After the Grand Trunk car ferry SS Milwaukee was lost with a crew of 52 men in an October 1929 storm, it was replaced by the SS City of Milwaukee. Built in 1931, the ferry operated for half a century, hauling loaded railcars across Lake Michigan. Serving the majority of her career with the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Car Ferry Company, the ship spent her last few operational years sailing for the Ann Arbor Railroad. She survives today as the last unaltered example of a Great Lakes railroad car ferry designed with twin stacks, a classic profile, and triple-expansion engines. Now a museum ship and a National Historic Landmark, this remarkable vessel serves as a living memorial to the car ferries and the dedicated crews that sailed them.
Author Bio: With access to the SS City of Milwaukee’s archives and numerous private collections, car ferry historians Art Chavez and Bob Strauss have gathered a variety of images and documents, both vintage and contemporary. Along with detailed, informative captions, they reveal the pictorial history of this enduring car ferry that now resides in Manistee, Michigan.
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