Interior department designates SS Badger as National Historic Landmark

The Department of the Interior announced February 18 the designation of the SS Badger as a National Historic Landmark. The designation recognizes the Badger’s exceptional value and quality in illustrating an aspect of American transportation technology in the mid­-20th Century.

The SS Badger is the last remaining example of the Great Lakes rail/carferry design that influenced the design of such ferries around the world and is the last Great Lakes carferry to remain in operation.

The Department of the Interior announced February 18 the designation of the SS Badger as a National Historic Landmark. The designation recognizes the Badger’s exceptional value and quality in illustrating an aspect of American transportation technology in the mid­-20th Century.

The SS Badger is the last remaining example of the Great Lakes rail/carferry design that influenced the design of such ferries around the world and is the last Great Lakes carferry to remain in operation. The first open-water crossing on which railcars were carried onboard occurred on Lake Michigan. For nearly a century, railroad carferries extended rail lines across three of the Great Lakes, especially Lake Michigan. During that period, the difficulty of arranging trackage rights on roads, the distance around the southern end of the lake and congestion in the rail yards at Chicago all made the transport of railcars across the lake a more efficient and economical alternative.

“The SS Badger is a unique example of American ingenuity in transportation that has been crucial to our country’s economic development over the last century,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial anniversary, we look forward to a second century of helping preserve the more than 2,500 historic places and objects like the Badger that bear the distinction of being National Historic Landmarks.”

Maritime Editorial