Saturday, November 14, 2009

Upper Peninsula Upventure: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Yes, I am aware that Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is not on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the two Saults were one town.

The Canadian Sault is by far the more populous of the two cites, 75,000 residents versus 16,000. For the remainder of this entry, when I refer to Sault Ste. Marie, it will be the Ontario municipality.

Sault Ste. Marie is an industrial town, a steel and paper mill center of the north. Demand for steel has decreased in recent decades because of the continuing transformation of the North American automobile industry, this has led to a population decrease for Sault Ste. Marie, although the exodus of residents has been recently reversed.

Among the tourist atractions of Sault Ste. Marie is the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, the currently closed-to-boats Sault Canal Lock, and the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site. The house on the right belonged to Charles Oakes Ermatinger, an Indian agent for the North West Company.

On the lower left is the Clergue Blockhouse, named after Joseph Hector Clergue, a French-American-Canadian businessman who lived in the old home around the turn of the last century. The building dates back to the early 19th century--it was constructed by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Next: The Mackinac Straits Bridge

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