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Image to the right:

Showing a lot of Integrity: The American Integrity slides into the Poe Lock while the tug/barge, G.L. Ostrander/Integrity, heads into the MacArthur Lock.

Almost 400 Photos from a trip to the Soo Locks from June 25 - July 1, 2009
including "Engineer's Day" (Friday June 26). There are actually three separate events covered on this page: First will be the photos of the ships seen on this trip (including "Engineer's Day" photos), Second will be photos of things seen while on a trip aboard the Soo Locks Boat Tours vessel, Nokomis, and Finally will be photos of a very special (and historic) event which took place on June 30 - the Groundbreaking Ceremony for a (future) brand new Soo Lock!

(Click on a description to see the photo)

This photo gallery will be presented in chronological order (rather than alphabetical order by ship name)

(Click your Browser's "Back" button to return here)

Click on one of the following choices to view that part of the photo gallery:

#1 - Click Here To view all of the photos on this page
#2 - Click Here To view the photos beginning with the Engineer's Day festivities
#3 - Click Here To view the Groundbreaking Ceremony
#4 - Click Here for 92 photos from a trip aboard the Soo Locks Tour Boat, Nokomis, to see the sights available on a trip through the Soo locks and surrounding facilities

Ships Featured On This Page (Ships names in italics indicates a ship not featured before on this site):

John B. Aird, Algocape, Algonova (2), Algosar (2), Algosoo, Algoway, Algowood, Anna Marie Altman (tug), American Integrity, James R. Barker, BBC Rhine, Charles M. Beeghly, Joseph L. Block, Blue Star (yacht), John J. Boland, David Boyd (yacht), USCG Buckthorn, Paul Bunyan (USACE), Burns Harbor, Cason J. Callaway, Canadian Progress, Canadian Prospector, CCG Cape Hurd, Cedarglen, Chief Shingwauk, Clelia II, Catherine Desgagnes, E. M. Ford, Owen M. Frederick (USACE), William C. Gaynor (tug), Edwin H. Gott, Hiawatha (tour boat), Holiday (tour boat), Indiana Harbor, Isolda, Herbert C. Jackson, Kaministiqua, Kathryn Spirit, USCG Katmai Bay, Erika Kobasic (tug), Lake Guardian, John D. Leitch, LeVoyageur (tour boat), Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, Maxima, Michipicoten, Nicolet (USACE), Nindawayma, Nokomis (tour boat), Norgoma (museum ship), Ojibway (supply boat), G.L. Ostrander/Integrity (tug/barge), Robert S. Pierson, Presque Isle, J. W. Shelley, Sioux (tug), Edgar B. Speer, Sugar Islander II, Paul R. Tregurtha, Valley Camp (museum ship), and H. Lee White

Thursday June 25:

E.M. Ford - The 1898-built cement carrier awaits an uncertain future at Purvis Marine in the Canadian Soo.
E.M. Ford - Another view of the old ship
David Boyd - Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society research vessel, David Boyd, passes Mission Point upbound
Charles M. Beeghly - With brand new diesel engines, the ship heads upbound past the Carbide Dock at the Soo
Charles M. Beeghly - Broadside close-up view

Charles M. Beeghly - Bow close-up with the E.M. Ford in the background
John J. Boland - Upbound below Mission Point at the "Rock Pile"
John J. Boland - Close-up view
John J. Boland - Close-up of the pilothouse with the captain(?) waving to the crowd at Mission Point
John J. Boland - The crowd looks on as the ship passes

Charles M. Beeghly - Stern view departing the Poe Lock
2 Ships - The upbound Charles M. Beeghly passes the saltie, BBC Rhine, which is loading at Algoma Steel's Export Dock
BBC Rhine - Close-up of the foreign ship loading
Flock of Geese - Note the one with the band around its neck (at Mission Point)
Canadian Progress - Downbound passing the flock of geese at Mission Point

Canadian Progress - Stern view passing Mission Point
John B. Aird - Downbound following the Canadian Progress at Mission Point
John B. Aird - Broadside view heading downbound ... flock of geese upbound :O)
John B. Aird - Stern view
2 Ships - Canadian Progress makes the turn heading for 6-Mile Point with the John B. Aird close behind

