Soo Locks Visitors Center Association

Soo Locks Visitors Center Association The place to learn the history of the Soo Locks and see passing ships up close. Find the schedule of all the ships arrival at the Soo Locks

05/07/2020
Virtual Visitor Center Introduction

Park Rangers Michelle and Sara provide an introduction to the Virtual Visitor Center and an overview of the missions of the Soo and Duluth Area Offices.
The Virtual Visitor Center is hosted by the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association and Lake Superior Marine Museum Association to present public programming while the Visitor Centers are closed.
Next week's presentation is "Harbor Happenings" with Ranger Scott exploring impacts of COVID-19 and world events on Great Lakes shipping.
Feel free to suggest other topics for future presentations in the Virtual Visitor Center.

Do you have lunch plans tomorrow?  We are proud to host a series of weekly on-line programs with Park Rangers from the S...
05/06/2020

Do you have lunch plans tomorrow? We are proud to host a series of weekly on-line programs with Park Rangers from the Soo Locks and Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Centers beginning at 12:30 EDT on Thursdays while the VC is closed. For the easiest access with no need to download anything please use a Chrome browser to join the meeting.

Park Rangers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Soo Locks Visitor Center and Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center are kicking off online programs through a Virtual Visitor Center.
The Virtual Visitor Center, hosted by their visitor center associations, will offer lunchtime interpretive programs on Thursdays while the visitor centers are closed to the public.
The first program will feature an introduction and overview of operations at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Soo and Duluth Area Offices on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. CDT.)
Attend at: https://www.gotomeet.me/VirtualVisitorCenter/virtual-visitor-center
Participation is limited to the first 250 people to sign-in.
The programs will be recorded and posted to the USACE Detroit YouTube channel and here on Facebook afterwards.
#AtWorkfortheNation
#ServingtheNation
#USACE
#COVID19

05/05/2020

Per Kevin Sprague, P.E. Soo Area Engineer USACE - Detroit District: Engineer's Day and associated activities have been canceled for this year. The next Engineer's Day will be planned for 25 June 2021.

Soo Locks Visitors Center Association's cover photo
05/02/2020

Soo Locks Visitors Center Association's cover photo

While we wait to see if Engineers' Day 2020 will proceed, here is an image from 2007 of the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. leavi...
05/02/2020

While we wait to see if Engineers' Day 2020 will proceed, here is an image from 2007 of the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. leaving the Poe Lock. Photo by Roger LeLievre

The passenger vessel Fortune in the Weitzel Lock c. 1900. Fortune was built in 1875 at the Detroit Drydock Co. She later...
04/30/2020

The passenger vessel Fortune in the Weitzel Lock c. 1900. Fortune was built in 1875 at the Detroit Drydock Co. She later sailed as Bawating under the Canadian flag and was scrapped in 1915. Considering the bunting on the Administration Building and the finery of those in attendance, this could have been taken on a holiday, perhaps the Fourth of July. Original image from the Detroit Publishing Co., Roger LeLievre Collection

Crew members of the August Ziesing relax on deck as their vessel locks downbound through the MacArthur Lock, 1958. Photo...
04/28/2020

Crew members of the August Ziesing relax on deck as their vessel locks downbound through the MacArthur Lock, 1958. Photo courtesy Ross Orr of Ann Arbor, who says the picture was taken by his dad. August Ziesing was scrapped at Duluth in 1984.

Since Soo Locks Park is closed right now, here are some images taken at the locks from the M/V Stewart J. Cort in 2018 a...
04/22/2020

Since Soo Locks Park is closed right now, here are some images taken at the locks from the M/V Stewart J. Cort in 2018 and 2019. Photos by Roger LeLievre.

04/16/2020
Soo Locks Glass Prints | Let's Go Back

Did you know that almost 2,000 historic Soo Locks photos are available on-line? This two minute film shares some highlights of this one of a kind photo collection.

The Soo Locks are one of the engineering marvels of the world, creating a vital link for commerce between Lakes Superior and Huron, in Sault Ste. Marie. Cent...

The downbound Algoma Innovator was through the Poe Lock this morning on its way to Essexville, Michigan with a load of p...
04/10/2020

The downbound Algoma Innovator was through the Poe Lock this morning on its way to Essexville, Michigan with a load of potash. The Park remains closed, but crews are busy keeping traffic flowing through the Soo Locks.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER
03/27/2020

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER

Today we conducted an onload of buoys in Milwaukee and are headed south to Chicago to start replacing the winter buoys with these giants.

#uscg #aton #buoy

The 2020 navigation season has officially begun!  🥳
03/25/2020

The 2020 navigation season has officially begun! 🥳

Right on time, at one minute past midnight, the lower gates of the Poe Lock opened and the H. Lee White made its way into the lock, officially opening the 2020 navigation season at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The 704-foot-long vessel is headed to Superior, Wisconsin.

The Detroit District is still at work for the nation.

