Michigan Landmark Offers Free Tour – June 30, 2006 – continued from Home Page

Photo Courtesy US Army Corp of Engineers

The Soo Locks complex offers such a unique glimpse at both our history and our way of life,” said Linda Hoath, Executive Director of the Sault Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Architecture, engineering, and the lore of the Great Lakes all come together in this beautiful park setting.”

Engineer’s Day festivities begin at 10am, when the gates open to allow visitors across the Locks and into other facilities, like the Davis Building and the Administration Building. Both are historically-important structures used solely for the work of one of the world’s busiest Lock systems. Visitors are welcome to stroll the park, tour the buildings, and climb into observation platforms as mammoth freighters ply the waters of the St. Mary’s River system.

At the site’s Visitor’s Center, new displays will feature shipping and history themes. “Sisters” is a display featuring those freighters constructed with the same plans and therefore considered to be sister ships.

“Ships of the Great Lakes” will feature historic photographs and information on ships that have sailed the lakes since the early 1800s, including whaleboats, sidewheelers, steamers with barges, wooden freighters and the modern 1,000-foot freighters.

Several other displays are new this year, thanks to the hard work of the Soo Locks Visitors Center Association (SLVCA), a group of volunteers whose mission it is to continually update the center.

“The Army Corps of Engineers and the SLVCA work hard to make sure the park and Visitors Center are both informative and enjoyable,” Hoath commented.

In addition to the Visitors Center, other areas of the park will also feature displays of historic photographs. This year marks the 151st year of Soo Locks operations.

The Soo Locks are located on Portage Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, adjacent to downtown shopping, restaurants, and accommodations. The park and all facilities are open free of charge to the public and parking is located nearby.

For more information about Engineer’s Day, call 1-800-647-2858

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