Michigan State Ferry System
In 1923, in response to increasing automobile traffic, the Michigan Highway Department established the Michigan State Ferry System to connect the Upper and Lower Peninsulas by transporting travelers and their automobiles across the Straits of Mackinac. During the first year the ferry Ariel, with a capacity of 15 to 20 vehicles per trip carried 10,351 vehicles. By 1953 the highway department had invested $15 million in five ferries. The state built docks here and in St. Ignace. As the demand for service grew, passengers could wait more than ten hours especially during deer hunting season. The ferries ran until 1957 when the Mackinac Bridge opened, and the dock was leased to public and private interests.