Mason County (pop. 28.705), south of Manistee County, is one of six Mason counties in the U.S. The others are in Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.
It’s the only Mason County named for Stevens T. Mason (1811-1843), the first governor of the state of Michigan. Mason (elected at age 23) was the youngest state governor in U.S. history.
The county seat of Mason County is Ludington (pop. 8,076). Ludington reached its peak population of 9,506 in 1950.
Ludington is located on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the 64-mile-long Pere Marquette River.
The coal-burning car ferry S.S. Badger has been making daily trips across Lake Michigan from Ludington since 1953.
The Big Sable Point Light Station (1867) is in Ludington State Park, just north of the city.
Father Jacques Marquette (1637-1675), the Jesuit missionary and explorer, died in the Ludington area. He is honored by a shrine in Ludington.
The Ludington Mariners Old Time Base Ball Team plays occasional exhibitions, using the early rules of baseball.
The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, in Manistee National Forest north of Ludington, has four miles of roadless, undeveloped shoreline on Lake Michigan.
The city of Scottville (pop. 1,214) is the home of the Scottville Clown Band, which performs at many parades and other events around Michigan every summer.
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