Click on map
The following, is a General Historical Timeline, of
Boats, Sailing Ships, and Sailing Crafts"
within our Sault Ste Marie / Algoma Community.
Also included are additional important related items that impacted sailing.
The Overall intent is to present the Significance and Importance of
their construction, and the use of our waters and rivers,
that we ourselves
continue to Sail upon, just like our forefathers did.
Complied by our Club's Sailing Fleet Captain.
If you notice any errors or if you may have any additional info to add,
Last Updated on Oct 22/2010.
St Mary's River,
Sault Ste Marie.
The St. Mary's Rapids is located on the St. Mary's River, has a vertical
drop of 21 feet. It separates the twin cities of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario,
Canada and Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, United States of America. These Rapids
were a natural barrier that inhibited all large boat traffic to/from Lake
Superior. The St. Mary's
River System overall is 80 miles (128.7 km) long from Isle Parisienne at it north end
to the Detour Reef Lighthouse and flows from Lake Superior down to Lake Huron.
Historically Fishing in the St Mary's River has been documented for
hundreds of years as well as Fur trapping. Many new companies believed that fishing Lake Superior would be
profitable business when the Fur trapping started to decrease since the fish were plentiful and twice as large as those
of the lower lakes. When fishing started to decrease, then lumber harvesting became
the main export, and then mineral and mine exploration came into effect.
|Background Info. Fur
|In the early years, within the Sault Ste Marie
areas, many Fur
Companies became established such as; the American Fur Company, the American Northwest and
the Hudson Bay Companies.
Jesuits (missionary priests) re-name this site "Sault Ste. Marie" The Rapids
of St. Mary. Along the shore of the St. Mary's River, the Ojibway native
communities, had many names for it such as; Baawitigong translated
"place by the rapids", Bahweting, translated "the gathering place",
and also Bawating. Historically, the area was quickly established as an important fishing and meeting place.
(III)-Louis Denis, Monsieur de LaRonde (1675-1741)
established a ship building community at Point Aux Pins, 6 miles west of Sault Ste
Marie, New France (Michigan/Ontario). The first wooden ship constructed and
to sail on Lake Superior was built by Louis Denis Sieur de la Ronde at
Pointe Aux Pins in 1734. It was a 25 ton, rigged with two sails.
Later Alexander Henry and Alexander Baxter, son of the
Russian consul, continued building ships to explore and mine the area for
copper mines (on the southern shore) and furs, establishing Pointe aux Pins
as the shipbuilding centre for the region. Some of the ships names included:
the Athabaska, the Otter, the Mink, the Perseverance, the Fur Trader, the
Invincible and the Discovery. Besides these ships, there were nine schooners
on the lake Superior in 1846.
|The Duke of Gloucester, Secretary
Townsend, Samuel Tutchet, Henry Baxter, and four others, formed a company
for mining copper on Lake Superior. In December they built at Point Aux
Pins, a barge of 13 tons, and laid the keel for a sloop of forty tons
burthen. Of the success Of this enterprise we are not informed but these
vessels transported supplies to a short-lived copper mine developed by Henry
and his associates near Point Mamainse. Subsequent to the above period very
little was accomplished in the construction of craft for lake navigation,
and the few that came into commission were used solely as traders, as were
in fact, all those previously named.
Point Aux Pins
|A primitive blast furnace was in
operation at the ship building at Point aux Pins, near Sault Ste Marie.
|In the early spring of May, The Schooner
Beaver (34 feet keel, 13 feet beam, 4 feet draft built at Detroit in
1784), owned by the Northwest Fur Company arrived at Sault Ste Marie for the
purpose of getting her up the falls and to be employed on Lake Superior. For
reasons unknown it impossible to bring her over the portage. In 1784 the
Northwest Fur Company successfully petitioned the military governor of
Canada for permission to build their vessel at Detroit. The Beaver would
carry as many as ninety-five tons, and that she made four or five trips to
Grand Portage every season. A sawmill at the Sault was preparing lumber for
her to transport, and a canal had been cut on the Canadian side so that
loaded canoes might need no portage for conveying their freight to the
|The Hudson Bay Company owned a vessel on
Lake Superior called the Speedwell.
|The Schooner Nancy arrived at Grand
Portage at Sault Ste. Marie with a full cargo load. It was built in 1789 at
the British port of Detroit, 80 feet long, 22 feet wide beam, with a draft
of 8 feet.
Travellers on the canoe route to the West had to make a
portage around the St. Mary's rapids. The North West Company established a
fur-trading post south of the river by 1791. After the British abandoned
their occupation of the American midwest, the company moved its post here in
1797. The depot eventually included storehouses, a canal and lock, a
sawmill, and a portage road. Wharves were built at either end of the rapids
for boats to unload supplies. An American invasion fleet razed the site in
1814, but the Nor'Westers rebuilt it almost immediately. It became a
Hudson's Bay Company post following the union of the two rival fur trading
companies in 1821.
|The earliest mention of extensive logging
operations was recorded this year by Sault pioneer John Johnstone. He
noted that the best red and white pine timber in the Pointe aux Pins/Sault
region had already been harvested by the North West Company to build boats.
Another early lumber operation was started by Julius Austrian of the
American Fur Company at Bayfield, Wisconsin, in 1840. Lumber became the
region’s richest industry for a time, and had a vast impact on the forests
|At Pointe Aux Pins, the Otter was
|St Marys Rapids: Towing or Shooting. To
get through the St Mary's Rapids which lower the waters from Lake Superior
by 21 feet, the canoes and larger boats were towed through the rapids,
sometimes by oxen until 1798. Other boats were emptied and ran down or shoot
through the rapids, with their owners taking a chance that their craft would
survive or remain intact, and many craft were lost in this way
|The first bateau lock built, 38 feet
long, 9 feet wide, was on the Canadian side of the river by the North West
Fur Company in 1798. It was part of the first canal between Lake Huron and
Lake Superior. A tow path extended from this lock west along the canal bank
to the upper St. Mary's River. Now the Montreal sized Voyager Canoes didn't
require to be unloaded, portaged, and then reloaded. Pervious to the lock
being built canoes and larger boats were often towed through the rapids,
sometimes by oxen. The lock was destroyed by American troops in 1814.
|Boats that were too big to fit in the
Canadian Lock were often portaged along the Portage Trail that was
constructed of logs over the swampy area. There were large docks located at
the upper and lower ends.
|The schooner or slope the Otter of 45v
tons, was built was built at Pointe Aux Pins, and was sailed on
Lake Superior. She was wrecked when shooting down the St. Mary's Rapids in
|There were large herds of caribou around
the Gros Cap area area (west, north and including of Point Aux Pins) in the 1800’s but for some unknown reason they moved out of the
area at the end of the century to be replaced by deer.
|The XY Fur Company built the
Perseverance at Sandwich and then dismantled it and transported it to
Point aux Pins for completion. When the XY Fur Company and the North
West Fur Company merged, the Perseverance replaced the Otter as the N.W.C.
second ship on Lake Superior.
|The Schooner Invincible of 20-100 tons
was built at Point aux Pins and was owned by the Northwest Fur Company.
In 1822 she was wrecked on Whitefish
Henry & Otter
|At Fort Kaministiquia, it was recorded
that the vessel Alexander Henry (the younger) and the decrepit (broken down)
Otter were built at Point aux Pins and owned by the North West
|The Fur Trader, a wooden schooner of 40
tons burden, was built at Pointe aux Pins (near
Sault Ste Marie) on Lake Superior for the Northwest Fur Company
and was owned by John Jacob Astor. She was
built as a trade goods ship. The Fur Trader was lost when carrying a cargo
of furs, when run down over the Sault rapids, but sustained such
serious damage, making it to the foot of the
rapids, as to render her useless never to sail again. She was the
first craft that ever hazarded the attempt.
|This schooner was also
built at Pointe aux Pins near
Sault Ste Marie.
|The Recovery was a 90 ton vessel built at
"Point aux Pins" for the Northwest Fur Company and was broken up on
the beach at Fort William.
|The Schooner Otter of 45 tons, owned by
the Northwest Fur Company, sank in a gale off Grand Sable Banks in 1828.
|The Mink was built at Pointe aux Pins
(near Sault Ste Marie) on Lake Superior, and while running down (shooting)
the St Mary’s Rapids in the late fall she became logged upon the rocks. The
following is an interesting story of how the Mink was freed.