Michipicoten - As the sun sets, the ship departs Algoma Steel Company

Friday June 26 - Engineer's Day:

The following photos are of placards which show the construcion of the present Poe Lock, which was opened to traffic in 1968. NOTE: The wording in the "Heading" is the same on each placard; the photos and descriptions at the bottom of each of the placards show the construction phases of the Poe Lock (and will give you some idea of how the new (proposed) Lock will come to be):

Placard #1 - Shows the original Poe Lock in 1960-61 before it was demolished to make way for the "new" Poe Lock
Placard #2 - Details the demolition and removal of the original Poe Lock during 1962
Placard #3 - The old Poe Lock removal is completed in 1962
Placard #4 - Equipment is moved into place for the construction of the new lock (1962-65)
Placard #5 - Work in 1965 includes building the lock walls

Placard #6 - Work continues in 1966 and 1967
Placard #7 - The new lock nears completion in 1967
Placard #8 - 2 aerial photos of the new lock (one in 1967 almost complete and one in 1968 as the lcok is completed)
Placard #9 - The first vessel through the Locks is the Philip R. Clarke on Oct. 30, 1968

More placards show the history of the building of the Soo Locks Administration Building (1894-97) and photos and description of the U.S. Hydroelectric plant on the St. Mary's River adjacent to the present Sabin Lock

Admin. Bldg. - 3 early photos and a short history of the building's construction
Admin. Bldg. - 2 more photos and a history of the upgrades made in past years
Hydroelectric Plant - 3 photos and a description of the facility

... and now onto the ships ...

Boatnerd Gathering - A group of ship enthusiasts known as "Boatnerds" gather for a photo before the Engineer's Day festivities begin
Edwin H. Gott - While walking across the MacArthur Lock, I notice our first ship will be a 1000-footer
Davis Lock - This could be my last look at this lock, as it is scheduled to be demolished, along with its twin, the Sabin Lock, to make way for another (1200-ft.-long by 110-ft.-wide) "Poe-sized" Lock (hopefully in the near future - see the section on the "Groundbreaking Ceremony" for more about this issue)
Edwin H. Gott - The ship lines up for the entrance to the Poe Lock
Edwin H. Gott - Onlookers watch the approach of the massive ship laden with iron ore (taconite) pellets

Edwin H. Gott - Entering the Poe Lock using its bowthruster
Edwin H. Gott - Close-up all the way into the lock
Crowd - Just part of the crowd enjoying Engineer's Day
Edwin H. Gott - A crowd gathers on the other side of the ship
Algosoo - Meanwhile, another downbound ship gets ready to enter the MacArthur Lock

Maxima - The upbound saltie will have to tie up and wait for the Algosoo to "lock through"
Algosoo - Heading into the MacArthur Lock on a gorgeous day
Maxima - Tied up at the wall in the Lower MacArthur Lock Approach
Algosoo - Part of the huge crowd watches the ship head into the lock
Edwin H. Gott - View of the pilothouse as the ship has been lowered 21 feet and is ready to depart the Poe Lock

Edwin H. Gott - Departs the lock with 2-1/2-ft. on each side between the lock walls and the ship
Edwin H. Gott - Close-up of sprinklers on the deck of the 1000-footer (the water below the ship is cold and the air is hot, this is sometimes done to keep the deck from "warping")
Edwin H. Gott - Stern view after departing the Poe Lock
Algosoo - Lowered about halfway in the MacArthur Lock
Edwin H. Gott - Passes the Maxima as it heads downbound in the lower St. Mary's River

Algosoo - Ready to depart the MacArthur Lock
Algosoo - Dead astern photo as they pass the Maxima after departing the lock
Maxima - The crowd looks on as the saltie enters the MacArthur Lock
Algocape - Lines up for the Poe Lock while a Soo Locks Tour Boat and two small craft are raised in the lock
Maxima - Stern view in the MacArthur Lock
Algocape - "Bows-on" photo as they await their turn in the Poe Lock (at this point, although the grounds would still be open for another couple hours for Engineer's Day, with the heat (and the crowds), I decided to head for other areas of the St. Mary's River to continue photographing the ships for the rest of the day)

