Soo Locks, Michigan

Day 136

     There are 4 locks that connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Collectively they are called the Soo Locks. The locks are required as there is a 21 foot drop between the lakes. The connecting water way is the St. Mary’s River. The rapids of the river caused by this 21 foot drop prevented goods to be transferred between the lakes by boat. 

     In 1797, the Northwest Fur Company constructed a navigation lock 38 feet long on the Canadian side of the river for small boats. This lock remained in use until destroyed by the Americans in the War of 1812. No one bothered to rebuild the locks until 1853. 

     I don’t know why the 4 locks are collectively called Soo. It might be the anglicized word from Sault, which is from the Indian word for rapids. 

     It was a busy day at the locks, from large freighters

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To motorboats

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To a small dingy.

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We happen to see the Tall Ship Niagara, from Erie, Pennsylvania, go through.

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     This man is either the Captain, or a deckhand being hung out to dry and disciplined. 

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     The locks are run by the Corps of Engineers, and there is no charge for a ship to pass through the locks. 

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        Sorry, we are experiencing technical difficulties.

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     The Valley Camp is a cargo ship built in 1917 that has now been converted to a museum. 

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I have never been on a cargo ship. It was cool.

2 thoughts on “Soo Locks, Michigan

  1. Were you there today? We drove up to the locks yesterday after leaving Mackinac Island. Unfortunately, we missed the last ship and it started raining. We did see a tour boat go thru the lock. Then, we headed to Petoskey, MI to spend the next 2 and last night’s in the area. Went to see the “mushroom houses” in Charlevoix. They were created by Earl Young and very creative and unique. Safe travels!

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