WASHINGTON — The ferry that carries cars and passengers between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisc., is now a National Historic Landmark. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the designation for the SS Badger. Word about the possibility of the designation went around in January, but the National Park Service made it official Feb. 18.
The special recognition for the ship applies to it as “the last remaining example of the Great Lakes rail/car ferry design that influenced the design of such ferries around the world.”
The status allows owners of designated sites, even if they are privately owned, to receive preservation assistance.
The designation makes the Badger the only fully functioning mobile National Historic Landmark, noted Patrick Brian at the office of Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Holland, whose district includes Ludington.
While the ship began service carrying rail cars across the lake, the SS Badger today makes regular runs carrying passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclers.