Monday, October 2, 2017

Say 27 - Sault Ste. Marie ON to Sudbury ON

September 2017

One more sleep before we head home! We could have pushed it yesterday and done the nine hours home but that would have left no times for stops.

We head out to see the lock in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Soo Locks (sometimes spelled Sault Locks, but pronounced "soo") are a set of parallel locks which enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. They are located on the St. Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, between the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. They bypass the rapids of the river, where the water falls 21 feet (6.4 m). The locks pass an average of 10,000 ships per year, despite being closed during the winter from January through March, when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes. The winter closure period is used to inspect and maintain the locks.

It is Sunday morning and really quiet with the fog making the photos look like black and white.

The Sault Ste. Marie Canal, built in 1895, was the world’s longest lock, the first to operate using electricity and the last link in an all-Canadian navigational chain from the Atlantic to Lake Superior.


The Administration Building was completed in 1895 - 1896 built with red sandstone dug up during the canal's construction.

Fog is burning off quickly.

Superintendent's House in the early 1900s had both economic and social dimensions. Superintendent at the time, J.W. LeBreton Ross, promoted community involvement, acting as president of the local historical and horticultural societies. He was a frequent speaker at public occasions, and an established authority on the history of the area. His residence, the beautiful red sandstone house with the decorative veranda, was considered the social hub of Sault Ste. Marie.

The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge between the United States and Canada permits vehicular traffic to pass over the locks.


On June 9, 1909 the locks were seriously damaged when the Perry G. Walker, owned by the Gilchrist Transportation Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, crashed into the south main gate, forcing it back and allowing the force of water to push the north main gate over. The rush of water threw the Perry G. Walker back and carried two other ships downstream, one of which struck the south main gate, breaking it diagonally in two. The rush of water through the destroyed locks was stopped by activation of the Emergency Swing Dam, allowing repairs to commence. Amazingly, there was no loss of life or injury associated with this disaster, and repairs required only 12 days, with the bridge reopening on June 21, 1909.


The Sault Canal Emergency Swing Dam is an all-metal structure built by the Dominion Bridge Company in 1896. It sits along the Canadian Sault Ste. Marie Canal, to protect against the rush of water that would occur if something ever damaged the Sault locks. It operates by swinging over the canal and dropping wicket gates into the water.
This example of emergency swing bridge is the last of nine ever built. 


Iron Bridge is a town of of 800 residents located on the Mississagi River 70 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie, 24 km east of Thessalon. The community was named in 1886, two years after a steel bridge over the Mississagi River replaced a wooden one. In 1949, a newer concrete bridge replaced with old steel one.

Iron Bridge was originally named Tally-Ho for the call that the lumberjacks would make upon reaching a trading post.
The park carries the Tally Ho name.

The Rod and Gun Hotel was originally partially constructed in 1896 by Robert Arnill as a boarding house.

Mr. Arnill bought the first store in "Tally Ho" as Iron Bridge was previously known from J. B. Dobie of Thessalon. The hotel saw many changes in name and size over its lifetime.

And finally Sudbury, our last hotel for this trip.


  1. Amazing engineering up at the locks. The war memorial particularly catches my attention.

  2. That was a great trip. You certainly get around. Have enjoyed following you through your great photos. P S. I have just arrived in the same country as you. Am in Ottawa at the moment before driving Eastwards to Maine.


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