Vintage Photos of Ludington, Michigan: 1900-1950
There's more to the town name of 'Ludington' than meets the eye...
Sybil Ludington was just 16 years old when she alerted American troops of the oncoming British soldiers in 1777...one year after Paul Revere made his famous ride, doing the same.
Her father was a colonel during the American Revolution, and on April 26, 1777, he learned the nearby Connecticut town of Danbury had been attacked by the British. Help was needed, but the Colonel's regiment was made up of mill workers who were absent due to planting season. As the colonel planned his counter-attack, Sybil volunteered to ride and alert each troop at his respective farm. It was dark, rainy, and took between 20-40 miles total.
Nevertheless, when the men finally arrived at the battle scene, they lost.
Sybil married in 1784, her husband died in 1799, and her son passed away in 1838. Afterward, she applied for a war pension based on her late husband's service, but was denied. She died in poverty in 1839. That's just a nutshell...you can read more about Sybil here.
That leads us to Sybil's nephew, James Ludington.
The Michigan city of Ludington was named after James, but he never lived in Michigan. He was born in New York in 1827 and lived in Wisconsin as an adult.
In 1854, James forked over the dough for a sawmill along the Pere Marquette River in northwest Michigan. When the owner, George Ford, refused to pay back the loan, James took over the mill.
In 1856, James platted the land north of the river, sold lots, and a town was soon developed. James started the area's first newspaper and opened a huge store. He ended up selling the sawmill – which had turned into an entire lumber company – and used the cash to further the development of this new city. In 1873, Ludington became incorporated and was off and running, becoming a favorite vacation place for many Michiganders into the 2000s.
Next time you're in Ludington, and you cruise the town, you may see the streets of James and Ludington.....guess who they were named after?
Below is a gallery of vintage Ludington photos...have fun!
MORE VINTAGE MICHIGAN!