The City of Flint made her last trip out of Ludington at 2:30 a.m. on December 24, 1969, pulled by 2 tugs. She was built in 1929 in Manitowoc, WI by the Manitowoc Ship Building Corporation at a cost of $1,250,00 and had 40 staterooms and 5 parlors. She was powered by two steam turbines driving two General Electric 2,300 volt, 118 r.p.m. motors for a totat h.p. of 7,200. She was sold to Norfolk and Western Railway Company to be converted into a river ferry barge and renamed Roanoke.

The First Captain of the City of Flint

On her first trip to Ludington from Manitowoc on April 9, 1930, she set a new speed record of 3 hours and 7 minutes. In command was Captain Esten Bahle, the senior master of the Pere Marquette fleet at that time.

Captain Bahle's steamboat experience began in 1900, and was a wheelsman and lookout on the car ferry Milwaukee, which sank in 1929. When the Pere Marquette 18 sank in 1910, he was second mate on the Pere Marquette 17, which helped with the rescue. Other personnel on board on her maiden voyage included...



W.L. Mercereau Superintendent of Steamships
L.H. Kent Fleet Engineer
Jens Vegang First Mate
Thomas Griffith Second Mate
Bernard Rotta Third Mate
E.H. Pullman Purser
J.B. Conrad Chief Engineer
Henry Akesson First Assistant Engineer
Paul E. Petersen Second Assistant Engineer
Escil Sjoholm Third Assistant Engineer
Frank Harmon Steward
James Fahey Chef
Art Hayward Chef's Assistant (a survivor of the sinking of the Pere Marquette 18 in 1910)


1929 Built by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corporation.
1929 Launched in November.
April 9, 1930 Maiden voyage. New speed record 3 hours, 7 minutes.
1939 Established worlds record, traveling 100,000 miles in one year.
Nov. 11, 1940 Beached at Ludington, Armistice Day storm.
1941 Hit the breakwall at Ludington. Her holes were stuffed with mattresses until repairs were completed at Manitowoc.
November, 1967 Laid up at Ludington.
1969 Sold to Norfolk & Western Railway.
Dec. 24, 1969 Towed out of Ludington for the last time after being sold to the Norfolk & Western Railway Company to be converted into a river ferry barge.

Much of this information comes from Sherrill Bahle, whose husband's grandfather was Captain Esten Bahle.

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Launched: 07/03/97 Refitted: 10/26/97
Copyright © 1997 M. Hanley