City of Flint 32
City of Flint 32

The S.S. CITY OF FLINT 32 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.

Call Whistle -- Long-Long-Long-Short-Short
Captain -- Esten Bahle
Chief Engineer -- JB Conrad

On her first trip to Ludington from Manitowoc on April 9, 1930, the CITYOF FLINT 32 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.


An ad that appeared in the Ludington Daily News in July of 1940:

"Will lady please write to gentleman in blue who gave her his chair on Carferry 32 enroute to Milwaukee Sat. p.m. July 6.  Write  H. Melvin Smith, Gen. Del., Milwaukee."

City of Flint 32 History

  • December 6, 1948 -- The CITY OF SAGINAW 31 & CITY OF FLINT 32 were ordered by the Pere Marquette Railroad.
  • November 27, 1929 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 was launched in Manitowoc.
  • April 9, 1930 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 entered service.  First Captain: Estan Bayle.
  • April 6, 1931 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 set a world record sailing 101,000 miles in her first year of service.
  • January 21, 1935 -- The CITY OF FLINT and the Pere Marquette 21 were damaged when they struck the Ludington breakwater within a few hours of each other in a feak storm.
At Ludington
  • January 19,1940 -- Gross tonnage for 1939:  3,327 - Number of crossings:  457.
  • October 11, 1940 -- New four-way air whistles were installed on the CITY OF SAGINAW 31 and CITY OF FLINT 32.
  • November 11, 1940 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 ran aground during the Armistice Day Storm.  Captain Jens Vevang in command.

Armistice Day Storm of 1940

Ludington Daily News, July 1942

"Mrs. Clinton Lehman, Mrs. Lenna Murphy, Mrs. D.W. Lehman and daughter, Arlene, of South Custer, accompanied by Mrs. Ralph Bishop, Mrs. H. Hawley, Mrs. Evert Lehman, Mrs. Wilda Bishop and guests, all of Flint enjoyed a pleasant weekend trip to Milwaukee.

Leaving Ludington at 8:45 Saturday morning on the CITY OF FLINT 32 they arrived in Milwaukee where they spent the night, some of the party visiting relatives.  They returned to Ludington Sunday, enjoying breakfast on the boat and also encountering quite a hard electical storm on their homeward trip.  The outing proved to be very enjoyable.  The Flint group left for their homes Sunday evening."
  • November 14, 1940 -- Following the Armistice Day Storm, The 32 was freed by the tug "John F. Cushing" assisted by the PM 21.
Ludington Daily News, March 1941:


The CITY OF FLINT 32 was in the Manitowoc shipyards this weekend for general repairs, including adjustments to it's shaft.

It was back in service earlier this week.  CITY OF SAGINAW, in the yard for the past couple of weeks for repairs to some damaged plates in now back in service on the Ludington-Milwaukee run."
  • October 3, 1941 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 was heading for Ludington, while the PERE MARQUETTE 22 was heading for Manitowoc.  They collided head-on about 20 miles outside of Ludington, striking a glancing blow on their port bows.  The PERE MARQUETTE 22 went directly to Manitowoc for repairs while the CITY OF FLINT 32 unloaded at Ludington, then steamed for Manitowoc for repairs.

CITY OF FLINT 32 of the local Pere Marquette carferry fleet was scheduled to go to Manitowoc, Wis. today to enter the shipyard there for installation of new stokers, fans and reconstruction of her stack.

She is expected to be at the shipyard about a month, undergoing work identical to that already done on her sister ship CITY OF SAGINAW 31.  A steamlined stack similar to that of the flagship CITY OF MIDLAND 41 and identical with that recently put on CITY OF SAGINAW, will be installed.

Although more modern appearance, principal purpose of the new type of stack is to make room on the top deck, immediately behind the stack, for a new fan house, part of the new forced draft stoker and boiler system already in use on the MIDLAND and CITY OF SAGINAW and now to be installed on the CITY OF FLINT."
Ludington Daily News, July 1942
  • November 11, 1947 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 ran aground at Manitowoc.
  • November 17, 1967 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 made her last run.  Capt. John A. Sucharski in command.
In lay-up in Ludington

  • December 24, 1969 -- The CITY OF FLINT 32 was towed out of Ludington by two tugs.  She was sold to Norfolk and Western Railway Company to be converted into a river ferry barge.  She was sold for $100,000.

In Layup