SAULT STE MARIE
also see Sault Ste Marie Ontario, CA
***Browse Hotels in Sault Ste Marie, MI by comparative pricing
Sault Ste. Marie is the oldest city in both the state of Michigan and in the entire Midwest region
of the United States.
It is at the eastern edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the Canadian border,
separated from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario - the oldest city in the Canadian province of Ontario -
by the St. Mary's River.
The two Saults were formally founded in 1668 by Father Jacques Marquette as one city,
then split into two in 1797 (when the Upper Peninsula was transferred from the province of
Upper Canada to the United States).
Sault Sainte Marie is Old French meaning "Rapids of St. Mary's", a reference to the rapids in the
Saint Mary's River, which joins Lake Superior to Lake Huron.
(The spelling Sault-Sainte-Marie is more usual in French, but the name is written without hyphens in English).
Either city, or the vicinity as a whole, can also be informally called The Sault or The Soo.
More recently, there have been a few references to a Greater Sault Ste. Marie, encompassing both cities and
their outlying satellite communities, although as of 2006 this term is not in widespread use.
The two cities are joined by the International Bridge, which connects Interstate Highway 75 in Sault Ste. Marie,
Michigan and Huron Street in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Shipping traffic in the Great Lakes system bypasses the Saint Mary's Rapids via the American Soo Locks,
the world's busiest canal in terms of tonnage that passes through it, while smaller recreational and tour boats
use the Canadian Sault Ste. Marie Canal.
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan lies within Chippewa County.
As of the 2000 census, the city's population was 16,542, declining to a population of 14,272 according to the
2006 census estimate.
It is the county seat of Chippewa County.
The city is the site of the Soo Locks, which lets ships travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.
Although the locks are not as busy as in past years, a considerable amount of domestic and foreign commerce
passes through them. People come from around the world to view close up the ships passing through the locks.
The largest ships are 1,000 feet (300 m) long by 105 feet (32 m) wide.
These are domestic carriers (called lakers) that are too large to transit the Welland Canal around
Niagara Falls and thus are land-locked. Foreign ships (termed salties) are smaller.
Sault Ste. Marie is home to Lake Superior State University, founded in 1946 as an extension campus of
Michigan Mining and Technological College (now Michigan Technological University).
Several famous athletes have come from Sault Ste. Marie including former NHLer Cliff Barton.
Sault Ste. Marie was also the home of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, the early American Indian writer, and her
husband Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, the Indian agent and ethnographer.
Their houses still stand and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tourism is a major industry in what is usually referred to as the Soo.
The locks and nearby Kewadin Casino, owned by the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, are the major draws,
as well as the forests, inland lakes and Lake Superior shoreline.
The Soo is also a gateway to Lake Superior's scenic north shore through its twin city Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
The two cities are connected by the large Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge,
a steel truss arch bridge with suspended deck passing over the St. Mary's River.
Ojibwa (Chippewa) Native Americans had lived in the area, which they referred to as Baawitigong,
for centuries, since it provided an excellent place to catch fish.
In 1668, French missionaries Claude Dablon and Jacques Marquette founded a mission,
making the Sault the third oldest city west of the Appalachian Mountains in what is now the United States.
The falls proved a choke point for shipping. Early Lake Superior ships were hauled around the rapids,
much like moving a house, a process which could take weeks. Later cargoes were unloaded and hauled
around the rapids and loaded onto other waiting boats.
The first American lock, the State Lock, was built in 1855.
read full wikipedia reference about Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
OTHER POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN MICHIGAN
Sault Ste Marie