The Manistique Marquette Northern is shown prior to its name change to the car ferry Milwaukee.

Manistique Marquette Northern I was built in Cleveland, Ohio, by the American Ship Building Co. during the year 1902, but did not officially launch until the 1903 shipping season. She was a steel-hulled, propeller-driven vessel spreading a length of 338 feet, and was built with the intent of being a car/rail ferry.

The heaviest cargo the vessel could carry safely was 30 freight cars (nearly 1,755 tons).

About the writer: Erin Pilarski is the education curator and volunteer manager for the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, 200 Washington Ave., Grand Haven. You may contact her at

(3) comments


We need more community columnists like you!!!


Great article! Catherine Cavanaugh was a friend of my parents. In 1972 she was interviewed, and she spoke about her father who was a ship Captain. This is a link to her interview. It gives a personal side to the sinking of the Milwaukee. (I hope it's okay to post a link)


Interesting and nice post

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