St. Mary's Canal celebration; excursion steamer Fortune in Weitzel Lock, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan (1905).
"The St. Marys River is the only water connection between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes. Near the upper end of the river the water drops 21 feet over hard sandstone in a short ¾ mile long stretch. This rapids, or “sault” to use the original old French term, made it impossible for trade vessels to pass. Vessels had to be unloaded and their contents portaged around. In 1797 the first lock on the St. Marys River was constructed on the north shore to provide passage for trade canoes. This lock was destroyed by American forces during the War of 1812 and cargoes once again had to be unloaded, hauled overland, and reloaded until a new lock opened in 1855" (US Army Corps Of Engineers)
Excerpt from a photo found on Shorpy.com.
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