, and all are welcome. The museum will be open and free to the public during the celebratory event.
How to donate: www.ludingtonmaritimemuseum.org/contribute, send checks to Mason County Historical Society, note PLMM and mail to 1687 S. Lakeshore Drive, Ludington, MI 49431. Call (231) 843-4808 or email email@example.com for more information.