Algocape - Passing near the Valley Camp Museum Ship heading downbound
Algocape - Making the turn at Mission Point
Algocape - Bow view/broadside photo at Mission Point
Algocape - Stern view passing Mission Point
Sugar Islander II - Just a bit off-center as a heavily loaded truck is aboard for the short trip to the mainland

Algoway - Downbound near James A. Alford Park
Paul R. Tregurtha - The Great Lakes' largest ship heads downbound out of the Poe Lock as the supply ship, Ojibway, approaches
Algoway - Stern view past the Carbide Dock
Paul R. Tregurtha - The Ojibway is alongside the ship (this was the last ship through the locks before "Engineer's Day" festivities came to an end and the grounds were closed)
Paul R. Tregurtha - Scenic stern view of the ship with the Ojibway still alongside

Ojibway - Close-up near the stern of the Paul R. Tregurtha
Lake Guardian - This E.P.A. ship cruises the Great Lakes doing research projects
Lake Guardian - Showing the name "RN Peter L. Wise" above its name at the bow
Lake Guardian - Broadside view at Mission Point
Lake Guardian - Stern view upbound past Mission Point

Edgar B. Speer - Upbound at Mission Point
Edgar B. Speer - Stern view passing Mission Point
Blue Star - Another private yacht upbound at Mission Point
American Integrity - Wide view upbound below Mission Point
American Integrity - Bow-view close-up

American Integrity - Stern view passing Mission Point
Michipicoten - Upbound at the "Rock Pile" below Mission Point
Michipicoten - Broadside view at Mission pPoint
Michipicoten - Stern view passing Mission Point as daylight ends today's shooting

Saturday June 27:

Nindawayma - Sitting partially scrapped at Purvis Marine's upper dock
Algonova (2) - Upbound at the "Rock Pile" below Mission Point at mid-morning
Algonova (2) - Broadside view at Mission Point
Algonova (2) - With Know Your Ships (the "bible" for Great Lakes shipwatchers) editor & publisher, Roger LeLievre looking on
Algonova (2) - Stern view upbound past Mission Point

Sugar Islander II - The ferry passes behind the upbound Algonova (2)
Catherine Desgagnes - Downbound at Mission Point with a load of grain from Thunder Bay
Catherine Desgagnes - Stern view
Algonova (2) - Upbound departing the Poe Lock
Algonova (2) - Stern view in the Upper Soo locks Approaches

BBC Rhine - Downbound near the Carbide Dock
BBC Rhine - Photographers wait at Mission Point for the downbound saltie
BBC Rhine - Broadside view at Mission Point
BBC Rhine - Stern view past Mission Point
3-bagger - Upbound tug, Erika Kobasic and barge, James R. Barker and Isolda down near 6-Mile Point

Erika Kobasic - Close-up of the upbound tug
barge - With a huge piece of equipment being towed by the Erika Kobasic
Tug & barge - Broadside view of the Erika Kobasic and its barge
James R. Barker - Upbound below Mission Point with the Isolda in the background
James R. Barker - Close-up view

James R. Barker - Stern view passing Mission Point
Isolda - Upbound at the "Rock Pile" below Mission Point
Isolda - Gray skies at Mission Point make it hard to get the colors of this ship right
Isolda - Stern view (this photo shows more of the true blue color of the ship)
Herbert C. Jackson - Downbound in the Upper St. Mary's River off Ashmun Bay Boat Launch

Fleetmates meet - The Downbound Herbert C. Jackson meets the upbound James R. Barker
Robert S. Pierson - Upbound in the Lower St. Mary's River coming up out of Mission Point
Herbert C. Jackson - Downbound in the Upper Soo Locks Approach to the MacArthur Lock
Herbert C. Jackson - I love this angle!
Herbert C. Jackson - Stern view heading into the MacArthur Lock

