Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ludington is a city located in Mason County, Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 8,357. It is the county seat of Mason County6. Ludington is a harbor located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River .
Many people come to Ludington in the summer for recreation, including boating and swimming on Lake Michigan and inland lakes as well as hunting, fishing and camping. Nearby are Ludington State Park , Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area and Manistee National Forest. It's also the home port of the Lake Michigan Carferry , with service across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
In 1675, Jacques Marquette, French missionary and explorer, died and was laid to rest here. A memorial and large iron cross mark the approximate location.
In 1847, Burr Caswell settled near the mouth of the Pere Marquette river and began a small community known as Pere Marquette village. The town was later named after the industrialist James Ludington who owned some of the logging operations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and also lived here. The area boom in the late 1800s was due to these sawmills and also the discovery of salt deposits.
By 1892, 162 million board feet (382,000 m³) of lumber and 52 million wood shingles had been produced by the Ludington sawmills. With all of this commerce occurring, Ludington became a major great lakes shipping port.
In 1897, the Pere Marquette Railroad constructed a fleet of ferries to continue the rail cargo across the Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The fleet was also expanded to carry cars and passengers across the lake. By the mid 1950s, Ludington had become the largest car ferry port in the world. Unfortunately, due to disuse and declining industry, this fleet eventually dwindled. Currently only one carferry, the SS Badger, makes regular trips across the lake.
The 2 main area highways are U.S. Highway 10 which ends in town and U.S. Highway 31 which is a freeway until it intersects US-10 east of Ludington and runs concurrent with it before splitting north again about five miles (8 km) to the west.
The Ludington North Breakwall Light is at the end of the north pierhead on Lake Michigan.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 8,357 people, 3,690 households, and 2,166 families residing in the city. The population density is 957.5/km² (2,482.2/mi²). There are 4,227 housing units at an average density of 484.3/km² (1,255.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 95.02% White, 0.97% African American, 0.92% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. 4.15% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 3,690 households out of which 28.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% are married couples living together, 13.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.3% are non-families. 36.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 17.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.21 and the average family size is 2.88.
In the city the population is spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 80.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $28,089, and the median income for a family is $36,333. Males have a median income of $31,970 versus $22,809 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,215. 16.3% of the population and 12.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 27.7% of those under the age of 18 and 8.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Just south of Ludington is the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant, which generates pumped storage hydroelectricity. In town there are DOW Chemical Company which manufactures bromine, Great Lakes Castings Corporation, Amptech, Inc., and Carrom Company among others.
- City of Ludington
- Ludington Area Convention and Vistors Burea
- Ludington Daily News
- Lake Michigan Carferry
- Ludington Area Schools
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