Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula

Riverfront walk along Water Street and Brady Park

Brady Park
Brady Park.

It's easy to visit the locks and remain unaware that there's a most attractive walk and park along Water Street. One end is behind the six-story Ojibway Hotel that marks the end of Soo Locks Park. Another end is at the foot of Ashmun, downtown's main street.
Beautiful Brady Park offers a close-up view of any upbound vessels waiting to enter the locks.
It's on part of the site of the first Fort Brady, built in 1823. Interestingly, though the British had been defeated in the War of 1812, they did not quit this area until forced to by Michigan's territorial governor, Lewis Cass, in 1820. Cass claimed the Sault for the United States "with reckless courage that almost precipitated a massacre by pro-British Indians," according to historian Willis Dunbar in Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State.

Between the street and the river is a history walkway of flower gardens and interesting markers, new and old, that illuminate further aspects of the Soo's rich history. A bust and bas-reliefs of scenes from Sault history commemorates the outdoors-loving Chase Osborn, onetime publisher of the Sault Evening News. He was one of Michigan's more interesting governors and the only governor from the Upper Peninsula. A progressive Republican, he believed in using government to benefit society and its less fortunate members. He was Michigan's chief game and fish warden and then, from 1899 to 1903, Michigan commissioner of railroads. As governor from 1911 to 1912 he worked to enact Michigan's first workmen's compensation and successfully lobbied nationally for the free trade in the Reciprocity Agreement of 1911 with Canada, over the opposition of U.P. lumber, pulp, and farm lobbies. (He never won later bids for governor or for U.S. senator.) Later he became a militant prohibitionist.

The core of Brady Park is on a knoll capped by an red granite obelisk monument. In 1905 it commemorated the 50th anniversary of opening the locks. The designer was no less than Charles McKim of McKim, Mead and White, the New York architecture firm that was the most prestigious of its time. The obelisk is an impressive Beaux Art touch from the turn-of-the-century era, when the citizens of the Soo aspired to greatness. Between the obelisk and the river is a palisade of wood stakes constructed on a small part of the original line of Fort Brady when it was here.

Overlooking the park are several impressive old homes. The site of Father Marquette's mission is commemorated by a marker across Water Street from the park at the corner of Bingham.

Return to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Soo Locks Park & Visitor Center. This is the place to get really close-up views of giant freighters, plus see some interesting exhibits ... more

Portage Avenue shops and beyond. Shops of note in the central part of town ... more

Soo Brewing Company. Serious ale brewer will fill you growler for $8 ... more

Soo Locks Boat Tour. This 2-hour excursion provides a dramatic look at the big locks, the quaint Canadian locks, and the Twin Soo's waterfronts. ... more

River of History Museum. Life-size dioramas bring to life scenes from Sault Ste. Marie's long history and prehistory. ... more

Riverfront walk along Water Street and Brady Park. See upbound boats waiting at the locks at beautiful Brady Park, site of the 19th c. fort. See interesting historic monuments from Sault Ste. Marie's aspiring years, including idiosyncratic Chase Osborn, the only U.P. governor. ... more

Bingham Avenue historic buildings. An avenue of grand 19th-century buildings, from a time when locals saw a grander future for the city than actually unfolded ... more

Tower of History. An oustanding view of the area from a 21-story tower. ... more

St. Mary's Pro-cathedral. This 1880s cathedral has a wonderful interior, with richly colored stained glass and striking wall accents ... more

Water Street Historic Block. Three of the earliest and most significant houses in Upper Peninsula history ... more

George Kemp Downtown Marina . A nice picnic area at a beautiful marina ... more

Museum Ship Valley Camp . A 1917 Great Lakes steamship is the vehicle for an interesting maritime museum ... more

St. Mary's River Lighthouse Cruise. A 4-hour journey past landmarks like the lighthouse at the entrance to the St. Marys River ... more

Edison Sault Power Plant & Alford Park. This 1902 quarter-mile-long landmark never attracted the industries it was built to serve, but still generates electricity ... more

Mission Point, Aune Osborn Park & Sugar Island Ferry. It's been called the #1 place anywhere to see Great Lakes freighters in motion ... more

Sugar Island. Once a favorite Chippewa sugaring spot, the island still has many maples and still is a popular stop for migrating birds ... more

New Fort Brady/Lake Superior State University. Begun in 1893 as an Army fort and barracks for 20,000 troops, this overlook now is the site of 3,300-student Lake Superior State University ... more

International Bridge. Connecting the 5,000-mile Trans-Canada Highway with 2,000-mile I-75 to Florida, this 1962 bridge does much more than connect the two Soos ... more

Sault Ste. Marie Wi-fi Hotspots. Bayliss Public Library has public computers. 541 Library Drive. Take last US exit on I-75, turn right on Easterday, turn left at traffic light onto Ashland St. to Library Drive. Lake Superior State University campus is a wi-fi hotspot. 650 W. Easterday. ... more

Our new interactive map to U.P. motels that offer exceptionally low rates. See also our useful detailed maps to U.P. TOWNS. These custom-made maps locate landmarks and attractions.
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.

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