The crew of the schooner Nancy (built in Detroit) regularly ferried supplies
(for 26 years) to ports in our area (Fort St. Joseph, Fort Mackinac, and the
Northwest Company’s Trading Posts). The Nancy was placed into Royal Navy
Service during the war of 1812 and thus was permitted to be refitted. Thus
after delivering supplies to the Sault Ste Marie Northwest Company’s Trading
Post located just below the St Mary’s River, the crew of the Nancy refitting
their ship during the winter lay over. They were asked in how to assist in
getting the Mink ungrounded from the St Mary’s Rapids and the Nancy’s crew
devised and built a small log diversion chute in the winter to direct more
water flow under the Mink to help lift her off in the spring. The entire
event was successful with the Nancy’s crew sailing the Mink over to the
Trading Post Dock. The crew endured waters so cold while building the
diversion chute that they could only endure mere seconds at a time while in
|October 7 - The Schooner "Nancy", sailed
and wintered in Sault Ste. Marie, to be refitted. Previously on October 5 in
returning in the Nancy to the mouth of the St. Clair River, Captain
Mackintosh found Detroit and Amherstburg in American hands, and two armed
schooners and a gunboat lying in wait for him, the Nancy was under attack.
Despite some damage from the battering, she survived to escape.
Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent establishes the Canada - U.S. border,
after a lot of fussing and some canal burning at Sault Ste. Marie (see
of the US Schooners
|Some 25 miles southwest of here lies the
Detour Passage between Drummond Island and Michigan's upper peninsula. In
August, 1814, it was occupied by the armed U.S. schooners "Tigress" and
"Scorpion", whose intention it was to prevent supplies reaching the British
garrison at Michilimackinac. On September 1 a British force of seamen,
soldiers and Indians under Lieutenants Miller Worsley, R.N., and Andrew
Bulger left Michilimackinac in small boats to attack the enemy. The
"Tigress" was boarded on September 3 under cover of darkness. Two days later
the "Scorpion" came to anchor nearby and, unaware of her sister ship's
capture allowed her to come alongside. Taken by surprise, the "Scorpion" was
captured after a sharp fight.
St. Joseph Island
|An inventory at Fort William at Thunder
Bay showed that the North West Company had an inventory of 83 New North
Canoes and 39 Old Canoes of various sizes. Built at the fort and from other
canoe building operations such as the one located at St. Joseph's Island.
|"Point aux Pins, on the Canadian side of
the river, six miles above the Sault," writes Schoolcraft in 1820, "was
formerly noted as the site of a shipyard, and had a few buildings to
accommodate the workmen, but only the vestiges of these remain. The width
and depth of the river at this place must have rendered it a favourable spot
for launching vessels. The current is very gentle, and the shore sandy and
entirely free from rocks."
|Fort Brady was built on the site of the
old French fort. In the 1890's Fort Brady was abandoned for the second time
and was moved to Mr. Ryan's Hill, the sight that is famous today for being
the home of Lake Superior State University.
|The New Recovery a 133 ton schooner
rigged vessel built at "Point aux Pins" for the Northwest Fur Company was
moved into the lower lakes in 1828.
|The International USA/Canada boarder line
from St. Lawrence to the foot of St. Mary's river was established in 1823 by
joint commission under the Treaty of Ghent.
|The Schooner Discovery of 20-100 tons was
owned by the Northwest Fur Company sank in an attempt to run the St Mary's
|The "JOHN JACOB ASTOR", built on May 17,
a wooden brig of 78 foot long, 22 feet wide, with a draft of 8 feet,
weighing 113 tons, built of white oak, was assembled above the rapids at
Pointe Aux Pins, but was pre-cut at Lorain or the Black River area of Ohio.