#AtWorkfortheNation
#ServingtheNation
#SooLocks
#USACE
#COVID19

Although the official ship greeting by a delegation of Sault Sainte Marie officials has been cancelled this year, the SL...
03/24/2020

Although the official ship greeting by a delegation of Sault Sainte Marie officials has been cancelled this year, the SLVCA is continuing the tradition of recognizing the first ship of the season. The Association will give these special caps to the entire crew of the first freighter.

03/24/2020
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER

We are through the locks and well on our way to Lake Michigan. We continue to break ice during our transit down the St Mary's River and will be placing larger summer buoys to allow for the safe navigation of vital economic resources throughout the Great Lakes region.

We will also be practicing social distancing during this patrol, for the public's safety and the safety of our crew we will remain on board through out the coming weeks to ensure the COVID19 virus does not spread through our operations.

#uscg #icebreaking #buoys #aton #covid19 #socialdistancing

Today at the Soo Locks . . .
03/23/2020

Today at the Soo Locks . . .

A lock and dam operator stands by as the Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Samuel Risley locked through the Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan this afternoon. The Risley is going to Thunder Bay, Ontario as part of spring breakout in Lake Superior.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, continues vital operations at the Soo Locks while dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.
#AtWorkfortheNation
#ServingtheNation
#SooLocks
#USACE

The Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw heads into the Poe Lock on its way to Lake Superior to prepare for the March 25 open...
03/21/2020

The Coast Guard Icebreaker Mackinaw heads into the Poe Lock on its way to Lake Superior to prepare for the March 25 opening of the locks.

The park at the Soo Locks is closed until further notice in compliance with CDC recommendations to slow the spread of CO...
03/16/2020

The park at the Soo Locks is closed until further notice in compliance with CDC recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Special events for the first day of shipping are also canceled this year.

03/13/2020
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

It won't be long until the new season begins!

This afternoon, crews removed the last of the equipment from the Poe Lock and near the end of the day opened the sluices in the upper stop logs to begin filling the lock.
[Video narration: Our new stop logs have sluices that we can open to allow water to flow into the fore bay; from the fore bay, it flows over the sill and starts to fill the entire lock chamber.]
#SooLocks #USACE

It is not quite the same up-close experience, but the Visitor Center and observation platform are a lot safer for both g...
03/12/2020

It is not quite the same up-close experience, but the Visitor Center and observation platform are a lot safer for both guests and the lock and dam operators.

#ThrowbackThursday Up until just before World War II and very briefly between WWII and the Korean conflict, visitors could wander through the Soo Locks facility and watch from the lock walls as you can see in this photo from August 25, 1937. Both safety and security were factors in deciding to permanently install fences at the locks.
#SafetyFirst
#SooLocks

The winter work season is coming to an end and opening day is just around the corner, meanwhile here are more behind the...
03/06/2020

The winter work season is coming to an end and opening day is just around the corner, meanwhile here are more behind the scenes photos of some of this year’s maintenance projects.

Crews at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan are busy with maintenance projects this winter. In addition to large projects, like clearing drains and replacing the sills, they have been busy with several other critical projects that can only be done while the lock is empty. #SooLocks #USACE #LockMaintenance

Have you met the Corps' Soo Locks park ranger?  She is behind most of the exhibits you see inside the Visitor Center and...
03/03/2020

Have you met the Corps' Soo Locks park ranger? She is behind most of the exhibits you see inside the Visitor Center and in the park!

#EmployeeSpotlight Michelle Briggs works as the chief park ranger at the Soo Locks and it is in many ways her dream job. Michelle is a boatnerd at heart and studied Great Lakes Maritime history and museum studies at Western Michigan University. In her job, she gets to continue learning about the great lakes navigation system and sharing the information with visitors.
"The best part of my job is seeing people using and enjoying the exhibits I create for the Soo Locks Visitor Center and park," said Michelle.
Michelle very much enjoys the challenge of taking complicated engineering information and boiling it down and finding ways to demonstrate how the missions of USACE is relevant to visitors' daily lives.
#USACE

Another behind the scenes peek at the work going on at the locks this winter.
02/28/2020

Another behind the scenes peek at the work going on at the locks this winter.

One of the Detroit District's largest lock maintenance projects at the Soo Locks this winter is the replacement of large portions of the sills for gates one and three in the Poe Lock. In the closed position, the gates rest against the sills forming a seal to hold water in the chamber.
#SooLocks
#LockMaintenance
#USACE

The VC might be closed but there is plenty going on at the Soo Locks this winter.
02/22/2020

The VC might be closed but there is plenty going on at the Soo Locks this winter.

Crews at the Soo Locks are busy with several lock maintenance projects this winter. Here is a behind the scenes look at the team working on clearing debris from the lock.
#USACE #Lockmaintenance #SooLocks

Trump funds new Soo Lock in 2021 budget plan
02/17/2020
Trump funds new Soo Lock in 2021 budget plan

Trump funds new Soo Lock in 2021 budget plan

President Trump’s proposed budget has come out, and it includes $123 million to be allocated to the construction of a new lock in Sault Ste Marie.

