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flag  History of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA

Journey back in time to Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA

Visit Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA - Steamer North West in Poe Lock, Sault Ste Marie, Mich.

Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa, Michigan, USA

Sault Ste. Marie was founded by Father Jacques Marquette in 1668. It is the third oldest remaining settlement in the United States.

Sault Ste. Marie was established in 1668 making it the oldest town between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.

There is MUCH more to discover about Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA. Read on!

Sault Sainte Marie Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Steamer North West in Poe Lock, Sault Ste Marie, Mich.
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA

Steamer North West in Poe Lock, Sault Ste Marie, Mich.

Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA

(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
Bird's-Eye View of Docks, Monster Freighters
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA

Bird's-Eye View of Docks, Monster Freighters "Locking Up," Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Jack Knife Bridge at Left, International Bridge in Distance
"In the Land of Hiawatha"
Hotel Ojibway

Since 1927, the famous historic full service Ojibway Hotel has been host to many ce
Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA

Hotel Ojibway

Since 1927, the famous historic full service Ojibway Hotel has been host to many celebrities... Our discerning guests enjoy the lovely fireside lobby and graciously appointed guest rooms overlooking the internationally recognized Soo Locks. Spacious suites with spa tubs for two, which numerous articles have been written about, capture a period of romance and elegance. Located in the oldest city in Michigan, the hotel offers an abundance of warmth and charm in the heart of the downtown gift shops. The hotel features the famous Freighters dining experience while overlooking a beautiful fountain and the Soo Locks shipping activities. (

Discover Sault Sainte Marie: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1668 - Mission established
Fathers Jacques Marquette and Claude Dablon establish the first mission at Sault Sainte Marie. resources/state-history-timeline/ michigan.html
1854 - Saut Sainte Marie
Saut Sainte Marie, (commonly pronounced Soo Saint Mary.) a post-village, capital of Chippewa county, Michigan, on St. Mary's river or strait, 400 miles N. N. W. from Detroit, and 15 miles from the outlet of Lake Superior. The rapids at this place have a descent of 22 feet within the distance of a mile, and form the limit of steamboat navigation. The village is pleasantly situated, and contains, besides the county buildings, churches for the Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics, and 1 newspaper office. Steam boats frequently visit this place in summer, with parties of pleasure. Many of the inhabitants are engaged in the fur trade and the fisheries. An appropriation has lately been made by the government for the purpose of cutting a canal around the rapids of the river. See St. Mary's Strait. The resident population is probably near 1000. The value of imports in 1851 was estimated at $151,134; of exports, $340,800.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1855 - Canal opens
June 22 - The ship canal at Sault Ste. Marie opens. resources/state-history-timeline/ michigan.html
Detroit papers contain further accounts of the gale at the Sault on the 17th ult. A private letter says:

The whirlwind struck the place about 2 o'clock in the morning. The steamer Baltimore of McKnight's line, had both her smoke pipes blown down, her forward upper cabin unroofed, some 20 feet of her starboard wheel broken. The propeller Manhattan, of Turner's line, was driven ashore, her smoke-pipe blown down, after part of upper cabin stove in and unroofed. The steamer Sam Ward, of Ward's line, was also driven ashore, and had her smoke-pipe driven overboard and cabin badly injured. The Canal Company's dredge was unroofed and otherwise injured. - The rock breaking machine was also damaged considerably, causing a delay of two or three days in the work. Several shanties were also blown down.

Below the Fort several houses were much damaged. In all, some 70 buildings - dwelling, warehouses, barns, &c. - were destroyed or more or less injured.

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, Milwaukee,...

