Sault Ste. Marie: International Twin Cities_in Ontario and Michigan

Blockhouse

Source

International bridge

 Author: Adam Kahtava from Calgary Canada
Author: Adam Kahtava from Calgary Canada | Source

River of History Museum in Old Federal Building Michigan

Attribution: cc-By-SA-3.0
Attribution: cc-By-SA-3.0 | Source

First Soo Locks

Source

Two Cities

There are two cities named Sault Ste. Marie:: one in Ontario, Canada and one in the United States state of Michigan. The two cities are connected together by the International bridge. The city in Michigan is in the eastern end of Michigan’s upper peninsula in Chippewa County. They are divided by the St. Mary’s river. They were founded as a mission in 1668 by Father Jacques Marquette and represent the oldest European settlement in the U.S. Midwest and the oldest European settlement in Canada The literal meaning of the name is”Cataract of St..Mary” in French.

Many years ago a friend and I on impulse decided to drive from Minneapolis, MN and go around Lake Superior. We borrowed some camping equipment and set out to follow the new road that was being cut through there at the time. It was interesting because some of the small towns had never really had much in the way of outsiders come through at that time. We left Canada through Sault Ste. Marie. There was no bridge at that time and we, along with my car, had to cross on a ferry boat to the United States.

Originally it was a fur trading settlement on both sides of the river and the center of a 3,000 mile fur trade route from Montreal to the Sault and to the country north of Lake Superior. It was one community until 1817. At that time a US/UK Joint Boundary Commission finalized a border between the US Michigan territory and the British Province of Upper Canada. At the end of the nineteenth Century the communities were incorporated. Together the communities are referred to as The Sault or The Soo.

Shipping traffic in the Great Lakes system bypasses through the Soo Locks on the American side which is the worlds busiest canal in terms of tonnage passing through it. Smaller recreational and tour boats the Canadian Canal.

Visitors come from around the world to see the ships go through the locks. The largest ships are 1,000 ft. and 105ft wide. They are too large to pass through the locks around Niagra Falls making them landlocked.

The International 500 Snowmobile Race(the I-500) takes place here yearly and brings participants and spectators from all over the U.S. and Canada.

The area was originally populated by the Ojibwa or Chippewa Indians. A Scots-Irish immigrant and fur trader John Johnson, from Ireland has been considered the first European settler in the area. He married the daughter of an Ojibwa chief. They became the leaders of both the Euro-American and Indian communities.

In 1855 the first American lock was built which improved shipping as prior to that it was necessary to either portage around the rapids or later to unload cargos and reload on other ships beyond the rapids.

view of Sault Ste. Marie Michigan from Canada

public domain
public domain

Sault Ste Marie

On the Canadian side Sault Ste. Marie is the third largest city in Northern Ontario. Residents are called “Saultites.”. On its eastern border is the Rankin and Garden River First Nation ( according to Wikipedia the term “First Nations’ reserves. To Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit or Metis)To the west by Prince Albert Township, the unincorporated portion of the Algoma District. Across the river to the North is the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan in the United States.

Among tourist attractions are the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal Historic Site, boat tours of the Sault locks the Art Gallery of Algoma and Algoma Central Railways popular Agawa Canyon Tour Train. There are also Provincial Parks, Bon Soo Winter carnival ski resorts, cross country ski trails. Station Mall is one of the largest shopping Malls in Northern Ontario.

Comments 25 comments

eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Nice city to visit.

Keep on hubbing!


Kinghorn 6 years ago

It's a nice account. I have a 1950's 16 mm film "Sault St Marie" made by and eventually discarded by the U of Michigan. It's good partly because it's so dated.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

eovery

Thanks for coming by and commenting.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Bill

Sounds interesting. It has a certain resort like look to it.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Thanks for stirring up memories. We lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from 1977 until 1983. Great Hub.


emeraldkell 6 years ago

I have always loved Sault Ste. Marie. Thanks for writing this hub. I'm from northern Ohio. My husband is from West Texas. We recently moved from Texas to Kentucky. He's never been to Canada and we were planning a trip up there. I just love Canada.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Ken R Abel

I'm glad you enjoyed the memories. We were there for a short time a couple of years ago and want to go back and spend more time there. Thanks for the comment.

emeraldkell,

It's been a long time since I've been to Canada but I've found the people to be very nice.Thanks for you comment.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a wonderful trip that must have been with your camping gear packed and visiting towns that had little traffic back then. Enjoyed reading about the history of Sault Ste. Marie, the International Twin Cities. You always pack your hubs with interesting information!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for comments. I'm glad you find them informative.Actually it was a bit of an insane trip, as neither of us were experience campers. The first night we were in a rainstorm and pitching our tent on a rocky area where we bent the tent pegs pounding them in. Yet it is one of the things in life that was good in retrospect.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Ha! Sounds like the creation of good memories no matter what!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I'll keep it in mind. Thanks for the comment.


Vern 6 years ago

Don,

Interesting tour! Thanks.

Vern


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Vern

Thanks for commenting.


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

I enjoyed reading your article. Seems like an interesting and nice place to visit :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting. I find it an iteresting place and hope to spend a bit of time there soon.


freelancewriterva profile image

freelancewriterva 6 years ago

dahoglund thank for you comments on my hubpage, "Free help in getting Government Contracts."

This hubpage is very interesting. I love the historical perspective.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for your comment on this hub.I try to get some sort of feel for the things I write about.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Loved the hub, Dahoglund. Brought back memories of living in the Upper Peninsula. Great info, thanks for sharing.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting.Only problem I see living in the there mis the cold.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

I agree-cold and very long winters. Of course, I spent 3 1/2 yrs in alaska too, so I guess the U.P. was a rehearsal for that.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I probably wouldn't mind except I have a blood circulation problem that makes my tolerance for cold very low.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

You need to move on down south. The only thing about the heat here in NC is the humidity! But, I agree-my bones can't take the chill the way it used to.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I wouldn't mind but my wife has the opposite problem and can't stand the heat and humidity.We lived in Kansas City for a year. All our family is in the Twin City area.Aside from that I would like to live in the southwest somewhere.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I've been to Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and love it up there. My husband went to High School there with Wayne Gretsky :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting, Susan. I was there back at the time a road was just being built around Lake Superior. A friend and I decided to drive around the lake. There was no bridge then and we had to come back to the United States on a ferry. I wish I had pictures of the trip.

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    gutters guru 5 years ago

    That's a great history lesson. Well done, great work.


    dahoglund profile image

    dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

    Your comment is much appreciated. thank you.

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