Ludington, Michigan History - James Ludington, City Founder
It's ironic that the man whom Ludington is named for never actually resided here. But his contribution to a small lumbering village was the foundation that the present day city of Ludington is built on.
Slowly over the next few years, the village began to grow, acquiring a post office, a boarding house, and The Big Store, which sold a variety of goods. Ludington and Col. John M. Loomis from Chicago began buying up acres of pine lands, providing employment and support to hundreds of men and their families. In 1867, Ludington platted the village of Pere Marquette--the same year he began the first newspaper, the Mason County Record. He eventually bought out Col. Loomis in 1869, and the property, which had greatly increased in value, was sold to the Pere Marquette Lumber Company (his former sawmill). Included in the sale was 25,000 acres of pine lands, unsold village lots, and the mills--all for the huge sum of $500,000.
James Ludington never married, and his body now rests in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His contributions to this now thriving tourist town of over 8,000 lives on wherever you look. James Street and Ludington Avenue are named for him, and many streets in Ludington, Michigan bear the names of his sisters and other family members--Delia, Lavinia, Emily, Lewis, William, Robert, and Harrison.