Quality of Life
Economic considerations are not the only reason to live in the area. Consider the fresh air, low crime rates, abundant natural beauty, historic importance, cultural richness, winter sports and more!
Rich History & Culture
Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie is the oldest city in Michigan, and among the oldest cities in the United States. Over the course of history, the flags of several sovereign nations have flown over the Sault.
Over 2,000 years ago, Native Americans began to gather here for the wealth of fish and fur found along the rushing waters of the wide, turbulent river that linked the Great Lakes of Superior and Huron. Spring and fall were important seasons for these original settlers, and they called the area “Bahweting,” or “The Gathering Place.”
While there is some debate on the exact meaning of “Sault,” scholars of early French note that the word translates into jump, referring to the place where one needs to “jump”, or put into the St. Mary’s River.
Congress passed an act in 1852 granting 750,000 acres of public land to the State of Michigan as compensation to the company that would build a lock permitting waterborne commerce between Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes. The Fairbanks Scale Company, which had extensive mining interests in the Upper Peninsula, undertook this challenging construction project in 1853.
In 1855, the locks were turned over to the state and designated as the State Lock. The federal government took control of the property and the lock system in the 1870’s. Their stewardship continues today, administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Soo Locks are the busiest locks in the world, and include the largest lock in the Western Hemisphere, completed in 1968.
Museum Ship Valley Camp
Explore an actual Great Lakes freighter! The Museum Ship Valley Camp offers more than just a tour of her deck. Housed inside her massive cargo holds is a 20,000 square foot museum with over 100 exhibits!
The Edmund Fitzgerald exhibit holds the two lifeboats from the stricken vessel. Torn away during the sinking, these lifeboats are two of very few major artifacts recovered after the tragic demise.
Tower of History
Soaring 210 feet above Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks, the tower has observation platforms for visitors to get spectacular views and photos of the world’s busiest inland shipping channel. In the view below from the Tower of History, one can see several historic houses, and the Museum Ship Valley Camp.
The River of History Museum
Opened in 1992, the museum is located at 531 Ashmun Street, across from the Soo Theatre. Set up in chronological order, the Museum’s galleries are furnished with exhibits of local artifacts and information about the surrounding area. The galleries and exhibits are explained by a self-monitored audio presentation. You can listen to the tales of Native Americans, French fur traders, and others who helped to tame the St. Mary’s River.
Water Street Historic Homes
The historic homes of the Historic Water Street Homes are operated through a cooperative effort between the Chippewa County Historical Society, the Sault Historic Sites, and the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
The Johnston House and the Henry Rowe Schoolcraft office give visitors a first hand look into the lives of the early fur traders and settlers by providing a historically accurate portrayal of their homes and lives. The Kemp Coal Dock Office is a museum devoted to the industrial history of Sault Ste. Marie. It is located adjacent to the George Kemp Downtown Marina.
With two casinos in the County, great gaming and entertainment is a sure bet! Check out the individual casino websites for more information on live entertainment, gaming promotions and events.
Bay Mills Resort & Casinos
11386 West Lakeshore Drive
George Kemp Downtown Marina
485 Water Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Tel (906) 635-7670 Fax (906) 635-7690 VHF Channel 9
Reservations can be made online at www.midnrreservations.com or by calling 1-800-44-PARKS (72757)
The George Kemp Downtown Marina boasts modern facilities within walking distance to downtown restaurants and attractions.
- Wireless Internet connection and Fax available
- Accommodate vessels up to 100’ in length
- Average mean depth of basin 9’
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Home to more than 80,000 Canadians, Sault, Ontario provides the region with an amazing set of cultural and recreational opportunities.
The Twin Saults have formal and informal cooperative agreements in many areas and each city enjoys what the other has to offer.
Find out more at the city’s website.
Tahquamenon State Park and Falls
413 West M-123, Paradise, MI 49768
Phone (906) 492-3415
Tahquamenon Falls are the second biggest east of the Mississippi River, Niagara being the first. The park is close to 50,000 acres and covers about 13 miles. It is home to many different animals that you may even spot as you are watching the falls. Park activities include hiking, biking, fishing, bird watching, sight seeing, and camping. Fall season is picturesque. Come winter time, you can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. If you enjoy the idea of hiking take the four mile trail down to the lower falls. The lower falls consist of little, less dramatic falls that flow around an island. The park is also home to a restaurant, gift shop, and their very own brewery and pub in one building.
Fun for all Seasons
From boating and exploring miles of shoreline, to hiking, biking, fishing and more,
Chippewa County is a nature enthusiasts dream. Winter brings it’s own menu of fun and exciting things to do for families and the thrill seeker alike!
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