Indiana Harbor - Downbound in the Upper St. Mary's River off Ashmun Bay Boat Launch
Isolda - Sliding along the north side of the West Pier approach wall (now the color is "right")
2 sterns - The upbound Isolda passes the downbound Indiana Harbor
Isolda - One more (stern view) look at this colorful saltie
Robert S. Pierson - Bow view heading upbound out of the MacArthur Lock

Robert S. Pierson - Stern view in the Upper Soo Locks Approaches
Robert S. Pierson - Upbound at West Pier just past the train bridge
Indiana Harbor - Bow view downbound at Mission Point
Indiana Harbor - Stern view downbound past Mission Point

Sunday June 28:

Algowood - Appears like a ghost ship in the early morning mist above Mission Point
Algowood - Wider view of the upbound vessel
Algowood - Close-up of the bow in the "sea smoke"
Algowood - Stern view
Algowood - Wider angle stern view in the mist

Burns Harbor - In a shroud of mist upbound below Mission Point
Burns Harbor - The mist rises as the ship passes Mission Point
Burns Harbor - Stern view entering a bit of lingering mist above Mission Point
Another ghost ship - The upbound Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin appears out of the mist down near 6-Mile Point
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Bow view at Mission Point

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Wide view under cloudy skies upbound at Mission Point
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Stern view passing Mission Point
Erosion at Mission Point - A look at the erosion from up-river - this is not good!
Erosion at Mission Point - With the waters of Lakes Huron & Michgan being about one foot higher than last year, Rotary Park (at Mission Point) is taking a beating!
Same area in 2007 - The rocks in the foreground are now awash and the area where the photographer is sitting is completely under water!

Kaministiqua - In the Lower St. Mary's River off the George Kemp Downtown Marina (near the Valley Camp Museum Ship)
2 Ships pass - The downbound Kaminsistiqua has just passed the upbound Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Broadside view from the marina
Kaministiqua - Stern view past the marina
Kaministiqua - A group of Boatnerds hold up a Lower Lakes Shipping flag looking for a "salute"

Kaministiqua - Bow-view close-up of the ex-Lady Hamilton and ex-Voyageur Pioneer (under which names there are photos on this site)
Kaministiqua - Full broadside view downbound at Mission Point
Kaministiqua - Stern view past Mission Point
Burns Harbor - Stern view in the Upper Approaches to the Poe Lock heading upbound
International Bridge - This is the same shot as used in the header of this page (taken from Lake Superior State University grounds)

Since there were no more ships due today (at least during daylight hours), I decided to take a ride on one of the Soo locks Tour Boats. The following photos are of only the vessels seen on this trip. Click Here to see all ot the (92) photos from the Soo Locks Boat Tour voyage.

William C. Gaynor - Tug at MCM Marine
Anna Marie Altman - Zenith Tugboat Co. tug at MCM Marine
Derrick No. 55 - In the floating drydock at MCM Marine
Sioux - Another tug at MCM Marine
Ojibway - The Soo Warehouse Supply vessel at rest at its dock just up-river from MCM Marine

Barges - In a slip alongside the Carbide Dock
LeVoyageur - At Dock #2 of the Soo locks Tour Boat company
Valley Camp Museum Ship - Stern view of the ship, which is open for tours
Valley Camp Museum Ship - Another view from the opposite (stern) side
G-Tug Base & USCG Base - 3 G-Tugs and the USCG Katmai Bay

USCG Katmai Bay - Stern-view close-up
USCG Buckthorn - Stern view of another Coast Guard vessel at the base
Owen M. Frederick - Tug at the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers' base
Nicolet - Dredge barge at the U.S.A.C.E. base
Paul Bunyan - Heavy-lift barge at the U.S.A.C.E. base which can lift 300 tons!

