The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum brings history to life with digital storytelling, authentic images and artifacts, and engaging interactive exhibits that entertain, enlighten, and inspire a deeper appreciation for the region’s maritime history. Located in the former U.S. Coast Guard Station, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this family-friendly, three-story museum overlooks Lake Michigan’s wild shoreline, Ludington’s iconic North Pier Light, and the historic car ferry Badger, extending the maritime experience beyond its doors in this vacation wonderland. The museum is operated by the Mason County Historical Society, which also operates the nearby Historic White Pine Village.
The mission of the Society is to preserve and present the history of Mason County. Thanks to the passion and foresight of our founders and donors we have been effectively doing this for over 84 years now. In that time frame, the Society has grown from a small archival collection located in Downtown Ludington to a large operation with two full-scale museums and an extensive research library.
The Mason County Historical Society provides a way for people to understand the social values, beliefs, and customs of our area through the cultural heritage provided at our three different venues. Our different venues allow people to identify with others of similar mindsets and backgrounds. Cultural heritage provides an automatic sense of unity and belonging within our community allowing us to better understand previous generations and the history of where we came from. The sense of belonging that is created through understanding our history gives each of us the ability to work for the greater good of our community.
As we head into our 85th year, would you consider donating any amount to help us in our mission to preserve, protect, and present the history of Mason County for future generations?
Your donation will impact thousands of students and visitors that come to the museums each year and will be used to help sustain the Museums, create educational programming, and develop guided tours that will inspire a love for Mason County and the values that we all share.
Two-thirds of our operating budget is funded through earned income – admission tickets, gift shop sales, memberships, events, corporate sponsorships, and food services. The remaining portion of our budget is funded through generous donations from supporters like you. Donations of any amount help us continue to preserve history for generations to come.
We are a non-profit that does not receive any public funding.
As a Non-Profit, we operate on a very tight budget with minimal staff. To balance our budget for 2022, we have set a $66,000 fundraising goal. Raising these funds will allow us to continue to operate the Museums five days a week from May to October, and to provide year-round programming at the Mason County Research Center.
Together, we can continue to preserve and present the great history of Mason County. Your support will help sustain our amazing museums and will allow us to continue to tell the story of Mason County to the thousands of visitors that come through our doors each year.
In June of 2017, after nearly 15 years in planning, the Mason County Historical Society opened the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. Since then the Maritime Museum has welcomed over 40,000 visitors.
Our visitors enjoy a three-story museum that brings to life the vast and rich maritime history of Mason County. As they tour the Museum they engage with interactive exhibits that tell the vibrant history of captains, sailors, boat builders, lumbermen and enjoy a multitude of maritime experiences. A donation to the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum will help us to continue to preserve and present our maritime history for generations to come.
Your participation as a Business Partner will go a long way toward ensuring the success of our mission–preserving and interpreting our past for this generation and for generations far into the future. Additionally, our Business Partners support many special events throughout the year. The thousands of visitors who pass through our doors at our two museums experience the rich cultural and maritime history of our area and they will be forever in your debt. Your generous investment will ensure that our past comes alive in order to inspire and inform our future!
For over 80 years the Mason County Historical Society has educated and entertained the public while working to preserve and protect the rich and vast history of Mason County. Be part of one of the largest historical societies in the state of Michigan! Choose a level below.
Gifts to our Endowment Fund provide long term support for the day-to-day operations associated with running two museums. Checks can be made to:
Community Foundation of Mason County
P.O. Box 10
Ludington, MI 49431
Please contact Rebecca Berringer for more information on Estate Giving.