She was owned by Astor’s American Fur Company and was captained by Benjamin
Standard. The John Jacob Astor was reportedly by the first American sailing
ship or commercial vessel on Lake Superior. She was carrying furs and trade
goods when she struck a reef and foundered near Copper Harbor, Michigan on
September 21, 1844. Her Wreckage was still visible in the early 1860’s and
her Anchor was recovered in 1970. She was sometimes referred to as a
Shooner William Brewster
|In 1835, the timbers and gear of both
these ships were shipped to the Sault Ste. Marie for assembling on the
shores of Lake Superior. In the fall of 1838 she was sent over the falls to
work the lower lakes.
|The "Madeline" a fishing vessel, owned by
American Fur Company which was the second ship to be sent over or around the
St Mary's rapids.
|The 40 ton Siskawit was also hauled past
St. Marys Rapids in 1837 to Lake Superior to engage in trading and in
fishing of white fish.
|The "William Brewster", 73 ton, owned by
American Fur Company, was sent over the falls during the fall to work the
Copper and Iron.
|The new demands of iron and copper mining
created a demand for vessels on Lake Superior and created a rush so great in
size, that it could be compared to the well known Gold rush that happen in
the northern Yukon.
|The first American schooner
to arrive on Lake Superior was the Algonquin which had been portaged around
the St Mary's rapids. A more few vessels were portaged around the St Mary's
Rapids, and a few were built above the city Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.
|The Siskawit, 40 tons was hauled past St.
Mary's rapids to Lake Superior in addition to the Algonquin, where they both
engaged in either trading or fishing and White Fish.
|During 1840-1855, Acille Cadotte's
technique was further used to move many more ships that were cribbed up in
timbers and dragged down what is now known as Portage Street in Sault Ste
Marie, Michigan, until the completion of the American Locks.
An example of
this well known land portage was in 1840, Acille Cadotte accomplished am
amazing feat by being the first to move overland a large decked schooner
called the ALGONQUIN (Cleveland North Western Lake Company, built in Loraine
Ohio, 55 feet long, 56 tons), that was cribbed up in timbers and hauled on
rollers by a horse and capstan, with Achilles shouting orders in the frosty
winter. The portage of the schooner took more than three months and the boat
was dragged five boat lengths each day air. The Algonquin was moved almost
two miles overland to be launched in Lake Superior.
Year, Schooner, tonnage, Owner
1845, Chippewa, 20, Thos. Clark
1845, Florence, 20, Antrim & Keith
1845, Swallow, 80, Jas. Bendix
1845, Merchant, 80, Capt. Robt. Brown
1845, Uncle Tom, 110, Capt. John Angus
1845, Free Trader, 90, Capt. Colin Ripley
|1840 - 1850
|In ten years, over 1,000 lives were lost
on the Great Lakes fighting Fires on ships. Many wooden sailing boats were
being converted to over steam to ensure their use. The new use of steam to
propel ships caused many fires, as boiler technology was new and many
exploded, in addition to the continuous sparks emitting from the smokestacks
from the fires needed to boil water.
|In July the Schooner Merchant left Sault
Ste Marie, bound for Portage and was never seen again. She perished with a
general cargo and a crew of 14.
|The Copper Harbor and Whitefish Point,
Michigan, lighthouses are built. These earliest two lighthouses were needed
to open the lake to true shipping fame. The light at Whitefish Point was the
first one built and still to this day is the oldest one working on Superior.
Whitefish Point is home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the area
around it is know as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes."
|The Dime, was the first Steam Ferry fired
with wood, to run between the two Sault Ste Marie Cities. When the St. Mary's
River froze over in the winter, the ice was tested for depth and when
considered safe, a road was made across with a sort of fence of evergreens
planted in the snow on either side to mark it. People could walk across or
drive their sleighs as they chose. Exciting races were held if the ice was
|On November 22, The steamer Independence
boilers exploded and she sank one mile above the rapids in the St Mary's
Rapids. 119 feet in length, 26 feet beam, 10 feet depth, 262 tons. In the
winter of 1944-45 she was portaged over the rapids to Sault Ste Marie.
|A vessel that foundered near Whitefish
|The first American ship canal and locks was built.
The State of Michigan opens the State Lock that was built by Charles T.
Harvey. There were two tandem locks built on masonry, with each lock being
35 feet long by 70 feet wide, having a lift of about 9 feet each. The canal
and State lock was destroyed in 1888 by workers making way for newer locks.
The steamship Illinois was the first to lock through.