CCG Cape Hurd - ... and on the Canadian side we find this Canadian Coast Guard vessel
CCG Cape Hurd - Stern view with a large Zodiac on its stern
Chief Shingwauk - I am sad to see this vessel laid-up for (probably) the season; Capt. John Chomniak was (still is) such a wonderful person
Norgoma Museum Ship - A statue of a bull moose stands guard alongside the vessel
Valley Camp Museum Ship - As viewed from across the St. Mary's River in Canada

USCG Katmai Bay - Also viewed from across the Lower St. Mary's River
Purvis tug base - ... back on the Canadian side is the Purvis Marine facility
2 tugs & more - Purvis marine's two large tugs, Reliance and Avenger IV, sit in front of the Yankcanuck (barely visible) and the E.M. Ford
E. M. Ford - A close-up look at the old cement carrier

Dock #1 - As we finish our tour back at Dock #1, the tour boat, Holiday, awaits its turn to serve
Dock #1 - Also at the dock is the tour boat, Hiawatha
Dock #1 - A view of the facility and vessels as we approach the dock
Nokomis - (Stock photo) This is the tour boat I was aboard today

Monday June 29:

Algosar (2) - Tanker docked in the Canadian Soo near the Purvis Marine dock
Georger Kemp Downtown Marina - The marina next to the Valley Camp Museum Ship
Historical Marker - This very interesting, yet little known plaque, is located near the train bridge at the west end of Portage Avenue
Kathryn Spirit - The ex-Menominee is loading at the Algoma Steel Export Dock
Nindawayma - Another look at the Purvis Marine "boneyard"

Sherman Park - The Upper St. Mary's River was a flat calm this morning ... very peaceful!
Sherman Park - A rocky barrier at one end of the beach reflects this peace
Algosar (2) - Another view of the tanker in the Canadian Soo
Purvis Marine - Wide view with the tanker, some tugs, and the old E.M. Ford
Charles M. Beeghly - Upbound below 4-Mile Beach

4-Mile Beach - Last year there was at least 20-30 ft. of sand beach here ... not now!
Cedarglen - Bow-view upbound at Mission Point
2 Ships - The Cedarglen is followed by the Charles M. Beeghly, which is below Mission Point
Cedarglen - Scenic view of the ship passing Mission Point
Cedarglen - Broadside view

Cedarglen - Stern view past an old Coast Guard look-out station above Mission Point
Cedarglen - Stern view close-up
Charles M. Beeghly - Bow-view (broadside) at Mission Point
Charles M. Beeghly - Wide angle stern-view passing the Sugar Island Ferry Dock under threatening skies
Charles M. Beeghly - Stern-view close-up

Osprey Nest - Nests like this are found along the Lower St. Mary's River on channel markers
Osprey - Cropped from the last photo to show a close-up of the bird (a little grainy)
2 Ships - The downbound tanker, Algonova (2), meets the upbound Charles M. Beeghly above Ashmun Bay Boat Launch
Algonova (2) - The tanker heads toward West Pier on the Upper St. Mary's River
Algonova (2) - Downbound in the Upper Soo Locks Approaches

Algonova (2) - Bow-view passing Mission Point
Algonova (2) - Stern view past Mission Point
G.L. Ostrander/Integrity - A cement carrying tug and barge unit downbound along West Pier in the Upper St. Mary's River
American Integrity - The downbound 1000-ft.-long ship heads into the Poe Lock
G.L. Ostrander/Integrity - The tug and barge wait in the Upper Soo Locks Approaches until the American Integrity is in the lock

American Integrity - Stern view as the massive ship inches its way into the Poe Lock
Dual Integrity's - American Integrity in the Poe Lock as the G.L. Ostrander/Integrity head into the MacArthur Lock
G.L. Ostrander/Integrity - A view from the viewing platform at the east end of the MacArthur Lock (through plexiglas)
American Integrity - Broadside bow-view passing Mission Point
American Integrity - Stern view past Mission Point

2 Ships - The upbound Cason J. Callaway has just passed the downbound American Integrity at Mission Point
Cason J. Callaway - Bow-view close-up at Mission Point
Cason J. Callaway - Stern-view close-up at Mission Point
G.L. Ostrander/Integrity - Broadside bow-view close-up at Mission Point
G.L. Ostrander - Close-up of the tug in the "notch" of the barge, Integrity

G.L. Ostrander - Stern view of the tug
G.L. Ostrander/Integrity - Stern view of the tug & barge
J.W. Shelley - Close-up of the bow of the former "Algocen" downbound at the Valley Camp Museum Ship
J.W. Shelley - Bow-view of the colorful ship
J.W. Shelley - Close-up of the stern with the stylized "V" on the stack (Vanguard Shipping)

