"Michigan Trails" Through "Chippewa County"
I remember when "Our Boys" as we were so pleased to call them, came home from the Spanish American War. Oh what a glad and glorious day for the dear old Soo. Everybody, young and old, laid aside their work to go to meet the train. At that time the depot was at the head of west Spruce street. The crowd Was gathered along both sides of the street, eagerly awaiting the trains arrival. Everyone cried and shouted when the train pulled in, and the "boys" alighted. Some of our loyal citizens hoisted the "late Colonel Welch, then captain, upon their shoulders and put him in a gig, They paraded triumphantly up and down the streets, singing "Theres a hot time in the old town tonight", at the top of their voices. Oh Boyl Those were the good old days when youth was served, Folks were not as suave as they are today, and our celebrations were numerous and accompanied with noise and fun for all. MRS. M. RENSHAW 125 Eureka street
I remember when the first trains came to the Soo. I was visiting my parents in New York state and had planned to come by boat from Buffalo. My husband wired me that trains were now running and we had better come by rail as we could get here sooner. When we arrived at Soo Junction the train stopped and the brakeman came into the car and said, "You get off here." I asked, "Am I at Sault Ste. Marie?" "No, You have to change cars here. Hurry up! " I said, "Well, if you are in a hurry, just help me off. When the train moved on, we were standing on the track in a woods, not a house any where, just a camp where the railroad workmen slept and took their meals. A man came out and said, "Lady, there's no train here and won't be any today. In fact I don't know when there will be one. Later on he told us an engine was coming out with supplies and he would have them send out a caboose and we could go in on that. I had four small children so it was a very tiresome day for all of us. At midnight my husband came out and brought Sargeant Stephen O'Neil for company. We started for the Soo about one o'clock. When about half way here the engine broke loose and came all the way to the Soo before they missed us. The funny thing about it was, we didn't know it until a deaf mute got up and waved his hands, then we noticed we were standing still, When we finally arrived at the end of the track, which was some where in the vicinity of the round house, it was just breaking day, on the eighth of Ootober 1887. MRS. EDWARD JONES, 914 Bingham Ave.
I often visited Miss Eliza Johnstone, a daugllter of John Johnstone, who came gom Ireland to this north country. He later married an Indian princess. The house was situated on what is now the Kemp property, and not far from their residence. On the north side was a flower garden, a great many rose and sweet brier bushes, and on the south a grove of poplars, wild plum and cherry trees. There was an entrance to the house on the north and south sides into a wide hall. As a child I liked to call on Miss Johnstone because of her kindness in entertaining me. She took pleasure in showing me her souvenirs, among them an Aeolian harp, the oil painting of her father, the lovely furnlture that he made a special trip to England to purchase, and her collection of books, some of them the writings of her brother-in-law, Henry Schoolcraft. In writing a few old memories of the Sault I would be forgetful indeed if I did not say something of this lovely woman. MRS, B. F. KELLY, 217 Johnstone Street.
The following remembrance, written by Clyde Hecox in his Musings column in the St. Ignace Enterprise, while not entered in this contest, is printed because of its interest to old timers here: "The Soo Evening News has started a mighty popular feature in its "Do You Remember" department. All the old timers are contributing and many a forgotten tale of interest to the community is resurrected. A recent issue contained a picture of George Blank with the query 'Do you remember when he looked like this? I do, and when he looked much younger than the picture made him appear, which recalls an incident in our lives. It happened many years ago, shortly after the completion of the Old Boat Clubhouse, which was the social center of the village. An amateur play (the Last Loaf) as I recall it, was given by local talent in the club house, which was filled to capacity. George was the hero of the piece and was playing opposite his future wife, Miss Lottie Ferris, with whom he was very much in love both in real and stage life. I was playing the comedy role, "Stub, the stutterer," Miss Eliza Donaldson (now Mrs. James T. Moore) being my partner in the fun making. Others in the cast were Mr. Moore and Mrs. William Webster, while my memory is dim on the others. But as to George's part. As I said, he was very much in love with Miss Ferris and in the excltement of the play he forgot the audience and everything else except that he was addressing his wife in an ardent love-making scene and instead of calling her by her stage name addressed her as 'Lottie.' My comedy act was killed in the laughter that followed the break and it was some time before the audience became quieted sufficiently to allow the play to proceed:."
I remember when Roy Mead had the first bicycle that was brought to the Soo. It was one of those anclent specimens with a high front wheel and a small trailer, However, it was classy in those days. Speed depended upon how fast the rider's feet could revolve. One day he was going out by the cemetery on the hill and met a woman driving just where the fill is over the culvert on the north side of the cemetery. The horse was frightened by the queer sight. He retreated, but unwisely for the horse, buggy and rider suddenly clattered down the side of the hill into the ravine. Roy, greatly excited, in trying to get off his wheel fell over and was thrown down into the ravine on the opposite side. Strange to say, nothing was injured. Mead's apologies weren't well received. GEORGE W. BUSHMAN, 508 Spruce street west
I remember when 2' rats ran off the breast line of the old steamer Sault Ste. Marie. Captain Mondor was in charge and Henry .Doench was cabin boy, The boat was locking up when the rats left, one after another, running out on the line. Half the crew deserted at once. The boat was on her way up the lake with winter supplies. A great storm came up in the night and the next morning she was on a sand reef outside of Grand Maris. But by lightening her cargo she made port safely. DR. J. F. DEADMAN
In the winter time the steward in Old Fort Brady used to take the weather observation at nine, o'clock at night. The lowest registered was 50 degrees below zero for one night. The average temperature was from 30 to 45 degrees below zero. Men could not work outside. The snow was very deep. Sometimes the twenty-second infantry would have to walk across the river to make a path so people could go back and forth. JAMES SHANNON 425 Cedar street.
I remember when the Soo had the first and only electrically run flour mill in the U.S. This was 24 years ago. Howlett & Armstrong, prominent Chippewa farmers, were the owners. I was working there one winter when an old Rip Van Winkle appeared. He was anxious to see an electrically operated plant. I started to show him about. Turning on the motorr, a great spark jumped from the machine with a resounding crash. Turning around the old man was gone. I went out there and saw him standing in the center of the road. He was repeating, " The devil's in it," over and over. Walking down the road he was looking around in a frightened glance, apparently afraid of some evil spirt. ( T.M. Crichton Union Passenger Station)
In the spring of 1874, I took a part of Soo folks to the Indian Mission Hill to see a sugar camp. We made the trip with a team and sleighs, following the ice of St. Mary's river and stopping for rest at the store at Bay Mills, owned by Joe Trempe, an uncle of Allie Trempe. in the party wer Gus Trempe, Sophia Trempe, Mr. Taylor, the first telegraph operator in the Soo, and several others. The sugar camp was a cedar bark building with seats around the sides and kettles hanging in the middle. There was a hole in the center of the roof to let the smoke out. (John Fenwick Brimley MI)
Narcisse - That name will recall to memory of all old Sooites the picture of a thin little old man who wore an overcoat winter and summer, with a big red sash around his middle, and carried a cane. He was the terror of all small children, and one look at his fierce visage sent the shivers running up and down little folks spines. The bolder youth would yell - "Narcisse, Narcisse," at him and then run for dear life, and he after them with his cane. Narcisse's particular hobby and pleasure in life was attending funerals. He never missed one (John N. Adams)
$1 for Floor Space - When the first boom struck the Sault, I was coming from St. Ignace and we reached the Sault in time for supper. We could get plenty to eat but no beds. I paid one dollar to lay on the floor (not sleep) in the Chippewa House and it was crowded at that. (D.B. Smith - Port Huron MI)
Gage and Whait built a store and started a hardware where the Soo hardware now stands. It was about the only business place south of Water street. When they advertised in the Chippewa COunty News they said " Mackinac Road near the Court House". (Harvey Atkins 120 Parke St. Pontiac MI)
James R. Ryan and Joseph O'Jibway owned the only two real fast horses in the Sault and probably in the upper peninsula. "Black Hawk" and "Mon Hawk". They were noble steeds, Kentucky bred on Sugar Sugar Island. Black Hawk was a beautiful jet black and Mon Hawk a slick bay. The main feature of the winter sports was the race between these horses. They were pulled off Sundays and holidays. They raced from the Catholic church to Ashmun street. These races drew some crowd. It was nip and tuck as to which was the fastest. (F.W. Roach - 232 Ferris St.)
