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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Sault Sainte Marie

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A city and the county-seat of Chippewa county, Michigan, U.S.A., on Saint Mary's river, at the outlet of Lake Superior and at the E. end of the upper peninsula. Pop. (1890) S760; (1900) 10,538, of whom 5329 were foreignborn; (1910 census), 12,615. It is served by the Canadian Pacific, the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic, and the Minneapolis, Saint Paul && Sault Sainte Marie railways. A railway bridge (3607 ft. long, completed in 1887) and steam ferries connect it with the Canadian town of Sault Sainte Marie (pop. 1901, 7169) on the opposite side of the river. The principal buildings are the Court House, City Hall, Post Office, Custom House and Carnegie Library (1905). Fort Brady, in the south-western part of the city, is an infantry garrison; the old Ft. Brady (built about 1822) in another part of the city is still standing.

The river is here nearly 1 m. wide and falls 20 ft. in three-fourths of a mile; it has been made navigable by lock canals for vessels drawing 20 ft. of water. The North West Fur Company built a lock here in 1797-1798. A canal 5700 ft. long, navigable for vessels of I I. 5 ft. draught, was completed by the state in 1855. Between 1870 and 1881 the Federal government widened the canal to 100 ft., made the draught 16 ft., and built the Weitzel lock, 515 ft. long, 80 ft. wide, 60 ft. at gate openings, with a lift of 18-20 ft.; in 1896 the Poe lock (on the site of the old state locks), having a lift of 18-20 ft., and measuring 800 ft. X loo ft., was opened, and the canal and its approaches were deepened. In 1908 the government began the widening of the canal above the locks and the construction of a new lock, 1350 ft. long between gates and having a draft of 24.5 ft. at extreme low-water. The estimated cost of this lock and approaches is $6,200,000. In 1907 the commerce passing here during the navigation season of eight months and twenty-three days amounted to 58,217,214 tons of freight, valued at more than $600,000,000; the commerce passing through the canals at this point is larger than that of any other canal in the world. There is a ship canal (18 m. long) on the Canadian side of the river, which was completed in 1895 at a cost of $3,750,000. From the rapids opposite the city two waterpower plants (of 50,000 and 10,000 h.p. respectively) derive their power; the larger, a hydraulic water-power canal (costing, with power equipment, $6,500,000) is L a m. long, and extends from the lake above to a power-house below the rapids; in this power-house are 320 turbines. The total value of the factory product in 1904 was $2,412,481, an increase of 231.3% over that of 1900. Much hay and fish are packed and shipped here.

The place was long a favourite fishing-ground of the Chippewa Indians. It was visited by the French missionaries Rambault and Jogues in 1641 and by Pere Rene Menard in 1660. In 1668 Jacques Marquette founded a mission here. In 1671 the governor-general of New France called a great council of the Indians here and in the name of the king of France took formal possession of all the country S. to the Gulf of Mexico and W. to the Pacific. The mission was abandoned in 1689; but as a trading post of minor importance - for a time protected by a palisade fort - the settlement was continued. In 1879 Sault Sainte Marie was incorporated as a village; in 1887 it was chartered as a city.

For an account of the mission see Antoine I. Rezek, History of the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie and Marquette (2 vols., Houghton, Mich., 1906-1907); see also A. B. Gilbert's "A Tale of Two Cities" in Historical Collections, vol. 29 (Lansing, 1901) of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Sault Sainte Marie'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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