J.W. Shelley - Passing a couple boatwatchers at Mission Point
J.W. Shelley - Bow-view (broadside) downbound at Mission Point
J.W. Shelley - Stern view past Mission Point as another day comes to a close

Tuesday June 30:

Presque Isle - Before the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Soo Lock (See Link near top of page) began, the 1000-ft.-long tug & barge unit was upbound in the Poe Lock
Presque Isle - Close-up of the massive tug (also named "Presque Isle")
Presque Isle - Stern view from the starboard side (the Indiana Harbor also came through during the Groundbreaking Ceremony)
Edwin H. Gott - Upbound in the Lower Poe Lock Approach after the Groundbreaking Ceremony concluded
Edwin H. Gott - Close-up of the 1004-ft.-long ship

Joseph L. Block - Upbound at the "Rock Pile" below Mission Point
Joseph L. Block - Bow-view (broadside) near Mission Point
Joseph L. Block - Close-up of the stern deckhouse and stack markings
Joseph L. Block - Stern view passing Mission Point
USCG Boat - With all of the dignitaries on hand for the Groundbreaking Ceremony, the Coast Guard kept an armed patrol boat in the upper approach (presumably lower approach also) to the MacArthur Lock

USCG Patrol Boat - These guys were actually getting bounced around pretty good in the lock approach by a strong wind
Edwin H. Gott - Stern view departing the Poe Lock with the patrol boat "dogging" them
Edwin H. Gott - Further out along the approach, the patrol boat hangs tight to the ship (not sure why, as this is a U.S. ship)
USACE Nicolet - A flat-topped barge with a dredge-type crane(?) off Carbide Dock
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Bow-view downbound at Mission Point

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Wider angle bow-view
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin - Stern view at Mission Point

Wednesday July 1 (get-away day):

Clelia II - A brand new cruise ship on its Maiden Voyage to the Great Lakes is at Roberta Bandar Park in the Canadian Soo (also in the photo are the CCG Cape Hurd and the Norgoma Museum Ship
Clelia II - Stern view at Roberta Bandar Park
Algowood - Bow-view downbound at Mission Point
Algowood - Stern view at Mission Point
USACE Nicolet - Dredge upbound at Mission Point

Canadian Prospector - Bow-view downbound at Mission Point
Canadian Prospector - Bow-view close-up
Canadian Prospector - Broadside view at Mission Point
Canadian Prospector - Stern-view close-up
3 Ships - Downbound Canadian Prospector and Algowood meet the upbound H. Lee White

H. Lee White - Bow-view upbound at Mission Point
H. Lee White - Stern-view close-up at Mission Point
Clelia II - The cruise ship has now moved over to Carbide Dock on the American side of the St. Mary's River
Clelia II - Bow-view close-up
Clelia II - Wider angle bow-view

The old and the new - Stern-view (broadside) of the brand new Clelia II at Carbide Dock with the 1898-built E.M. Ford across the river at Purvis Marine in the background
John D. Leitch - Loading at Algoma Steel Export Dock
John D. Leitch - Wide angle at the Export Dock with Algokma Steel in the background

Tuesday June 30 Groundbreaking Ceremony:

On Tuesday, June 30, an historic event took place at Sault Ste. Marie, MI. A Groundbreaking Ceremony for a NEW Soo Lock took place on the "island" between the MacArthur Lock and Poe Lock. This new lock was first proposed to the United States Congress in 1986; however, funding has been hard to come by. This year, $17 million was committed to the project, with the first order of business being to build new cofferdams to block off the upper and lower approaches to the current Davis and Sabin Locks, of which only the Davis is still used, but only infrequently. The cofferdam will, in effect, take the Davis completely out of play; so, the project is likely to come to fruition in the (hopefully) near future. The new Soo Lock is projected to take approximately 7 - 10 years to build, and would put about 1000 people to work, with perhaps as many 15,000 jobs being directly, or indirectly, influenced by the new lock project. The projected new lock would be the same size as the current Poe Lock - 1200-ft. long by 110-ft. wide. Because of length and width, most American ships and many Canadian ships can only use the Poe Lock, as the MacArthur Lock is only 800-ft. long by 80-ft. wide, and cannot accommodate the size of many of today's ships.