Nov. 1, 1887 I came to the Soo from Milwaukee with Chase S. Osborn to take a position as superintendent of the printing dept. of the Sault Ste Marie News, of which Mr. Osborn, Melvin A. Hoyt and sandy Dingwall were publishers. We landed at Soo Junction at 2 a.m. - waited 8 hours for a train and finally reached the Soo at 2 p.m. On our arrival here we got outside of a big square meal as soon as possible, as we had had nothing to eat except a few sandwiches since supper time the day before. The News office at that time was located in a two-story frame building on Water street near the government park. The building which was one of the few that did not go up in smoke during the disastrous fire in 1896. The building was condemned and razed about 4 years ago. (Norman L. Martin 318 Court st.)
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sutherland of Flint had the first phonograph in the Soo. They brought it to the old Fletcher Hotel which stood just south of Fleetham's jewelry store, then Shellto's. People used to stand on the hotel porch with the tubes to their ears and pay ten cents a record to listen to the wonderful new invention. The Sault's first vaudeville show was started by Carkeek and Harris in the building now occupied by the Great Lakes mission. It then stood on Ashmun street about on the location of the Temple Theater. Our first high school occupied one small assembly room and a small recitation room 10 x 15 feet, with two instructors, the superintendent and the principal. We used to cut firewood on the hill, where Fort Brady is located and haul it with dog teams down to the town. We came out of the woods near the present German Lutheran Church on Pine street. A famous place to pick wild raspberries was near the present Fort Brady hospital. The dirt exacavated from the first ship canal used to stand in high hills along the canal bank on Portage avenue west and trees had grown on them. On nearly all the streets of the town the side walks were abandoned in the winer time and everyone walked in the roads. Dog teams were very common in the streets and even used for a varity of business purposes. Before the railroad was built the mail came twice a week from St. Ignace on a toboggan drawn by dog teams and driven by Indians. Tugs burning slabs of cordwood used to tie up at the Soo awaiting an opportunity to tow sailing vessels through the river. The constitution was the last of these. (E.T. Brown - 1107 Bingham avenue)
I remember when in the fall of 1860 Capt. John Spaulding, master of the steamer Northern Light brought the news of Abe Lincoln's election to the Sault. (George Hopkins 720 Ashmun St.
In 1878 Frank and Duke Trempe, George Blank, Fred Roach and George Larke all came to school to me in the old high school building on Portage ave. They were all bright kids then and now they are all good men. (E.J. Wiley - 424 Portae ave. east.)
I remember when the ferry boat was named Antelope and Captain Charles Ripley was in command. It could only carry five or six passengers. (Jacob Dean)
One hot afternoon about 16 years ago, a little red automobile was standing at the corner of Spruce and Magazine Sts. Three boys, one about 14 and two a little younger, were looking it over when a man came out of the Lock City Mfg. Co. office with a pane of glass and tried to fix it so it would ride in the car without breaking. This seemed hard to do, so he called us boys over and asked me if I would mind riding home with him and holding the glass. I bravely agreed to do it, as I wanted to make a good showing before the smaller boys. I climbed in, a little shaky I'll admit, and he handed me the glass, and went around to the side and cranked the engine. If I felt shaky when I was getting in, I felt even more so now that the engine was running. I looked around and saw the other kids standing with their mouths open looking as if they expected to see me eliminated from the face of the earth any moment. The man was in the seat beside me now and takin ghold of a handle sticking up in front of him and another at his side. The car began moving. He moved the handle over towards me a little. I thought he wanted me to take it and almost let loose of the glass, but I saw that he was only steering the thing. We were going down Spruce street. I began to get my wind back a little and started looking around to see if we were passing anybody I knew. I don't believe I ever saw so few people on Spruce street. We didn't pass a soul I knew on the entire trip. We got there and the car stopped. He got out and took the glass. I climbed down, my knees were shaking and I felt queer all over, but was thankful to get on solid ground again. I went back home, rounded up the gang and told them my story, but do you suppose they would believe it? Not one of them would and I don't think they do to this day. I didn't know the two small boys that saw me start off. I think the man in the car was Mr. Shine. It was about the first auto in the Soo. (Lester V. Wilson 349 Spruce St.)
Louis Bernier, born in the Sault 74 years ago, called at the Sault Insurance office and said: "When some of you kids get through with your remembers, I'll go down to the News office and give it some real old time stuff". Louis said the first time he smoked was at my parents wedding in Aug. 1855. He never forgets that first smoke. (George Blank 717 Cedar St.)
I was playing on Water street when the last fire broke out. I heard the yell "Fire" while I was in front of J.P. Haller's store and as I looked two big arms of flames came out by John Nevin's saloon and in less time than it takes to write these lines three frame building were in flames. Everyone said it would stop at Prenzlauer brothers brick store, but that building like the others "wilted" when the flames truck them. (Herbert C. Ryan 916 Court st.)
When I first came to the Soo, Water street was the main street and from Portage to Water street was called Plant Alley. The best hotel stood on the ground where Conway and Halls' drug store is now. The hotel was kept by Wm. lane and accomodations were given despite the fact the hotel was a log building. (Mrs. Rachel Atkins)
I remember when the Masonic Hall was located in a building on Ashmun street just opposite the present Franklin House and they decorated it with crepe for President Garfield's funeral. I remember when Simon Dumond opened in this same Masonic hall building the first store ever opened in the Soo away from Water street. I remember when Baker Cook ran a bakery in what is now the Franklin House. I remember when anything east of St. Mary's church on Portage was called "Down the road." I remember when the Weitzel dock was being build there was an explosion in which John Murray lost his leg. I remember when the first electric lights were put on the lock. I remember when Louis Desenberg was short stop on the ball team, on the parade ground at old Ft. Brady, when the old fort was still in use. I remember Capt. Drum afterward killed at San Juan hill was at Ft. Brady. I remember the time Will Given was lost in the wood and the whole town turned out to find him. I remember when the nightly arrival of the stage from St. Ignace was the big daily event and I remember when Uncle Tom's Cabin was played in J.P. O"brien's skating rink with little Carrie McEvoy as Little Eva. (Leo P. Cook - Care Press Telegram, Sheboygan Wisc.)
When C.W. Givens was lost on Sugar Island for two days, his brother Whit took a bunch of men down on a tug to look for him. When they found him he was lying down in a sugar camp with a copper kettle turned over on his head to protect him. He was very weak. We saw the tug coming up with two big American flags flying. Mrs. Givens ran down to the shore and waving a white shawl a man called to her through a horn he was found. Mr. and Mrs. Givens lived at that time in the vicinity of the camp site. (Mrs. Thomas Malloy 513 Ninth Street)
The arrival of the first boat in the spring was a great event. Business was suspended, schools were closed for the day and the cannon at olf Ft. Brady gave the boat a salute. (C.R. Moran 104 Bingham Ave.)
Mr. Seymour's saw mill and lumber yard extended from Spruce street to the river front. The lumber dock and tramways were about where the water power is now. I used to go and pick up chips for fire wood. I lived in Dr. O'Neil's cottage on Maple street. We bought our drinking water in barrels, two for a quarter. Mr. Parr drew it fromthe slip. There was a penstock in Mr. McGinne's yard, but they only were allowed to use it. There were no sewers at that time. All the property of Spruce street was stumps and swamp land. Where the Cornwell beef company now stands we were offered lots for $15, but my husband would not buy. A few years after the same lots sold as high as $4,000 to $6,000, then we were very sorry. North of Spruce street the city was covered with tents, some were boarding hourses, some were dwellings, others stores. There were not enough buildings to accomodate the people in town that year. They built the international bridge. We bought sugar for $4 per 100 pounds, hams at 10 cents a pound, baconf or six cents a pound, flour for $3.50 a barrell, soft coal for $4 per ton, hardwood for $3.50 a double cord. Ashmun street was but a rough, muddy road with deep ditches on each side. I remember going to a funeral on the hill and I thought I would never get there. Coal Pit hill was a terror to me. Water street was the main street then. There was a footpath from Johnstone street to the Chippewa hotel, then the largest hotel int own. I also remember "Teapot Johnny'> Many a time I gave a piece of pie to poor Narcises. (Mrs. J. DesChaine 1104 John St.)
