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Canal Parade: 1905

Canal Parade: 1905

Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, circa 1905. "St. Mary's Canal celebration, parade on Ashmun Street." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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Which Watch

This one amazingly busy picture. I wish my photos could be this clear. Be that as it may, I could find two jeweler's clock signs. On the right, the Kiefer & Wenzl timepiece shows 11 a.m. I imagine this is the correct time. Across the street, an unknown shop has a watch hanging that is set for the usually correct twice daily, 8:18 AM or PM. There is a name on the clock face, that as sharp as this picture is, I can't make out.

[H.B. Shellito. The clocks are both faux timepieces on real signs. - Dave]

Ghost Signs

That old Battle Ax is still hanging around! Love that the artwork for Battle Ax and the boot for the shoe shop are still visible on the side of the building in the modern Google image!

Fifth Division

This photograph appeared on page 8 in The Saint Mary's Falls Canal: Exercises at the Semi-Centennial Celebration at Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, August 2 and 3, 1905. The caption identifies the occupants of the leading carriage as Vice-President Charles W. Fairbanks and Michigan Governor Fred M. Warner.

Military Parade and Review.

Imposing indeed was the military parade which was the chief feature of the program this afternoon, presenting as it did two battalions of the Michigan militia, two battalions of United States regular infantry, three military bands and the first battalion of the Michigan naval militia as well as all of the distinguished guests who are making the celebration memorable by their presence.

The parade opened at two o'clock on Ashmun street under the direction of Charles T. Harvey, Chief Marshal. In the first division was the First United States Infantry band and the first battalion of the First United States Infantry, under command of Major Robert N. Getty.

In the second division was the Third regiment band of the Michigan National Guard, the second battalion of the Third regiment and the first battalion of the Third regiment, under command of Colonel Robert J. Bates.

In the third division was the Calumet and Hecla band, the marines and sailors of the United States Navy from the U.S.S. Wolverine, under the command of Commander H. Morrell, U.S.N.

The fourth division consisted of the first battalion of the Michigan Naval Militia, including the divisions from Detroit, Saginaw and Benton Harbor, under command of Commander Frederick D. Standish.

The fifth division was composed of carriages bearing the guests of the city: The Vice-President of the United States; the Governor of Michigan and staff; with the Mayor of the city of Sault Ste. Marie; the Lake Superior Canal Commission; speakers at the commemorative exercises, including United States Senators and Members of Congress and representatives of the Dominion of Canada; the United States engineer and general superintendent in charge of the United States ship canal and engineers and general superintendents formerly in charge; the general superintendent of the Canadian Ship Canal; members of the Senate and House of Representatives of Michigan; State officials, and other distinguished guests.

The following was the line of march: East on Spruce street to Bingham, north on Bingham to Portage, west on Portage to Ashmun, south on Ashmun to Spruce, west on Spruce to Magazine, north on Magazine to Portage, east on Portage to Ashmun, north on Ashmun to Water, cast on Water to Old Fort Brady Canal park, and thence on Water Front passing reviewing stand at Brady Terrace. The parade was reviewed from the stand in the lower park by Vice-President Fairbanks and Governor Warner, after which it dispersed.

The pageant was witnessed all along the line of march by immense crowds of people, the crowds continuing to be one of the striking features of the celebration. With the immense crowds, the brilliant parade, the splendid decorations, the music of the bands and the cheers of the people the afternoon presented spectacles glowing with the spirit of the celebration, fully in keeping with the grandeur of the occasion and the splendid institution which gave it its inception.


There's something rather sad about Sigma block now bereft of not just wires and parades and people but also of energy and excitement. In 1905 it was transformed. In 2011, it's just another drab, unattractive, empty street.

50th Anniversary of Opening of Sault Locks

The occasion in this photo was the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Sault (also Soo) Locks or officially, the St. Mary's Falls Canal. The celebration took place on Aug. 2 and 3, 1905. The person standing and waving his hat in the lead carriage is the Vice-President of the United States (under Theodore Roosevelt), Charles W. Fairbanks. Other notables were the Governor of Michigan, Fred Warner, and the Solcitor-General of Canada, Rudolphe Lemieux. There was a huge regatta of naval and local vessels that went through the locks as part of the celebration. If you look to end of Ashmun Street, you can just see the funnel of a freighter tied up, ready to enter the locks. Canada is in the distance. [Information from City of the Rapids by Bernie Arbic]

The Soo (as we liked to call it) was my home town. Reminds me of Paul Simon's song about My Little Town.

Boot still there

Downer's pic of the modern scene is fascinating. Remnants of the boot ad painted on the far tall building remain.

The lineman incognito

What a view of the parade from the telegraph pole! Water balloons, anyone?

45 Star Flag

The 45 star flag was the official flag of the United States from 1896 to 1908. It was created for the admission of Utah, and superseded on July 4, 1908 by the 46 star flag when Oklahoma joined the Union.

The Wires!

If there's ever been a Shorpy image with more wires in it, I haven't seen it.

[It's why Bisbee was booming! - Dave]

Interesting vantage

Look at the man standing on the telegraph pole above the "Western Express" sign. What the?

Sigma Block

211 Ashmun St. Not a place for a parade these days.

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Parade Unrest

What a boring parade. I recommend some Shriners,a few high school bands and some pretty girls on floats. Maybe throw in a few Brownie troops to kick up the cuteness level a few notches. BAM!

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