329 E. Dowland Street in, Ludington, Michigan was built in 1893 on the street that use to be known as the pulse of Ludington during the turn of that century. By 1892 the Ludignton sawmills were at their peak producing wooden shingles and boards. Ludington quickly became a major Great Lakes Shipping Port. In addition to the shipping industry, the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroads ran tracks across the state and into Ludington where railcars were loaded onto ferry boats and shipped across the Great Lakes.
During this historical time, the Dowland street building was known as the “corner store,” it was part of the bustling Dowland street corridor which ran along the docks and ended at the ferry boat shipyard where the railcars were carried out of Ludington. That very shipyard is where travelers today can book a voyage on the SS Badger Car Ferry to cross Lake Michigan from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin and back again.
The Historic Dowland Street Corridor featured many small businesses, factories, and row houses, including 329 E. Dowland, the corner store.
Over the subsequent years, the building continued to be used as a grocery store, deli, and finally two different restaurants ran their businesses out of the building. One of the charming features of the building is that business owners could run their shop in the downstairs portion of the building and reside upstairs in the family dwelling.
Over the years the building more or less remained in its original state, with its old plaster walls and authentic tin ceiling in the storefront. During the recession the building was left alone and somewhat neglected until it was finally revived by a local, retired school teacher who began what is believed to be the turning point and saving of this lovely old structure.
The building was then bought by artist, “Mary Case,” and is now an art gallery and studio. Mary has enjoyed the journey of the remodeling project with the help of some wonderful Ludington talent to change the face of 329 E. Dowland Street shop to fulfill her vision of a quaint and cozy art gallery.
The gallery hosts Mary’s work, along with approximately 20 other artists from the surrounding area, across the country and even several international artists. The gallery held its soft opening on July 27th, 2017 and is looking forward to its first full summer in the booming and lovely coastal town of Ludington, Michigan.
Mary will be hosting events in the gallery’s garden over the summer months and she also offers pottery and painting classes.
Art By Mary Case
329 E. Dowland St.
Ludington, Michigan 49431
Milo Beman IV
Justin David Gustafson
The Art Gallery
The Gallery Today