Sailor Deaths & Shipwreaks
|Storms, gales, high waves, and winds on
the Great Lakes are not be ignored as the Great Lakes are also referred to
as Inland Seas or even Oceans. Due to the large size of the Great Lakes
caused so many ships to be lost that within a 10 year span a total of 1,178
sailors went to their deaths. Storms in the fall are far more violent than
those of the spring. History has recorded over all of the years of
navigating the Great Lakes there are more than 10,000 shipwrecks and many
books have been witten.
|A sailing Vessel that sank near Sault Ste
|On October 29 the Dean Richard, a sailing
vessel that burned and sank near Sault Ste Marie with the loss of one life.
|On November 27, the Schooner Saturn was
lost in a severe storm near Deer Park and was forced ashore near Whitefish
Point with 8 of her crew drowned with a loss of $13,000 carrying iron ore.
|On November 28, the Schooner W. O.
Brown down bound from Duluth sank in Whitefish Bay, near Gros Cap. with the
loss of 8 lives.
|The Eureka a 330 ton schooner (converted
into a tow barge) that foundered after breaking her two line west of
Whitefish Point. Her cargo was iron ore and the vessel was valued at
$10,000 with the lives of her 6 crew were lost.
|1878 - 1978
On its Centennial, the Community of Goulais River
commemorates the gift of the land for this Cemetery by Captain Frederick
Tilley and his wife Sarah in 1889. The first white settlers in this area,
the Tilleys arrived here by sailboat from Kincardine, Ontario in May 1878
and established their homestead near this site. To their memory and that of
the courageous Pioneers of the past 100 years we dedicate this plaque.
|The Chicora, carrying troops to the Red
River uprising, was denied passage through the American Lock prompting the
construction of a Canadian lock.
|Sault Ste. Marie was incorporated as a
town, William Brown being its first mayor.
|The International Rail Bridge was
|In 1880, a new ship design entered
construction as 43 Whaleback ships with rounded hulls to shed waves were
built. They were designed by Alexandar McDougal and were often referred to
as Pigboats. 41 of them served on the great lakes with 15 whale backs being
built as steamships and 26 were built as barges to be towed. Due to the
small hatches on deck, it took more time to load and unload them. One
whaleback was built as a passenger vessel called the Christopher Clumbus,
was 362 feet long, and was constructed in 1892. She carried 5,000 passengers
and became well known and quite famous.
|The Schooner Davis Dows built in 1881 was
265 (278) foot long was the only 5 masted schooner to be built on the Great Lakes.
She carried 70,000 yards of canvas and was hard to handle and difficult to
manoeuvre. She was involved in two collisions with other ships. She often navigated
the St Mary's River and went through the Sault locks system. In 1883
her topmasts were removed and she was converted into a barge due,
(steamboats were now towing schooners as barges). In 1889 the Davis Dows
sank about seven miles from Chicago during a storm and has been a popular
diving wreak since 1950.
|On September 4, a new single lock,
located south of the state locks, was constructed that was 515 feet long.
The inside chamber was 80 feet wide, and 60 feet wide at the gate to allow
for two boats to fit within (side by side) and the depth over the sills was
deeper at 17 feet. Some new features were one lift of 20 feet and the lock
filled and emptied from pipes under the floor of the lock. On September 4,
1881 the Lock opened with the steamer City of Cleveland to be the first to
use the new lock. In 1896 the New Lock was renamed to the Weitzel Lock in
honour of U.S. Army General Godfrey Wietzel who had supervised construction
of the lock.
|A new lock was to be built on the site of
the State Locks being; 800 feet long between the gates, 100 feet wide, 21
feet depth at the stills, and would have more openings to faster fill and
lower the water level within the lock. In 1988 the state locks was removed,
in 1893 the turbine power plant was constructed, and on August 3, 1896 the
lock opened. It was named The Poe Lock, after General Poe who was the chief
engineer who overseen its construction.
|On September 7, the schooner
Niagara of 765 tons was lost near Whitefish Point. Her cargo was iron ore
and the vessel was valued at $30,00. The crew of 9 were lost.
|The Second Canadian Lock was built
through the red sandstone rocks of the St. Mary's Island on the north side
of the St. Mary's Rapids. The lock canal is 7,294 feet (2,223.4 meters)
long, or about 1.4 miles (2.2km) from end to end of the upper and lower
piers. When the lock was built it was 900 feet long (274.3 meters) the
longest in the world at that time. The canal depth was 22 feet deep a four
foot advantage over the American locks. In 1987 part of the lock wall collapsed
and the lock was closed then in 1998 it was reopened after a smaller lock
was built inside the old lock chamber. The locks are now operated by Parks
Canada. All of the Historical buildings on site were built from the red
sandstone during the original clock construction, administration building,
superintendents residence, the canalmen's shelter, powerhouse and the stores
/ blacksmith shop. The St. Mary's River once covered the entire area of Bay
Street before the Canadian Lock was built.
