If you grew up near one of the Great Lakes, you probably have heard of the car ferry known as the SS Badger. Taking a ferry used to be a "quick" way to get to Wisconsin from Michigan or vice versa, without driving around Lake Michigan and through Chicago and Milwaukee.

The Badger is a national landmark, and is one of the last ferries on the Great Lakes, and it was sold to an Ohio company last week. The Badger began service in 1953, and was briefly retired in 1990 before being returned to service in 1992, and is the last – and largest – coal-fired steam engine car ferry built and still operating in the United States.

Its sister ship, the Spartan is also a part of the deal, though the Spartan is not currently is service. The new owner is Interlake Holding Company of Ohio.

The deal includes the SS Badger, two other vessels and the assets of the Pere Marquette Shipping Company and Lake Michigan Car Ferry Company. The new owners also run high speed passenger ferries in New York.

According to a Detroit News story, "the 410-foot Badger — with room for 600 passengers and 180 vehicles — has steamed across Lake Michigan to and from Ludington and Manitowac, Wisconsin" for almost 68 years.

Here's a bucket list thing to do, and while you're in Wisconsin, cruise down to Milwaukee and check out one of the fine German restaurants. They also have beer in Wisconsin, and if you like baseball, Miller Park is really nice. Have a brat with red sauce. It's tradition.

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