Owners of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Have Sold Business After 77 Years
There are lots of traditions surrounding Mackinac Island, one tradition will continue but it will be under new ownership.
History of Shepler's Ferry
World War II veteran Captain William H. Shepler returned to Mackinac following the war to begin to haul people between from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island and back in 1945. He also owned a small snack shop for customers waiting to board the ferry
Shepler started out with a massive 600-person vessel by the name of the "Algoma." He changed things up to a smaller ship in 1950 by the name of the "Miss Margy" that he named after his wife.
When the Mackinac Bridge was built in 1957 Shepler added a second boat by the name of Billy Dick that was named after his son William Richard.
Shepler's Ferry has continued to thrive since 1945 even after Captain William H. Shepler passed away in 1988. His son William, along with his brother Chris has been running the business ever since.
The Sheplers also offer other options with Lighthouse Cruises and other sightseeing options.
Where Does Shepler's Ferry Operate?
Shepler's is one of two companies that haul vacationers to Mackinac Island. Shepler's has docks located in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace and provide ferry and freight service to Mackinac Island.
Why Did The Shepler Family Sell The Business?
The Shepler family have been approached by several companies wanting to buy Shepler's Mackinaw Island Ferry over the years but they just weren't ready yet and had not found the right company to sell to.
According to FOX 17, the Shepler family finally found the right family and company to sell their business to and it is the Hoffmann Family of Companies based in Naples, Florida.
Shepler's President Chris Shepler said, "never before have we connected both personally and professionally with a family that so closely identifies with Shepler's commitment to first-class service for every guest, every day."
Will Shepler's Ferry Change?
Chris and Billy Shepler are still part owners of the company. Chris will still run the company while Billy will continue on as the fleet captain. The name of the company will stand as well as the names of the fleet.
So if you plan on going to Mackinac Island this season, your tradition of taking the Sheplar Macinac Island Ferry will be unchanged aside from new owners.