|International Railway Bridge was built in
1887 by the Minneapolis, St Paul and Sault Ste Marie Railway, to carry flour
from Minneapolis to the eastern seaboard through Sault Ste Marie and
Montreal via the Canadian Pacific Railway. A swing bridge 5,400 feet long
was built to cross both the American canal and later next year another swing
bridge was built to cross the Canadian Canal. In June 1913, when a new lock
canal was built on the American Side a double bascule jack knife bridge of
336 feet was built. In 1959 the American swing bridge was replaced by a lift
Hay Lake Channel
|River traffic had increased dramatically
with the lock systems, and ship accidents were occurring more in the narrow
channels. As all vessels had to navigate through Lake George and Little Lake
George (by Echo Bay, Ontario) on the east side of Sugar Island and on the
east of Nebbish Island. There were also rapids in the east Nebbish Island
channel and at Little Rapids, and there were Sand Bars in Lake George to
navigate around. There were about 70 vessels a day navigating this route.
This new channel to be 11 miles shorter was created in Lake Hayes (Nicolet)
by dreging the waters north east of Neebish Island to become the Middle
Neebish Channel, dreging Hay Lake, and creating the Little Rapids Cut at
Little Rapids by cutting through the 3 small Islands, where the Sugar Island
Ferry now is located. Once created, all vessels quickly used this new route.
|On September 29. the Frank Perew a
schooner barge of 525 tons that foundered midway between Whitefish Point and
Coppermine Point. The value of the vessel and its cargo was $16,000. She
sank with the loss of 6 lives.
|The ship Anne Laurie burned at Sault Ste
|On November the schooner-barge A. C.
Keating, in the tow of the steamer New York, broke her towline 20 miles west
of Whitefish Point during a heavy gale. The New York was low on fuel and ran
for shelter at Sault Ste Marie leaving the Keating unattended. The Keating
was blown hard aground near Coppermine Point where the crew reached shore
safety. The storm soon pounded the wooden vessel to pieces and was
considered to be a total loss. Built in 1874 and was 138 feet in length, 26
feet in bean and 11 feet in depth. She was owned by Thomas Curry of Port
Huron and carried a cargo of pulpwood.
$4 Canadian Bill
|The Canadian Government was so proud of
having the longest Lock in the world at Sault Ste Marie that they printed a
photo of the lock on the $4.00 Canadian bill, too bad the photo was of the American
Lock and and wasn't corrected until 1902.
|On November 10, Canadian Steamer Arabian,
was driven ashore 8 miles west of Whitefish Point. The crew was safety
removed by lifesavers. A small wooden steamer of 770 tons, she was 178 feet
in length and 31 feet in beam.
|The SS Sagamore built in 1892 sunk in 45
feet of water in the shipping lane near the Soo Locks when she was rammed by
the steel steamer Northern Queen in one of Whitefish Bay's notorious fogs.
Her wreck is the best preserved of the whalebacks wrecks on the great lakes.
|On June 30, the steamer Avon down bound
from Duluth to Buffalo burned off Point Aux Pins, near Sault Ste Marie. She
sank with a full cargo of flour and general merchandise and was considered
to be a $30,000 loss. Built in 1877, she was 1,702 tons, 25 feet in length,
35 feet in beam, 15 feet in depth.
|On June 26, the 647 ton wooden steamer
burned at Sault Ste Marie was 209 feet in length and insured for $28,000.
She was later rebuilt.
|On September 5-6 the 250 ton wreaking
barge, built in 1891, perished with the loss of two men off Whitefish Point.
|On November 12, a wooden steamer sprung a
leak and sank 30 miles off Whitefish Point.
|The 4th American Lock was built. "The
United States Davis Lock", named after Col. Charles E.L.B. Davis being 1,350
feet long between the inner gates, 80 feet wide, and 23 feet deep over the
|The 5th American United States Lock was
built. "The United States Sabin Lock", 1,350 feet long between inner gates,
80 feet wide and 23 feet deep over the sills.
