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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 7:14 AM

BEFORE THE BRIDGE - LOOKING BACK AT ST. IGNACE

In 1923, the Michigan State Ferry Service was established to handle the increase in automobile traffic.
BEFORE THE BRIDGE - LOOKING BACK AT ST. IGNACE
An aerial view of St. Ignace shows the various types of boats needed at the time to transport cargo, mail, travelers, and rail cars between the two peninsulas.

Before the car ferries, travelers crossed the Straits by railroad ferry. The state ferries system increased the amount of traffic going across the Straits. It operated for 34 years and carried more than 12 million vehicles. The Mackinac Bridge was opened in 1957 and was designed by David B. Steinman. It was the world’s longest suspension bridge between cable anchorages at the time it was constructed. St. Ignace has seen many changes. 

History plays a big part in activities offered in St. Ignace today. Museums, festivals, and memorials remind people that the deep roots of the past still have a hand in shaping the area.

This dock was the railroad link crossing the Straits of Mackinac; The Chief Wawatam, docked here to unload rail cars and cargo from 1911 to 1984. The “Chief Dock” was then converted into a park located in downtown St. Ignace.
This dock was the railroad link crossing the Straits of Mackinac; The Chief Wawatam, docked here to unload rail cars and cargo from 1911 to 1984. The “Chief Dock” was then converted into a park located in downtown St. Ignace.

 

WHAT’S SO UNIQUE ABOUT LOCAL... MUSEUMS?

Featuring the stories and artifacts of every aspect of St. Ignace and Straits Area history, our museums allow you to explore the various cultural influences that helped shape our region. Not only is history important, but so is art. The St. Ignace area features an incredible wealth of local artists and craftsmen. Be sure to check with museums and local organizations for any upcoming local, national or international art exhibitions or special events.


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