Dignitaries on hand included: Lt. Col. James Davis - Commander of the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Brig. General John Peabody - Commander Great Lakes and Ohio River Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kirk Steudel - Michigan Dept. of Transportation Secretary (representing Gov. Granholm who was unable to attend), Hon. Carl Levin - U.S. Senator from Michigan, Hon. Debbie Stabenow - U.S. Senator from Michigan, Hon. Bart Stupak - U.S. Representative from (Menominee) Michigan, Hon. Terence "Rock" Salt - Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, Maj. Gen. Meredith W.B. "Bo" Temple - Deputy Commanding General Civil and Emergency Operations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hon. Anthony Bosbous - Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, His Worship John Roswell - Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Tribal Chairperson Joe McCoy - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Mr. James Weakley - President of the Lake Carriers Association and Mr. David L. Knight - Great Lakes Commission.

After an hour of speeches on a brutal 50-degree day with 20-25 mph winds whistling through an open tent, each of the dignitaries donned a hardhat and picked up a ceremonial shovel, dug their shovels into the (previously tilled) ground alongside the Davis Lock, and let the dirt fly. With this, the ceremony ended just as rain began to softly fall.

Three 1000-ft.-long vessels passed through the Poe Lock around the time of the ceremony: The Presque Isle was in the lock as the ceremony began, the Indiana Harbor "locked through" during the ceremony, and, as the festivities came to a close, the Edwin H. Gott prepared to enter the Poe Lock. All three vessels were upbound and empty.

The U.S. Coast Guard had armed gunboats on hand patrolling the area around the Soo Locks Approaches; one was seen in the Upper MacArthur Lock Approach as the Edwin H. Gott departed the lock, and I assume that the lower approach was also guarded since there were many dignitaries in attendance.

Photos of the Ceremony:

Inside the tent - Speakers podium and assorted flags
Crowd - Part of a standing room only crowd (lucky ones were seated under the tent)
Ceremonial Tools - Shovels and Hardhats for each of the dignitaries
Lt. Col. James Davis - The first speaker is Commander, Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Brig. Gen. John Peabody - The next speaker is Commander, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Kirk Steudel - Next is Michigan Secretary of Transportation representing Gov. Granholm who was not able to attend
David Knight - The Special Projects Manager at Great Lakes Commission speaks next
James Weakley - The President of Lake Carriers' Association is next
His Worship John Roswell - The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario speaks next
Hon. Anthony Bosbous - The mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, MI is next to the podium

Joe McCoy - Tribal Chairperson of the Chippewa Indians speaks next. He told of how the St. Mary's River Rapids (where the Soo locks now stand) was once his tribal ancestors' fishing grounds, which they gave up so the locks could be built.
Hon. Bart Stupak - The U.S. Congressman from (Menominee) Michigan, who has been a tremendous force in Great Lakes legislation over the years, is the next speaker
Hon. Debbie Stabenow - The next speaker is a U.S. Senator from Michigan
Hon. Carl Levin - Here, the U.S. Senator from Michigan banters with the crowd after a rousing round of clapping saying that he thinks the great applause is because everyone thinks he is the last speaker ... "I'm NOT", he said (which brought a round of laughter and smiles)
Maj. General W.B. "Bo" Temple - The Deputy Commanding General Civil and Emergency Operations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is next

Hon. Terrence "Rock" Salt - The final speaker is the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works
Groundbreaking - The dignitaries each don a hardhat and grab a shovel
Groundbreaking - Preparing to "Dig in"
Groundbreaking - It is time to "Dig in"!
Groundbreaking - ... and let the dirt fly! - This ends the ceremony.

Well, everyone, that wraps up this year's (summer) trip to the Soo. It was a great time, decent weather, and a time to renew some old friendships ... and make some new ones. I hope you enjoyed the photos and stories. So, until next time, I'll be "keepin' on clickin'"!

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