A fisherman near Marquette, Michigan, nets a lake trout with
an ominous attachment: the first sea lamprey sighting in Lake Superior.
World War 2
Its a little known fact that during the war this area was the most heavily
defended spot on the continent to protect both the American and Canadian
locks, St Mary's River dams, international train bridge, and steel plant. As
"Steel and Iron" was the way to victory, and the link between Lakes Superior
and Huron were to be protected at all costs.
|The 6th American Lock was built. "The
United States Poe Lock", named after Col. Orlando M. Poe, being 1,200 feet
long, 110 feet wide, and 32 feet over the sills. The maximum size of vessels
that use the lock is 1,100 feet long and 105 feet wide. It was rebuilt on
the same site as the old Poe lock built in 1886.
|The MS Norgoma, was built in 1950 at the
Collingwood shipyards travelled the North Channel route between Sault Ste
Marie and her home port in Owen Sound, including stops at Thessalon, Hilton,
Richards Landing, and Whitefish Bay. In 1963 she was converted to diesel and
in 1964 was used as a car ferry at Tobermory until 1974. The MS Norgoma has
become a museum ship, open to the public, located in Sault Ste Marie.
|The Trans-Canada Highway 17 completes the
overland circle of Lake Superior from Sault Ste Marie to Wawa.
|The 7th American Lock was constructed. "The
United States MacArther Lock", named after World War II General Douglas
MacArthur, being 800 feet long between inner gates, 80 feet wide, and 31
feet deep over the sills. The maximum size of vessels that use the lock is
730 feet long and 76 feet wide.
|The Algoma Sailing Club was formed. An ad
was placed in the Sault Star Newspaper inviting interested individuals to
meet and discuss, building one design dinghies. A large number attended
decided to begin research of a suitable dinghy that could be home built and
would provide good competition. The Y-Flyer was selected and eventually the initial group constructed 10. The
Y-Flyers were built in a warehouse on Bay Street where the Roberta Bondar
Place is now located. Individual members
prefabricated the boat parts at home and then assembled them, taking turns on
a common jig.
Building these boats began in the summer of 1964 and were completed in the
spring of 1965 just in time to begin racing on the beaches of Haviland Bay,
north of Sault Ste Marie.
International Bridge (2.8 miles long) was built linking the twin cities of
Sault Ste Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, with the bridge
crossing over the St Mary's Rapids. Construction of the bridge started in
1961 and was open to traffic on October 31, 1962. The international bridge
is a steel truss arch bridge with a suspended deck that has a double arch
crossing over the four American locks and a single arch over the Canadian
Building Sabots & Lasers
|As the Algoma Sailing Club expanded with
more members, the need for a clubhouse arose. The Club's first clubhouse was a floating clubhouse
located at Bellevue
Park which sailors enjoyed.
Also new sailboats were introduced such as the Sabots which were built by
club members for the club’s junior sailing program. Next came the Lasers, as
the graduates of the junior sailing program wanted a more exciting boat.
|Algoma Sailing Club’s floating club house
became too small and the Club built a second and larger permanent club house at
Bellevue Park in Sault Ste Marie, were it stands today. Club members also
built 10 larger sailboats, the 23 foot, spooned hull, D-3 sailboats, that
became known as a fast sailboat with cruising abilities. CL16 sailboats were
also introduced for the junior sailing program.
& St Mary's River
|Pointe Aux Pins is famous for being the
first shipyard on Lake Superior, used by early explorers and settlers from
1730 to 1836. Divers have been known for drift diving from Pointe Louise to
Furkey’s Marina in searching for old bottles and ship relics.
traffic is heavy, use of a dive flag is strongly recommended. Note: Removal
of artifacts from some shipwrecks may violate protected CAN/USA laws for
An estimated 500 vessels to date have been wrecked while
traversing the waters of Lake Superior, but the loss of the Edmund
Fitzgerald and its 29-member crew in November of this year focused
international attention on the lake and its sometimes pitiless power.
|The new 6th American Lock is to be
constructed soon, in the space of the American Davis and Sabin Locks. New
name is yet unknown.