I had commenced suit to collect a bill from a debtor. The justice was one of the old residents (not Mr. Ryan). He held court in a building near where the Winkleman store now stands. in a conversation with him a few hours before the trial, he informed me it was not necessary to employ an attorney as I would get a decision in my favor anyway. The case was called for 7:30 p.m. The court always functioned better after n ightfall in those days. There were only three jurors in the courtroom. The judge, defendant and the plaintiff. After each side had exhausted all their English vocabulary "pro and con" the judge informed us that he could give judgment for the plaintiff for the sum of -- , with costs. The defendant could not or would not pay the costs, so I paid them ($2.00) which went to swell the amount of the bill, as I never collected judgment. The debtor still lives in the city. (Ed Pearce RFD 2).
The only opera house or place to hold a show in the Sault was in a warehouse owned by the government and located on a dock where the government slip is on the north side of Water street. A troup of soldiers from old Fort Brady gave "shows" or "entertainments" at that time. "Gassy" Smith was the chief actor. (George Blank 717 Cedar St.)
I remember when there was a stone building where the court house now stands. This building was called a castle then. It was an old landmark when I came to the Soo, but no one lived in it. It was almost hidden from view by the grove surrounding it. Back of this building was the village garbage grounds. Small an dlarge animals were left there until they were eaten by the crows. (Mrs. B.J. McKerchie 302 Easterday ave)
When a death occurred in the village, someone would go over to the canal superintendent and "borrow" a couple of boards. These they would take to old man Gibson, the carpenter, who would fashion them into a coffin. The remains were either carried to the cemetery on the shoulders of the pall bearers, or placed on Peter Launderville's two wheeled dray. (James R. Ryan, 113 Maple st.)
When I came to the Soo with my parents in 1847 the place was just a small village and the Indians sold fish for a living. I only recall the name of Ryan and Bunno now who lived in the Soo then. My father, Louis Bodie was the first baker in the Soo and he supplied bread for Barbeau's store. I am 83 now and hope to be in the Soo next July. (Mrs. Harriet Motte, Owen Sound, Ontario)
Back in the '80's it required a rugged person to endure the hardships of Chippewa county. There were no villae or crossroad stores in those days and we had to walk through the bush or row up the river to the Soo for provisions. It took me a day to get there. Then with a pack sack of provisions on my back it took the greater part of a day and night to get home. But thee was no help for it, as we had no auto or good roads. (R.H. Campbell 916 Easterday Ave.)
There was a small vessel "Flying Dutchman" which sailed St. Mary's river. Her hull lies in the river just below Six Mile Point. I also remember the first grocery stores owned by Miller Woods and Abe Prenzlauer. (Sam Pryor, 1090 Cedar St.)
I remember when they surveyed the old state lock and when they first started work digging the clay and stone. The work a sall done by men for they did not have steam shovels or steam derricks. The dirt was carried out of the hole by what they called "two man barrows". They were made something like stretchers. Along toward the last of the job they had mules haul the dirt away. The stone was drilled by one man holding a drillllll while another hammered with a large sledge hammer. (Capt. Wm. Frechette 914 Maple street).
In 1876 we raised a flag staff one September afternoon at the entrance to old Ft. Brady. The pole was placed at the gate to the right and close to the sidewalk. I remember Peter Paul, Louis Trempe and frank Lessard were helping. I also remember a little kid coming around with a piece of pie about as big as himself, I believe he was Allie Trempe. Frank Lessard said to the boy, "where did you steal that pie?" The little fellow said "I didn't steal it, I got it from grandma". (Joseph Erard Sr. St Ignace MI)
When Frank Lessard, village marshal and Judge Ashmun were the official here an old building on Plank Alley was used for an ice house in the summer and a jail in the winter. The lawbreakers were prisoners for a short time, as it was a log building and there were spaces between the logs that captives could climb and easily make an escape, through a window that was fastened from the inside. THe building was back of the Strand theatre location then. (Mrs. B.J.M cKerchie 302 Easterday )
I remember when the Weitzel lock was opened for traffic. The side-wheeler "City of Cleveland" was the last boat to pay toll and the barge "Duke" was the first boat to lock through free. I was working along the lock when the news came that President Garfield was shot. One evening in August the Steward of the the Chippewa House celebrated. Games and a prize for a race won by Aaron T. Eagle was among the numerous things enjoyed.
On crisp, cold winter mornings when I was a boy, I could distinctly hear the thunderous sound of the rapids at our old farm home at the foot of Ashmun street hill. In fact this was one method we had of judging the temperature, for the colder it was the louder came the sound. That muffled voar has now been silenced forever by the hand of man. Some change! (John N. Adams 114 Easterday)
All the supplies used to come in by boat int he fall to last until the boats came up in the spring. "Grub" used to run pretty low in the early spring. At that time we often only had brown sugar, calico, coal oil and of course fish to eat. John Busha took care of the fishing and other game. The great hardship was that we had no salt. (F.W. Roach 236 Ferris st.)
Forty-Five years ago my husband took the first boat from Collingwood to the Soo, on April 4. It was a very mild open winter but the next winter the snow was so deep that the men walked over the fences. We had to wait some times three weeks for our mail and even a spool of thread. Supplies were hauled overland by dogs. My husband started a harness shop, next to William Ruehle's shoe store on Water street, afterwards building and moving on the lot where the "Grand" now stands. Prenzlauer Bros. had the main store and carried everything from groceries to furniture. When we heard the first whistle of a boat in the Spring, everyone dressed up and went down to the dock. (Mrs. John Bayliss 312 Johnstone st.)
In 1862 and 1863 gold dollars were worth $2.50. All the money afloat was mining company's bills from one to ten dollars. Every busines firm in town made their own money good for 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents. Everything went and everybody was happy. Although brown cotton sold for $1 peryard and calico for 50 cents a yard, pork $50 per barrel, whiskey was only 25 cents a gallon. That's why everybody felt so good. I was working for M.W. Scranton at that time. On election day the side that put up the most liquid refreshments won the election. You should have seen the Waiska Bay braves come down to take in the sport. (J.E. LaLonde 506 Division St.)
I remember the first blacksmith shop in the Sault. It was located about where the Bruhn Hardware is and operated by Mr. Stonehouse. Jim Lipsett was working for Mr. Stonehouse at that time, but later started in the implement business at the corner of Ridge and Ashmun street, where Bacon's drug store is located. The first hardward store was opened by Mr. Scranton at the corner of Plant ALley and Water street. The first sewing machine agent here was Mr. O'Conner. George Laundy was the first tombstone man here and is still engaged in that business. The first bank was operated by Fowie and Mead, on the corner of Ashmun and Water streets. Mr. Ruehle had a shoe shop where the Soo Hardward warehouse is located and made shoe that sold for $11 and $12 per pair. The first doctor was Dr. Lyons his office was near the Chippewa House and Water streets. The first bake shop was called the Star Bakery. The first lawyer was Mr. Brown adn Mr. Johnson was the first Methodist minister. Mrs. Lambert had the first millinery store. Byron Campbell was the first piano salesman here. (James Shannon 425 Cedar St.)
I arrived in the Soo June 17, 1884. The oldest inhabitant was a government mule which used to police the fort grounds. When the first note for recall was sounded the mule went to the barn to be unhitched. No overtime for him. He went, and a whole company couldn't stop him. Water street was the center of the town then. There were six places to get a drink and one to eat. Hicker's machine shop was at the west end of Water street. The stone wall is still standing, now used by the U.S. It was once used by the city as a jail. Then the jail was moved from there to the present Park school grounds. If one got too drunk they lodged him in jail. When he was sober he would either crawl through the cracks of the jail or knock a board off and go home. (L.H. Conley, 402 Easterday Ave.)