02/16/2020
Canadian Coast Guard

Canadian Coast Guard

Who doesn’t like to watch amazing icebreaking footage!? CCGS Pierre Radisson was spotted 📹 by Stevie Wyatt and his crew while hard at work on the 📍 St. Lawrence River!

New cruise ship scheduled to visit Great Lakes in 2022
02/11/2020
New cruise ship scheduled to visit Great Lakes in 2022

New cruise ship scheduled to visit Great Lakes in 2022

A cruise ship currently being built in Norway is scheduled to visit the Great Lakes, including a stop at Traverse City in northern Michigan eight times in 2022.

Blueyes below
01/25/2020

Blueyes below

The Sandusky is a shipwreck that is almost unbelievable when you actually see it...It was built in 1848!!!
The bow with the attached dead eyes, anchors and amazing figurehead *see note below* are the stars of the show when you see it face to face. Truly a gem of a shipwreck to dive on.
It is located in the straits of Mackinac, in Lake Michigan around 85’ deep.
The Sandusky sank in September of 1856 while carrying a load of grain from Chicago to Buffalo when a violent gale came up suddenly and sank the ship.

*note* figurehead on the wreck is actually a replica. I believe the original one was removed by artifact seeking divers, but now resides in the museum near the Mackinac bridge. Please correct me if I’m wrong! 

Jim Connolly Photography
01/17/2020

Jim Connolly Photography

The 1000 foot long Burns Harbor finished up the 2019 navigation season at the Soo Locks when it passed through at 6:44 t...
01/15/2020

The 1000 foot long Burns Harbor finished up the 2019 navigation season at the Soo Locks when it passed through at 6:44 this morning. The Burns Harbor will lay up in Superior, Wisconsin.

TV6 & FOX UP
01/10/2020
TV6 & FOX UP

TV6 & FOX UP

TripSavvy, a national travel publication, has named Michigan the best location in the world to travel for outdoor enthusiasts in 2020.

It's snowing and blowing in Sault Sainte Marie but the boats keep coming through the Soo Locks.  Crews at the locks and ...
01/06/2020

It's snowing and blowing in Sault Sainte Marie but the boats keep coming through the Soo Locks. Crews at the locks and on the boats are certainly earning their pay today enduring heavy snow and 20 mph winds!

Address

312 W Portage Ave
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
49783

Telephone

(906) 253-9290

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For anyone interested...the Dirty Jobs episode of "Soo Locks Technician" is airing today (2/22/20) on the Discovery channel at 12 noon E.T. . 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂
Any web cam news?
**Help Support the Sailors' Snug Harbor Cemetery Memorial Campaign** @SSHMarinersGenealogy The Descendants of Sailors’ Snug Harbor Mariners have been reaching out to Historical and Genealogical Societies, Museums, Military Veterans Groups, and Concerned Citizens, to invite them to join a Letters of Support Campaign to support their efforts to gain access to the old Sailors’ Snug Harbor Cemetery on Staten Island, in New York City, to honor their Ancestors and all of the 6,500 Merchant, Coast Guard, and Naval Mariners interred there (1834-1976), by installing a Memorial Monument (Obelisk) and holding an annual Memorial Service. Some of the Mariners were famous Sea Captains and some sailed on famous Merchant and Naval ships dating back to the American Revolution. Many were just average seamen whom sailed and endured for many years on the sea under arduous conditions. The Mariners were from various areas of the United States, Canada, and many other countries. Some of them sailed on the Great Lakes. https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2244490/sailors-snug-harbor-cemetery Sadly, the Sailors' Snug Harbor Cemetery is devoid of gravestones or markers, except for 15 remaining gravestones. The Cemetery is closed and not open to the public. The Board of Trustees of Sailors' Snug Harbor have rejected the Descendants' requests to access the SSH Cemetery to honor their Ancestors. https://nypost.com/2018/12/29/caretakers-shoot-down-plans-for-monument-for-fallen-sailors/ The Descendants are collecting Letters of Support to persuade the Trustees of Sailors’ Snug Harbor to change their decision. You can help support the Descendants by writing a Letter of Support using the Support Letter Writing Instructions at the following link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sZv5VFLNWw0HA-pW2i33RhbgVFQ6oExx Sailors’ Snug Harbor has a very interesting history. It was one of the first large scale retirement facilities in the United States and the first established for Merchant Mariners. It was founded by the Randall family whom were New York City Merchant Sea Captains and Privateers during the French Indian War and Patriots during the Revolutionary War. Alexander Hamilton was a friend of the Randall family and their Attorney. He helped draft the Robert Richard Randall Will in 1801 to create the SSH Trust which funded the SSH Retirement Home. During its 140+ years of operation (1833-1976) approximately 16,000 Mariners resided there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailors%27_Snug_Harbor
Check out this visible satellite picture from Tuesday showing the snowpack across the region...and the ice cover on the Great Lakes!! -Jim Lehocky
1970