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- Mason County Obituary

Capt. Wallace H. Van Dyke


Was One of Last Great Lakes "Skippers" of Sail Days.

Death came suddenly and quietly early today for CAPTAIN WILLIAM H. VAN DYKE of 308 North Harrison street, master of Pere Marquette carferry No. 22 and one of the last of the Great Lakes "skippers" whose careers reached back to schooner days. He had been in the pilot house as usual when his vessel left Manitowoc, Wis., late Tuesday night and had retired after seeing that the course was properly set for Lud ington. Officers of the ship summoned him as the carferry neared Ludington and were alarmed when they failed to get a response. On entering they found he had calmly passed away in his berth. Born at Escanaba, Mich., Nov. 13, 1871, CAPTAIN VAN DYKE had spent almost his entire life sailing the waters of the Great Lakes. As a lad he grew up in Escanaba, joining the crew of a schooner at the age of 15. He sailed and owned schooners for many years, moving from Escanaba to Chicago and from there to Pentwater where he resided for 12 years. Among his vessels were the "Lettie May," the "Star Light" and the "Flora V." It was while a resident of Pent water that he abandoned his schooner days, giving way to the inroads of steam vessels. He first captained the Pere Marquette Line steamer No. 8 which ran regularly in those days between Ludington and Pentwater. Later, in December, 1916, he joined the Pere Marquette carferry fleet and had served in the line continuously and faith fully since that time. Although he had served on various ships of the carferry fleet, his first command was the Steamer 15. Subsequently for 10 years he served as master of Steamer 17 and in recent years, since launching of the No. 32, he had served as master of Steamer 22. At the time of his death, he was second oldest captain in point of seniority in the Pere Marquette line. A marine histor ical collection carefully accumulated by him over a period of many years is widely known as probably the most complete Great Lakes record in existence. Surviving are the widow, two daughters, MRS. JOHN W. STRAM and MRS. FREEMAN R. STEARNS of Ludington, a son HENRY W. VAN DYKE of Pottstown, Pa., two sisters MRS. HATTIE FARRELL of Escanaba and MRS. WALTER BIGNOLD of Portland, Ore., and three grand children. The body will be taken to the home at 306 North Harrison street late Thursday. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. - Ludington Daily News, Wednesday, March 25, 1936

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Funeral services for CAPTAIN WALLACE H. VAN DYKE, whose death occurred Wednesday aboard Pere Marquette carferry No. 22, of which he was master, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday from the home at 308 North Harrison street. Rev. Paul Haskell Clark, pastor of Community church will officiate. Interment will be in Lakeview cemetery. - Ludington Daily News, Thursday, March 26, 1936

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