It was July 7, 1892, the first time I arrived in the Soo. We arrived at the D.S.S. and A. depot. We found we had some time to wait before making our departure for Bay Mills. We decided to walk downtown and arriving on Water street we dropped into a saloon and called for some beer. The man behind the bar got up the beer. I quietly laid down a good old Canadian half-dollar. He looked at it, then at me. I said to him what's the matter with that coin? He said I don't like that head. I doubt you my good fellow - too much brains. (J.J. Sullivan Brimley Mich.)
The old cemetery used to be situated where Dr. Lyon's house stood and where the Soo Hardware now stands. When the cemeery was being moved the men working there found a large mud turtle and were having great fun riding around on its back. I also remember seeing the Indians drawing white fish on hand sleds and the fish were so large their tails were dragging on the ground. (Mrs. John Bayliss 312 Johnstone street)
I remember when South street hill from Fort street to the round house was so full of rocks I could hardly walk over them to school. It was then called the South Side school. In the spring I had to take off my shoes and stockings to get through the water. (Mrs. F.H. Flood 314 Court st.)
Mother sent me to pay our milk billwhich was $1.05 for 21 quarts. I said to Mrs. Newcomb that this was a lot of money. She answered and said you got good measure and all the cream with it. I said to Mrs. Newcomb you haven't your washing done yet. She said look at that table, which was a long narrow one. She said I hav sent eight children to school, and as I looked around the room I saw a baby in a high chair and one on the floor. I have a clipping from a paper a few years later which tells of the Newcombs rejoicing over the arrival of the fifteenth baby. ( Mrs. B.J. McKerchie, 302 Easterday Ave.)
After the water power was completed Mark Tyman's old horse was feeding beside the canal west of Fort Street. He laid down to roll and to his surprise he rolled into the canal. The fire department was called out and ran east to one of the bridges. The old horse was swimming down stream. THey dropped a rope over the bridge with a loop over the end. The old horse poked his head through. He was pulled out none the worse for his bath. Mark said his horse was tough like himself (Jim Royce, R.F.D.1)
There used to be no opera house here and we used to have the theatres in the old skating rink. The rink was in the Ashmun alley, where Belanger's livery is now. When it rained we watched the show with our umbrellas up. (Sophie Buck Andrews, Pasadena Apartments)
We used to gather in the Old soo to celebrate the Fourth of July. Some walked, some came on horseback,some in wagons and more by boat. About 10 o'clock in the morning someone mounted a barrel and read the declaration of Independence, after which we gathered at the river fron to see the boat races. The races were generally won by John Bousha. The Old Soo would ring with yells from the shore as the winners passed the stake with their paddles up in the air. And then there was a swimming contest at the docks and the swimmers were clother in "nature's swimming suits." We would then come up town to Water street and have foot races, broad jumping and many other events. I also remember how the old Chipewa House steps used to be decorated with squaws of all ages, colors, manners and descriptions. (J.W. Welsh)
The winter of 1883 - Joe Richley, owner of the bus line, used to get up at midnight and plow out the road to the depot, so as to be able tomake the station through the snow in the morning. (Otto Supe 706 Cedar St.)
Fred and Lucian Lauzon had the first grist mill in the Sault. It was where the Gannon Grocery is now. It was a small concern in those days, 40 years ago. (Mrs. Charles Deboer 415 Ridge St.)
Jakey Campbell was one of our policemen and once after closing the Bay City House after a burglar was thought to be in the bar room, the proprietor slipped out the front door and met Jakey, who went with him to the door. Jake said "You go inside and chase him out and I will shoot him if he runs" (L.H. Conley)
Tom Mead had a curio store on Water street. Agates, birch bark work, Indian moccasins, etc. WIld animals in cages upstairs, three stuffed bears outside in front. Mead had a double barreled shot gun and would stroll up the corduroy road (from First National bank to Ridge street now) to the old well, (now the entrance to the Bacon drug store) and shoot into the flocks of pigeons passing over. Fred Rosch and I and other boys picked them up and when Mead had the few he wanted we had the balance (James R. Ryan)
I landed in the Sault in the spring of 1882 on the steamer called the Francis Smith. All of the business of the Sault was down on Water street except a small grocery store owned by P.C. Kelliher, and located about where the Hub is now. I remember when Donald McKenzie ran the leading hotel which was also on Water Street. There was no railroad here at that time. (W.P. McDonald)
Our hard coal supply used to be brought here from Cheboygan on steamers in 25 and 50 ton lots for George Kemp. (R.L. Kemp)
I remember when the Lake Fleet was made up of sailing vessels towed through the river by tugs fueled with wood. These were the days of sailing. I can recall most of the names of the boats. (F.W. Roach)
On the Fourth of July the Indians and squaws used to gather on the steps of the old Chippewa House on Water Street. In those days there was not much of a celebration. (Jacob Dean 549 Maple St.)
We used to shoot ducks near where the Woolen Mill and MacLachlan's store now stands. In the spring and fall it was swamp. Ashmun street was only a trail. George Blank was not born then. (David Sebastian)
I remember when the first boat locked through the canal. It was the steamer Illinois. They had a band on board and I remember the tune they played. (Mrs. Charlotte Bernard 403 Ashmun)
I remember when Sergeant Galley, ranking as Commander Sergeant was commanding officere at Ft. Brady for many years (George Hopkins)
I remember when all the citizens, men, women and we kids crossed the only locks there were, the Weitzel, to see a daredevil in an inflated rubber suit float down the rapids. All we could see was a black speck holding an American flag and escorted by Indian canoes. As I remember it the Indians had to fish the swimmer out before he reached the foot of the rapids. (Herbert C. Ryan)
The Prenzlauer Brothers was the main drygoods store near Water street, when Old Daddy White kept a little candy shop and when J.L. Kipsett ran a blacksmith shop. I also remember when the old pioneers had to take a sailboat to get to the Sault for provisions as there was no road. (William Follis 817 Bingham Ave.)
" I remember be gosh, w'en I firs' come on the Soo, near 25 year hago dis morney ban' I fine hout she's got no rainbow trout in de Soo rapids. It mak' ma yeart seek. Bout tat tame Hi fine out one good fine jaunteehomme, hees name Harry Marks, wot he plant millions on millione all kinds fish on the Lak' Superior, the rapides and lak's wat hes raise frum de egg on the feesh hatchery. He told me on dat tam dat shes plant 20 tousan small rainbow on de rapides and in 25 yar de Soo shes be de bes' place on de whole worle for kill de beeg feesh. I say good man Harry you har my fren' an all de fisherman she will thank you when you be gone. Well my fren' Harry Marks shes gone. Bettere man she nevere live. He do hees work well and to dis day when da fisherman shes ketch de beeg rainbow my good fren Harry Mark she seem to appear before us all, gay and happy to see de fishermens come from de four corner of de worl to enjoy himelf on de rapide at de Soo. Well do I remembair my good fren' Harry and de good he done for hees town." ( Pete Vigeant 406 Cedar Street)
Everybody of course, knows little George Settember, who has been afaithful and conscientious employe of the city street department for these many years, but few know of his heroic but victorious encounter with that fragrant little annimal known as the skunk. George drifted into the Sault with the first contingent of Italian boys before the advent of the railroad, and went to work upon my father's dairy farm, making his home with us. One of George's duties was to drive the cows to pasture. Early one morning, while hunting for the cows, in the bush, up near where Dr. Moloney formerly lived at the corner of Bingham and Fourth avenue, George spied an innocent looking little animal that he thought might be a fine stew, and immediately - but let George tell the story. "Me see lelee cat, get big stick, go whack, whack. He-stramuche smell. Me dam mad, throw stick away, jump on lelee cat with feet and kille him queek." The sequel was that George hd to live in retirement in the barn for a week, and the moral he drew from his experience was toleave strictly alone all innocent looking "lelee cats" for all future time. After this encounter we children thought George a great hero, albeit a strong smelling one. (John N. Adams, 114 Easterday Avenue)
In 1854 the horse cars that transferred the freight and copper from the head of the old canal tothe company warehouse which now stands opposite MRs. Jay Hursley's home on Water street. They passed, our old home that stood where the Supe blocker now stands on the corner of West Portage and Ferris street, and the old mill pond west end of Water street. (J.E. LaLonde 506 Division street)
Fred Roach and "Puss" Day snared rabbits where the Park school now stands near the old power magazine (George Blank 717 Cedar street)
The first bank was opened for busienss by Mead and Fowle, "the well known and successful tankers," on Water street. The building stood about in the spot where Ashmun street now opens into Water street. This institution marked the beginning of real progress and was a signal to go ahead (B.F. Kelly 217 Johnstone St.)
