A coal-fired passenger ferry that carries people and cars across Lake Michigan between Wisconsin and Michigan is getting a National Historic Landmark designation.
The 410-foot SS Badger launched in 1952 can carry 600 passengers and 180 vehicles. It’s the last coal-fired steamship operating on the Great Lakes.
The designation, which had been sought for years, was announced this week.
Operators have made environmental improvements to keep the vintage vessel in service. Last year was the first year when the Badger operated without dumping coal ash into the lake.
Michigan Congressman Bill Huizenga said the designation highlights the economic importance of the Badger to its port cities of Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, as well as its “historical significance to the entire Great Lakes region.”