Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Tour on the Milwaukee Clipper

The Milwaukee Clipper is a former train/auto ferry that is currently a museum ship docked in Muskegon.  She started her life in 1904 as the Juniata and was built by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company.  She started life as a train ferry and was used to transport stuff from Buffalo to Duluth and vice versa.   In the early 1940's, she was converted to a car ferry and renamed to the Milwaukee Clipper and was used between Muskegon and Milwaukee.  Her career as an auto ferry ended in the 1970's.  She bounced around a bit until she found her current home in Muskegon.
 She is docked by the remnants of a train ferry dock.
 Looking down one of her gangways.
 When she was originally constructed, she had a steel hull with a wooden superstructure.  After she was converted to her current configuration, the wooden superstructure was replaced with a steel one.  The stack in her middle was basically a cosmetic piece so that she would look more modern.
This was the main cafeteria.  Because it had limited capacity, it would have to serve the passengers in shifts.  Since the trip between Muskegon and Milwaukee took 7 hours, there would be plenty of time to grab a bite to eat.
 Another view of the cafeteria.  Apparently this ship has the largest collection of this particular style of furniture (but the name of the designer escapes me).
 Some pretty nice dining ware.
 This was in front of the grand staircase leading between the sleeping quarters and other places of the ship.
Typical sleeping accommodations while on the ship.
 A view of the pilothouse.
 This would have been the captain's quarters and was actually restored by the last captain of the ship.
 The view from the pilothouse.
 A radio direction finding unit.
 The ship's telegraph.  This is one that is used when the ship is entering a harbor or channel.  It has more divisions than the typical telegraph.  It is used to communicate speed to the engine room.
 Looking down the side of the ship.
 Some of the radio equipment.  Apparently, this was the first ship on the Great Lakes to be equipped with a radio-phone.
 A view of the wheel and both telegraphs.
 One of the lifeboats.  When you see a picture like this, yon can get an idea of just how much work it takes to restore a ship.
 A shot of the decorative stack.  The center part could be used as a band shell of sorts.
 This dance floor was recently restored.
 The bar.
Originally this room was going to be used as a casino of sorts.  The owner of the ship installed slot machines that would be played on while the ship was underway.  Since the ship wasn't crossing any sort of international boundaries, that was stopped after a raid by the Michigan and Wisconsin State Police.

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