My brother used to set snares and trap rabbits. I went with him a few times but thought it was too far, because we had to go on snow shoes the snow was so deep. I went with him for the fun of it and to see the rabbits int he traps. It was all he could do at times to carry all the rabbits home. The traps were set in the woods where the Park school now stands. We lived at that time in a log cabin on Ridge street on the site of the present Edward's block. (Mrs. Thomas Malloy 513 Ninth St.)
We needed to bank here because we had little currency. The soldiers checks were about all that came in the winter. The three or four stores issued little printed cardboard checks of various colors for various denominations. "Good for 50 cents Thomas Ryan" or Trempe and Brothers, or M.W. Boranton, etc. This sort of currency passed around all winter and was accepted at any store. In the spring the merchants held an exchange or clearing house. These cardboard checks were thankfully received on the contribution plates in the churches. (James R. Ryan 113 Maple Street)
I came to the Sault in about 1865. I went to the convent school where there were many other girls who included Mrs. George Kemp, MRs. Colwell, The Prenzlauer girls, Sofia Trempe, Flora Londerville, Mary Bernier, Mary Ann Galley, Sofia LaLonde, Jimmy Ryan and others. On the way to school we passed the Fort on Portage avenue, and watched the sentry pacing back and forth across the street. ( Mrs. David Brown -8050 Second Blvd. Detroit)
When I was a very small lad, my parents used to take me and sometimes leave me, at the residence of Dr. H elen A. Beadle at their hoome 341 Portage avenue, the home at that time also being the home of the Hon. George W. Brown, Esq. I used to play with George Beadle, the only son of the doctor, he being about the same age as I. George and I used to get into the worst mischief most of the time, but the most interesting thing that drew us two boys was the huge iron safe that Mr. Brown had in the house at the time, and the mysteries that were held behind its doors. We were continuously fooling with the comgination of this large safe, trying to open it until one day un-be-known to us of course, Mr. Brown had the safe wired up with the electric light current in some way, and when George and I happened to be together again later on, we naturally gravitated to the old safe. Alas for both of us, we got such a wallop from the safe that we decided then and there never to go near the darn thing again. (Harold K. Williams 109 W. Portage Ave.)
One day, March 25, 1872, we left her for Petoskey with the tug Mystic of which L.P. Trempe was owner. Capt. Joe Taylor wsa master. They were all captains and no deckhands on board. Among them were Fred Trempe, Joe Roudleau, and a few of the bloods of the Sault as Thomas Ryan Jr., Gus Trempe, Alex Guerno, Ford Hursley, Chauncey Montgomery and Dr. Gable. We had nothing to eat except fish and potatoes so Mr. Trempe sent the Mystic for provisions. We brought back pork and flour and all kinds of groceries and a live ox for THomas Ryan's butcher shop on Water street. We didn't encounter any ice only in the Straits of Mackinac. (Capt. Aley Day)
Jimmy R. Ryans remberance of old times in the paper of January 31, about the spring and summer shaves and hair cuts at the old Chippewa House shop and the mention of Billy Meyers shop brought to my memory about the time Billy opened his shop. We were young sprouts and to make us look more manly were very anxious to grow hair on our face, particularly a long silk moustache. Jim saw signs and his uncle told him if he would start to shave it would encourage them. So he went to Billy's shop and ordered a man sized shave. After Billy had prepared him sitting comfortably he began sharpening up an extra razor. When Billy seated himself by the window and started to read the almanac of 1868, Jim got tired waiting and said, "Billy why don't you shave me?" "Why," Billy said, "I am waiting for the hair to grow." (Fred W. Roach 232 Ferris street)
I am enjoying the I Remember stuff but some of those old timers have darned poor memories. For example, Jim Snudden was a contemporary of mine, not of George Blank and Gil Scranton. The same writer refers to Narcisse as "An old Indian," He was a demented Frenchman, who made his home with Narcisse Nault, one of the early contractors and wsa called Narcisse because that was his benefactor's name. No one ever knew his real name. I should think it would be interesting ot get some reminiscences from the Campbells, Nault's, Payment's, Linke's (Not French but always generally l umped with them) an other old French families of the east end, the Fourth ward, what we used to know as "Down the Road" (Leo "Pat" Cook, Sheboygan Wis.)
The summer that the Weitzel lock was finished, I was working with Abe Mitchell finishing the excavation work. Barney Doyl and James Ryan were driving a team hauling boxes of dirt and boulders to the derick. Lot Jenny had a gang of carpenters building the lock wall. One day when the engineer of the derrick was lowering an empty dirt box into the pit the box knocked a timber off the top of the wall and killed a man by the name of Lane. When the work was dragging at times we used to swap yarns and believe me Jimmy Ryan sure could spin some yarn. The rest of hte gang could also tell some pretty good jokes, but we all had to take off our hats to Jimmy. (A. Washburn, Brimley MI)
A unique party was given by MRs. P.M. Church and Mr.E.S. Wheeler. A special train was arranged to take the guests out about 10 miles into the woods. There the party enjoyed several hours snow shoeing about until tired. Returning to the car the party proceeded back to the Sault. On arriving here we had dinner at the ld Belvidere on Ashmun street south of Spruce street. The party was in their picturesque costumes and much merriment was had at the dinner. I specially remember the lightness and grace with which Mrs. John Colwell danced in spite of her heavy blanket costume and mocassins. (Mrs. L.C. Sabin, Mission Road)
Rev. T.R. Easterday came to the Sault and first taught school. Many a good licking he ave me. I guess I was the pick of the bad boys in the Sault at that time. (George Hopkins, 720 Ashmun St.)
Hotten's marine market on Water street supplied all the boats going through the locks. John Hotton was busy all day at the meat block, except the days he was preparing old gray George for a race. Gray George was some horse. He lived so long on Water street that Jack had to pour a quart of whiskey into him before he would trot a beat. (Herbert C. Ryan 916 Court street)
When the Waterpower canal was being excavated, the late Nathan Lines wsa crossing the temporary bridge on Bingham avenue with a wagon load of stone. His horses became frightened at a train and backed into the railing. The wagon and horses fell to the bottom of the canal, about 20 feet. One horse wsa killed and the other had to be shot. (James Royce 550 Bingham Avenue)
The Methodist church stood on the north side of Portage avenue on Ashmun street before Ashmun was opened to Water street. The building now stands on the corner of East Spruce street at the corner of Court street. The building is now occupied by D.E. Harrison's tin shop. (R.L. Mitchell, Hay Lake Road)
The D.M. Ferry Seed Co., maintained a warehouse on Ashmun street near Peck street for the storage of Chippewa county peas. Dr. D.B. Tracy who was their agent here told me at that time,35 years ago, the company got their best seed peas from Chippewa County. (Joseph France, 115 Maple Street)
I remember a large boulder in our yard, in fact the largest that anyone had ever seen. It was outlined with various shapes and figures, I imagine somewhat like the Pictured Rocks. It was a great curiooousity for strangers and the tourists after viewing the locks usually walked over to Ridge street to see the boulder, each one wishing it could be transferred to their home grounds in the city where they lived. When they were building the Iroquois Hotel the masons decided they would like to have that stone in the foundation so they built hughe fires on it for several days, breaking it in small pieces and they hauled away ten cords o stone from that one boulder. They said there was almost as much of it under the ground as above. An elm was planted in the place and has grown to be a large sized tree. (Mrs. Mary C. Bernier 224 Ridge street)
The first tug was named the "Eclipse" owned by L.P. Trempe. She towed the vessels about St. Mary's river. I came to the Soo 62 years ago on the steamer Illinois from my birthplace Ontonagon. (Samuel Pryor, 1090 Cedar Street)
Captain Joe Paul sailed the schooner Mirango for Louis P. Trempe, carrying supplies up the south shore of Lake Superior. He said he didn't sail the biggest boat, but he range the biggest bell. He now lives at DeTour. (R.L. Mitchell, Hay Lake Road)
Thirty years ago, Henry Coulter was driving Comb' bakery wagon and selling large loaves of bread for six cents each. (Mrs. Charles Deboer, 412 Ridge St.)
