Carferries of the Great Lakes
Carferry Memories

timetable by Harold "Lucky" LaFleur 
My experiances on carferries, ah ha.Strickley worked in Galley or blank man,out side which I preferred.Galley odors are a hard way to get use to sailing. In 1951,News Eve day,on the 31 we ran in a 60 mile gale into Milwaukee,I was scarred to death,we laid in Jones island till midnight,some of the crew missed the boat, it was New Years eve, at the 'strike of midnight we pulled out into the lake, at around 11:00 on the 1st we pulled into Ludington, most of the time I was in the bunk. I was only 17 then, it was rough.another morning early we were at Maple Street dock,& it was 14 below zero, nearly froze.When we left the dock the 31 broke ice all the way to lake, it just crackled & snapped. AS far as Capt,William LAFleur he was a bear they say, a real seaman.Which he had to have gotten from his brother in law Capt. Joseph Russell, who had been in family since 1876, married to Williams older sister Mary, & William born in 1875 Joseph was probably a big influence on William.Capt Russell had quite a history, aboard the older ships before PM.1st Mate aboard the Manistee 1872, 1st Mate aboard Steamer Michigan when she was crushed by ice & sunk in 1885, all hand saved. He joined F & PM in 1886,1st Mate on #2 1886, #3 1887, Capt.on #2, & 4, of course 1st Capt on Pere Marquette (15) William 1st wheelsman on it. Russell wasn't on it only a couple of months at most, he went resigned & went back to #4, in 1902 took over PM-17. William was following Capt.Kilty at that time as 1st Mate, the 2 of them brought into Ludington the 17 & 18. AND in 1904 William was promoted to Capt. & took over the new ship 19 which had nearly been wrecked on the beach at Fox Point.These are all facts of record from the old Ludington News Paper,because the only person who could hav known more about Capt LaFleur than that was his daughter, Buelah,who died ,I wished I could have spent more time with her. She was secretary to Mercereau. For years now I've wanted to down to Daily News & look for a picture of Capt.Russell who was shown in it once.Maybe someday I'll try. One other thing,Russell as William were both known as the bears of the fleet.
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