1887 - The great international bridge to be erected next summer of the rapids of Sault Ste. Marie will be 2,500 feet in length with 350 feet spans. It is to be ready for trains to pass over Jan. 1, 1888.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
February 5, 1887
Two Lives Lost in a Fire at Sault Ste. Marie.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Nov. 6.- The tug Crusader was destroyed by fire at her dock here early this morning. Firemen Henry Billings, of this city, and Chas. Williams, of Port Huron, who were sleeping on the tug, were burned to death. Their bodies, horribly burned, have been recovered. Moran's pile driver, which was lying alongside the tug, was also destroyed. The cause of the fire is unknown. The Crusader was owned by the Grummond Tug Company of Detroit.
Fort Wayne News
Fort Wayne, Indiana
November 6, 1894
1895 - Sault Sainte Marie
Sault (or Saut) Sainte Marie (usually pronounced soo sènt mā'ree; Fr. pron, so sáN" mā'ree'), a post-village, capital of Chippewa co., Mich., in a township of its own name, on St. Mary's River or Strait, about 14 miles from the outlet of Lake Superior, and 150 miles E. of Marquette. Here are rapids which obstructed the navigation, but the navigable parts of the river have been connected by a ship canal about 1 mile long. The village has 3 churches and 2 or 3 saw-mills, and is partly supported by fishing and the fur-trade. Pop. in 1890, 5760.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Sept. 16. - An entire block of stores in the heart of the business district was destroyed by fire, which started shortly after midnight this (Wednesday) morning.

The fire originated in Klosser's candy kitchen, and it was some time before the departments had it under control.

Early estimates of the damage done place the loss at $300,000.

The principal losers are H. L. Newton, who owns most of the buildings destroyed, and D. K. Moses & Son proprietors of the largest department stores in the city.
Marshall Expounder
Marshall, Michigan
September 18, 1903
Sault Sainte Marie (usually pronounced boo sent ma'ree; Fr. pron. s5 saw" ma'ree'), a city and port of de livery, capital of Chippewa co., Mich., on the St. Mary's River (or Strait), at its efflux from Lake Superior, 150 miles E. of Marquette, on the Canadian Pacific, the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantio and the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Rs. It is opposite Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, with which it is connected by bridge. Here are rapids which formerly obstructed the navigation, but the navigable parts of the river have been connected by Bhip-canals, which carry an enormous tonnage of freight. (See Saint Mary's River.) The city has great water- power and manufactures lumber, paper, flour, woollen goods, carbides, dredges, engines, and boats. It has also a fish-packing industry. The mission of Sault Sainte Marie figured prominently in the dealings of the French with the Indians in the latter part of the seventeenth cen tury. Pop. in 1890, 5780 ; in 1900, 10,538.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - (AP) - Collapse of one arm of a lift bridge - believed to be the largest of the bascule type in the world - brought defense-vital iron ore shipping from Lake Superior ports to a temporary halt here today.

The giant span sagged beneath the weight of a loaded freight train. A locomotive and tender shot from the open end into the approach to the St. Mary's Falls Canal, carrying two trainmen to their deaths and effectively blocking the two largest of the Sault Ste. Marie locks which link Lakes Superior and Huron.

A wrecking train was summoned immediately, but Lieut. Col. Jules Houghtaling, intelligence officer for the Sault Ste. Marie military district, estimated it would be four days before the locks would be sufficiently cleared to provide passage for fully laden ore carriers, which include some of the largest craft that navigate the lakes.

Two channels remained open to navigation. They...

1962 - June 15 - WWUP TV channel 10 in Sault Ste Marie, MI (CBS) begins broadcasting
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Sault Sainte Marie:
Soo Locks: A visit to Sault Sainte Marie wouldn't be complete without checking out the Soo Locks. Watch as massive freighters navigate the locks between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It's a unique and impressive sight.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park: If you're a nature enthusiast, this park is a must-visit. The Upper Peninsula is known for its stunning landscapes, and Tahquamenon Falls is no exception. The waterfalls are beautiful, especially in the fall when the foliage adds an extra layer of beauty.

River of History Museum: Delve into the rich history of the region at the River of History Museum. It provides a fascinating journey through time, showcasing the development of Sault Sainte Marie and the surrounding areas.

Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge: Take a stroll or drive across this iconic bridge that connects the United States and Canada. The views of the St. Marys River are spectacular, and you can even capture some great photos of the city.

Museum Ship Valley...

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Updated: 10/5/2023 8:17:26 PM