Byron Campbell was an after dinner speaker. Byron was like an old lady that no one could say anything about, because he wsa always there. Byron as usual was there on this occasion of a social given at Parkerville. I was chairman of the occasion. Songs, recitations and two speeches wee the order of the evening. Mr. Campbell, our esteemed fellow citizen, was called on for an address. He rose and walked to the rostrum, in one hand a piece of pie and in the other a hunk of cake, which he proceeded to devour by taking a bite first of one and then the other. Turning to the chairman he said, "Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, there's a lot of rattling good cooks around here", another bite "yes, I say there's a lot of rattling good - " he repeated that for about five minutes amidst the hearty laughter of the audience. Then turning to the chairman "with these few remarks I will take my seat. But before doing so I would like to say there's a lot of rattling good cooks around here" that was one of the most popular addresses given at that place. Its doubtful whether Chancy M. Depew ever retired from an after dinner address amidst greater applause. ( G.W. Twillwell, 12th Avenue)
Trempe and Hatch had a barrel of whiskey back of the counter in their store. The tin cup hanging to it. WHen a customer came in he got a drink free. Those were the days when whiskey could be bought for 50 cents a gallon. (Capt. Wm. Frechette, 914 Maple)
The first ferry boats were two sail boats and were owned and run by Charles and Louis Mirron of the Canadian Sault. The first big ferry named the "Dime" as owned by E. Parr of Sault, Ont. Same Bernier was captain of her. The next ferry was the Nellie Banton owned by Mr. Banton of the Canadian Sault. I ran the Banton. This was 26 years ago. (Sam Pryor, 1090 Cedar St.)
I remember when the first boat came up to the Sault in May 5, 1835. It was the steamer Benerolt. Captain Brown was in command. The boat came through the Canadian channel to the north pier, and got behind the ice at the Weitzel lock. It moved slowly through the ice from there and made a circle and landed at the dock, while people were still walking the ice to the Canadian Sault. The steamer had a small round pilot house, the captain stood on top of it. He was so tall it looked like two masts from where we stood. (John Young, Endress Block)
I used to come to the Soo from McCarron for a hair cut and shave. The barbers gave just as good a shave and haircut than as now. Chippewa county was always a good plae to live in. (R.H. Campbell 916 Easterday avenue)
I remember 40 years ago the old log house which was my home. It stood where the Great Lakes laundry stands today. The Indians used to come from the Mission to vote here at that time. And I also remember when they laid all over our floor, for there were too many of them to furnish beds for, and they had to lie on the floor. My father was in charge of them. He was Leo Bonno. (Mrs. Neil Parr 1051 Cedar Street)
The first school I went to after coming from England in 1872, located in front of Ft. Brady. There was a weather board loose on the south side of the school, and under it was a bees' nest. In the higher grades wee some boys who were live wires, who would pull this board and let it fly back, letting the bees fly out and some of them lit on my face and arms. There was an old Indian by the name of Narcisse, who heard my vocal powers and came to see what was going on. This old man wore an overcoat with a red sash, a toque, and moccasins He ran past me talking to himself in French. I don't know where the boys were at that moment but by the appearance of Narcisse when he got the boys he would talk to them by hand and feet. Those offenders were George Blank, Gill Scranton, Jim Snudden (my brother) and Jack Ruehle. These were the good ole days. (Mrs. B.J. McKerchie, 302 Easterday avenue)
In the winter of 1880 the town was short on almost everything but tobacco and matches. I took two teams and with Barney Doyle went to Petoskey via the Straits and Cheboygan and ordered goods shipped from Grand Rapids. We brought back flour, pork, tea and other groceries, also one barrel of kerosene oil and two boxes of candles. We lost that barrel of oil several times - rolled off into the deep snow. It was a long,s low tiresome trip from St. ignace to the Soo. I am not yeat a lover of the odor of kerosene oil (James R. Ryan)
Frank Trempe's mother had the prettiest flower garden in the Soo forty years ago. It was on the corner of Ashmun and Portage, where their old store now stands. (Mrs. Thomas Malloy 513 9th St.)
The first ferry boats we had in the Soo was the "Dime" and she was properly named, as she wasn't much larger than a dime. She was owned by Edward Paro and commanded by Capt. Sam Bernier. Later the "Antelope" owned and operated by Capt. Norman Ripley came along. She wsa larger, about the size of a 50 cens piece. Later there was the International Bawating and now the Algoma. Previous to this the ferrying was all done by the Mero and Byrons with sail and row boats. They did a thriving business - both lived in the Canadian Soo. (F.W> Roach 232 Ferris)
The Beach in fron of old Ft. Brady came up to the foot of the bluff on which the monument stands. The fort was enclosed by a stocade of high pointed posts. In 1856 I came here from Ft. Ontario N.Y. My father, Sgt. Galley, coming here to take charge of Ft. Brady. The soldiers then occupying the Fort were being removed to Ft. Macinac. From that time until after the Civil War, a period of about 11 years, there were no soldiers stationed at Ft. Brady. The most important event that happened during that time, was the visit of Gen. Sherman and Gen. Ord in 1866. My father always fired a salute to teh first boat on its arrival in the spring and also fired the cannons and raised the flag on every 4th of July and Washington's birthday. (Mrs. B.F. Kelly 217 John street)
I remember when our merchants laid in sufficient supplies in the fall to last until navigation opened the next spring. Those were the days before staging or railway trains. The spring of 1874 found our stores with only flour and salt pork and not much at that. I remember in particular the day of Theophile Trempe's funeral. Everybody attended funerals in those days. We were return1ng when we heard the whistle of the first boat of the season - the Annie L. Craig. In those days boats had traders on board. H L. Holmes sold his entire stock of ham, eggs, vegetables and fruit to the villagers, nearly every family purchasing three or four basketsful. There was some dinner that day. (Mrs. R, J. McKeone, 672 Bingham Ave)
When I was piloting the schooner Burnette about 45 years ago, the freight on iron ore was $4 per ton from Marquette to Cleveland. One time I was loading the boat and slipped in 100 extra tons, knowing that the rate was good. When I got to the lock the draft was more than the water depth over the miter sill. I was ordered to lighter. the boat, but before I did I was flooded out of the lock. I left an envelope containing $35 on Superintendent Spaulding's desk, and to this day I don't believe he ever knew where it came from. In those days we used to pay a toll of $38 each time we went through the locks. (Capt. S. M. Bill, Albany Island)
The first opera house was located in the government warehouse on what is now the northwest corner of Brady Pier. It stood on the water front on a spile dock. The opening play was East Lynn. (F. W. Roach, 236 Ferris street)
In 1875 I landed at the Sault on the L. P. Trempe dock. The first thing of interest to me was the Soo's mighty strong man. I saw. Talbot carrying a barrel of pork balanced on his back and hands swinging at his sides. Upon entering the store he turned and set it on the counter. He carried all of Trempe's barrels of pork, sugar and flour that way from the warehouse to the store on Water street. I worked for Boyle & Roach, contractors on the canal, for $1.50 per day (10 hours) that year. (A. T. Eagle, Hay Lake Road)
In 1874 Charles Eaton, father of "Non" Eaton, and I started a brick yard in the Soo south of the present D.S. S. and A. depot location. We had a one-horse power machine and hauled in 3,000 yards of clay from the Coal pit hill. In the spring we had an expert brick maker come from New York state. We burned two kilns, which proved to be a failure. We had more clay than brick. The old home of Andrew Blank, on west Portage avenue was the first brick residence in the Soo built from our bricks. (J. E. LaLonde, 1106 Division street)
A man named DeCota, whose first name I have forgotten, if ever I knew it, went around daily to trim the wicks and fill the tanks of the street lamps. He carded a wooden ladder about six feet long and a five gallon can of kerosene. The lamps were on wooden posts seven or eight feet high - just high enough to be fairly safe from the small boys. They were on Water street, on Plank alley between the Peppard and McKinney store and the Conway block, and along Portage avenue from Bingham to Douglas. (E. T. Crisp, 924 Johnson street)
Charles Chapman looked like the picture of him printed in the News a few days ago. At that time he was the president of the Working Men's Union. I well remember meeting him at the Standard Theatre on Court street where the Baptist church is now located. (R.L. Mitchell, Hay Lake Road)
When I came to the Soo in the spring of 1884. I stopped at D. M. McKenzie's on Water street. I left a young man by the name of Carroll there to bring a team of horses and meet me on Johnstone street, while I went to the Johnson and Gross lumber yard. Young Carroll started out with the team. He started east on Water street and ran against the big gate going into Fort Brady. He turned back to plank alley then to River street, but could not see the way clear so he went back and put the horses in the barn till morning. (Thomas C. Langley, 929 Brown Street)
I remember seeing a team of about ten dogs dashing down Main street in St. Ignace. The dogs drew a large sled piled high with mall sacks. A board on each side of the sled bore the words, "Le Sault de Ste, Marie." It was the Sault mail team, off on its sixty mile dash. It made a proud showing as, with crack of whip and the driver's cry "Mush-on" it raced down the main street of what was ,then the Sault's rival town. Also I can remember when, if you wanted to make a trop from Grand Rapids to the Sault in the summer time, you took a train from Grand Rapids to Petoskey, which was then the terminus of the Grand Rapids & Indianaa railway. From Petoskey you took a boat plying from Chicago to Lake Superior - if you were in luck with your dates. If you were out of luck with the Chicago boat you could take the steamer Van Halt to Macklnac Island. There you had the double chance of the Chicago boat or a boat running from Buffalo to Lake Superior. The Van Ralt had a high pressure engine, her exhaust pipe was carried up just back of the smokestack and curved back at the top. Blowing clouds of white steam back over the stern was supposed to give the boat the appearance of greater speed. Doubtless there were those who thought that she too made a fine showing of rapid transit. I suppose she made ten or twelve miles an hour. (R. G. Hulbert)
When I left Pickford in the spring of 1884. It was the morning after the first election held at Pickford. In making the trip to Hay Lake I was forced back to Pickford on account of the bad roads. Startlng the seoond time I discovered when I arrived at the Munoskong river that the bridges were out. I was forced to Cross in a rowboat. (Thoams C. Langley, 929 Brown Street)
When John Busha was mail carrier between the Sault and Bay City. In the spring of 1865 he brought in the news to the Sault of the assination of President Lincoln. Barbeau and Scranton had the mall contract at that time.
The first passenger depot was near the roundhouse. The road through the alders to Spruce street was so bad that the busses drove through the water along the shore to the end of Spruce street, making the ride much easier and more comfortable. (Otto Supe, 706 Cedar St.
Winn Hand was pound master and clubfoot Bill Scott was his chief assistant. One day they were doing big business. They had located fifteen stray cattle belonging to a woman, whose name I know not, and were driving them south on Pine street, heading for the pound at the foot of Ashmun Hill. The woman who owned the cows was following; remonstrating, but to no avail. All went well with Winn and Bi11 until they reached the Washington school, when the woman used a little strategy that would have done credit to a military genius. She enlisted all the school children on her side to help drive the cattle in the opposite direction from the pound. It was as if pandemonium had let loose; the kids, generaled by the woman, driving the cattle north and Winn and Bill bravely doing their utmost to drive the cattle south, with the tide of battle fast going against them. It looked like sure victory for the woman, when lo! the school bell rang, and the woman's forces vanished and the poor woman continued the unequal struggle single-handed against Winn and Bill, but they finally landed every cow in the city pound and collected $1.00 per head before the cattle were released. (John N. Adams, 114 Easterday Ave.)
Club-footed Bill was a bum right. It was wise thing to keep your eye on the chicken cuop when he came around, for eggs and poultry were both liable to disappear. He claimed he got his club feet by running tllem througb a threshing machine. The last time I saw him was one cold fall morning some years ago. He called at our home on Court Street for something to eat, which Mrs. Adams gladly furnished him, giving him some hot egg sandwiches. Bill thanked her and disappeared. Upon looking out of our front upstairs window a few. minutes later, we saw Bill in the alley east of Ashmun street sitting in the middle of Will Armstrong's steaming manure box, contentedly eating his lunch. (John N. Adams 114 Easterday avenue)
When I worked for Abe and Dave Prenzlauer in their store on Water street. One day I was sent into the store room to remove boxes, because the rats were eating holes in them. They became so numerous that I was afraid and went back in the store. They were as large as cats. (Jacob Dean 114 Easterday avenue
Back in '22 I think it was, our city fathers wouldn't let a circus come to town on a day we wanted to get a crowd in. I never knew why. (F.D. Mounce, Portage avenue
Early in the 70's when the only orchestra came from the frog ponds. The second canal was under construction and millions of frogs lived htere. One night in June a Canadian passenger boat was in the old State Lock. It was a side wheeler called the Cumerland. A passenger stepped off and asked my brother what great jubilee was going on. My brother said "it is our great American band". The stranger siad "where is the bandmaster" and my brother said " I guess it must be that green frog sitting and piping knee deep, knee keep.. Mrs. Benjamin McKerchie 302 Easterday avenue
On May 14, 1881, I arrived in the Soo with my family and household and farm equipment, on the steamer Quebec. We landed at the Government Pier and unloaded. I had sheep, hogs, cattle and horses. While I was busy with these my wife thought she would go uptown and purchase some things for the children. She looked around and saw a few buildings along Water street. She came back to me and asked if the town was back over the hill. Where Ashmun street now is there was a plank walk from Portage to Water street. It was called Plank Alley. There were scarcely any buildings between Water street and the present site of the City Hall, which was at that time a cemetery. The people used to pick strawberries there. I hired Norman Ripley with his little tug Grace and scow to take us down to Conley's landing two miles below the Charlotte river. When we arrived there, we put the horses overboard, then standing in the water we assembled the farm wagon and loaded up. Then we harnessed the horses and hauled it ashore. There were no docks or landing places there in those days. I remember coming up to the "Soo" with some of my neighbors. We separated in town and each went his way to do his shopping. Toward evening I started out to round up our little crowd, when to my surprise I heard that George Sims had been arrested for laughing in front of Prenzlauers store. Policeman Williams had arrested him. John White (Daddy) and I went to Mayor Brown adn asked if you could arrest a man for laughing. He said "Yes, but you can't keep him locked up." Soe he gve me a note to Williams. "Daddy White and I went to the jail ( a log cabin on the ground where the Park school now stands). Policeman Williams opened the door. george lay on a cot. I put my head in the door and said, "George, Come Forth"... R.H. Campbell 916 Easterday ave.
The sun dial in old Ft. Brady near the guard house was the accurate time guide in sunshine. And the bell, stil in St. Mary's church tower, told the time, for starting and quitting work for the town. The days were long then, Twelve hours work and twelve hours sleep - James R. Ryan 113 Maple St.
I remember when all the people got their wood. There weren't many horses so they used to have "bees". All the men would turn out and cut wood, while those who had a horse would draw the wood and fill the yards, to last the winter. In the evening after the "bee" there would be a big supper and shoepack dance. Everyone would have a good time. And you would see some step dancing too. "Puss" Day called off for the dances and Harry Thorn played. The hall we used then in the building where Zeller's Drug store is now located - MRs. Thomas Malloy 513 Ninth st.
I remember one of the various ways of raising funds for church affairs 40 years ago. Church bazaars seemed to be one of the most popular. I have in mind one held in a building on Water street. It was looked forward to by young and old and of all clans. The booths were filled with beautiful handmade articles. The supper tables were loaded iwth many good things. The tourists who came to the Soo in large numbers, usually came to the bazaars and joined in the merriment and also helped to swell the fund. And if dr. Ennis happened to be present with his ready wit and humorous sayings, always added to the pleasure of the evening. Many of the ladies who were active workers at that time are still living in the Soo. And memory lingers around the days of the old time bazaar - Mrs. Mary c. Bernier 223 Ridge St.
Mr. Nolte was one of the very few farmers of Chippews county. His homestead is still known as the Nolte farm. He lived in the Soo about where the Hanley House now stands. Boulders and a large forest of evergreen brush featured the landscape about his home. Joe Campbell better known as Uncle Joe, lived about where the Portage avenue Coast Guard station is, better known as "down the road". Uncle Joe and his family were among the best known and most popular entertainers of their time. The Laramie family lived near Uncle Joe on the south side of the road. Hon. George W. Brown lived near the corner of the mission street on the south side of the road. Horn cattle roamed at large in those days and herded regardless of owners. In the fall of 1872 when owners began to gather in their stockof horn cattle a question of ownership of a young heifer arose between Mr. Nolte and Mr. laramie. Mr. Nolte had possession of the animal in question and insisted that he was the owner. Mr. Laramie hauled Nolte into court to prove that he was the rightful owner. As I remember - Judge Ashmum presided. Hon. George W. Brown was attornety for Laramie and Hon. Judge Robins was attorney for Nolte. The case was called - the court took the regular routine for record. Mr. Laramie on the stand sworn in, his attorney at once conmmenced to question. What is your name? Joe Laramie.. Where do you live, Mr. Laramie? Down the road. Where down the road Mr. Laramie? Down near Joe Campbell. Where does JOe Campbell live Mr. Laramie? You dn't know where Joe Campbell lives?? Well I - Be - --- Who won the case is not material to this letter. B. F. Kelly 217 Johnstone st.
I remember the good old custom of New Year calls. They lasted more than a week. Every home had a table set with good things to eat and what was set out to drink would put Volstead in the Rapids. We made our calls in parties of two or more and called at every home. Of course one custom besdies eating and drinking was to kiss every woman int he house. Henry Johnstone usually took the Johnstone cannon (now on Howard Johnstone's porch at Sailor's Encampment) on a hand sled and fired salutes as we moved from house to house. Judge E.S.B. Sutton could tell of our calling carriage, an old Ox hitched to a sleigh with a large ol time cabbage crate filled with straw - James R. Ryan 113 Maple st.
No Lamps; and Clay For Soap - I remember when there were no lamps. And when our mother used to work at night by a torch made out of a piece of rag- on a stick. At that time there was no soap. The Indian women used to take their clothes and! pound them with stones. They used clay for soap. I also remember when. Antolne Piquette and John Bouoha carried mail from the Soo to Saginaw and made the trip In six days and when wo used to catcli pike and suckers out on the Shunk road in the little creek this side of George Tardiff's. I also remember when there was no canal. Antoine Piquette caught many of the fish used by the Indians. When he would coma In he would throw the fish down at his door and every one could help themselves. It isn't like that now-a-days. MRS. GABRIEL SHAWANO, Mrs, Charlotte Gob) 1094 Maple street
Only Three Churches -- I remember when we had only three churches. The Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian. Mr. Easter-day was the minister of the Presbyterian church and Mrs. Easterday and; daughter Hose played the organ. Mrs. William Spaulding presided at the little organ in Sunday-School. The old Episcopal Church was built and dedicated by Rev. R. Soymore. I remember distinctly the chapter from the Bible that he read. First Kings Chapter Solomon's prayer when the Temple was dedicated. Mr. Joel Bitting came here and established a Baptist Church. ITe started holding meetings In the Court Houso, afterwards using the small church which was moved bade on the lot where the present church stands. MRS. JOHN BAYLISS, 312 Johnstone street
Water Scarce and Liquor Plentiful == I remember in 1889 between Christmas and New Tear's the Llndsey store and the Broman Hotel were destroyed by fire. The buildings were at the corner of Spruce and Ashmun on the Whalen Block property. The firemen had to pump water from the river. Those were the days when water was scarce, but beer and wine flowed freely. Nearly everyone in the Soo was at the fire. Mr. McKenzie and 3Vir. McEwan were on top of the roof of the house behind tho hotel on Suruco street, they had a small hose and poured water on the roof, MRS JOHN YOUNG Endress Block,
Meets a New Dag - I remember in 1864 the Chippewa house was the only thing on earth. Tho tourists from the south all stopped at that grand hotel. H. P. Smith was tho genial proprietor. There was a very fine old doctor who lived in the Canadian Soo, by the name of Dr. Kelly. He was a little deaf and I don't think he could smell very .well. One bright moonlight evening, he was crossing from tho Chippewa house on water street and saw a very pretty little animal pass him, which he took for a little dog. He waa a lover of dogs, so ho ran and picked up the supposed pretty little dog, which provide in a second or two to be a skunk.. Ha dropped it quickly and was forced to buy a new suit of clothes. J. E. LaLONDE, 606 Division street Went to Reil Rebellion I remember when in the late '60' s my brother, J. Grady, with other volunteers of Ontario, went to the northwest to help subdue the Reil Rebellion. When they arrived at the St. Mary's Rapids they were not allowed to take their supplies through the American lock, but had to unload the boats at the Canadian wharf and carry the supplies overland and reload above the rapids. MRS. HARRIET HEMBROFF. 709 Court street
When Fish Went as Fertilizer: I remember when the fish industry was controlled by Peter B. Barbeau and William P. Spaulding in the early fifties. The fish were so plentiful and cheap then that it was impossible to find a ready market for them all, consequently they would spoil. In ihat case the spoiled fish would be hauled to the Barbeau farm, known now as Chandler Heights, and used as fertilizer. I have known as many as 70 half-barrels being hauled there in less than one week. I have known fish varying in weight from three to five pounds sold and: delivered at the rate of a hundred for fifty cents. This may be a good fish story, but it's nevertheless true. CAPT. JOSEPH ROULEAU, 225 Magazine Street,
Election Day I landed in the Soo about November 7, 1862, coming from Owen Sound, Ont., on the steamer Campana. Donald McKenzie and Mr. McEvoy were prominent on Water street at that time. The next day was election day, Frank Lsssard and Mr. McKeone were running for sheriff. Votes were selling from one to three dollars a head. Next day 27 of us left on the little steamer Antelope for DeTour. There we transferred into Hugh McCartney's sail boat for Drummond to work in the woods. HUMPHRY JONES DeTour, Mich.
That Home Grown Cigar --- I remember when, Judge J. A. Colwell presented me with a cigar made from tobacco grown in his r-wn gaiilen, corner of Spruce and Division streets, I still have half of It. FRANK B. KALTZ, Chandiler Heights
Sings and Preaches -- I remember when Reverend T. R. Easterday sang in the choir and preached in the old Presbyterian church. Good singers were scarce in those days in the Soo. And Mr. Easterday had to sing and preach. But as a preacher I admired him most. His hair now white as snow, was then black as coal, and long and curly. He was a striking figure in the pulpit, standing1 eruct, his black and curly hair swaying with every motion of his 'body, his countenance firm, as with piercing eyes, and en ergetic gesture he layed down God's law. E. J. WILEY
Rapids Dry One Time - about fifty years ago, when it was a very dry summer here, and the rapids went dry for nearly a day. There was great excitment as Mr. Busha thought ha had lost all his fish. Some men walked over to the Canadian side on the rocks. Chief Shenycaneau, was living on an island in part of the rapidls with many other Indians at that time. JAMES SHANNON, 425 Cedar street
Hoist Flag When Mail Comes - When the mall used to arrive in the Soo, a red flag with a white centsr was raised on a flag pole which stood near the govern ment dock on Water street. And when the band was at the rink a plain red flag was hoisted. This was in 1879, I was a resident of old Fort Brady. MRS. B. MULVANEY. Newberry, Michigan
Three Card Monte -- When I first came to the Soo. I was about 16 years old, this was in 1866. A circus, the first in the Sault, came from Marquette, that year. I remember how the circus men played three card1 monte outside their tent on a barrel turned upside down. In those days they didn't worry about three card monto being against the law. It was played on the streets then. JOHN R. FENWICK, Brimley, Mich.
The Early Days of the Sault
Picket Fence Around Fort
No Streets at All
Surveyed Weitzel Lock
Early Shows Here
Walks Straits 40 Years Ago.
Couldn't Get $120
Evenings in 1873
First Boat Whistle
Ten Cent Show
"Plank" Alley Busy Street
Postoffice in Drug Store
To Church in Dog Sleighs.
Style Shop at Bank Side