Thursday, July 16, 2015


Wednesday, July 15 – Can you believe it's the middle of July already? Summer's flying by! This morning we began our sightseeing here in Saulte Ste. Marie, MI, with a stop at Lake Superior State University (LSSU). LSSU is situated on 115-acre campus making it the smallest state university in Michigan. Enrollment is more than 2,500 undergraduates.

It sits on a high bluff overlooking the St. Mary's River and the International Bridge to Canada. The area that currently makes up the campus of Lake Superior State University served as Fort Brady from 1894 to 1944. The military base used during World War II as a defense base for the Soo Locks.

The view from the Student Center…International Bridge.International bridge

Lake Superior State College

The institution is one of only three universities in the United States to offer the robotics specialization in the ABET/TAC accredited manufacturing engineering technology, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and mechanical engineering bachelor of science degrees. LSSU is home to one of the best robotics educational facilities in North America. Also, Lake State was the first in the country to offer an accredited four-year Fire Science program and is one of three such programs in the nation.

College of Science, Crawford Hall.
Crawford Hall

Student and Conference Center.DSC02587

They've converted and remodeled many of the military buildings into classrooms, offices, and dormitories. What a great use for a closed military installation!

From Fort to Future, former officer's housing is now multidiscipline housing.housing

The former Fort Brady barracks is now a men's residence.
Brady hall

Again, Marsha found the landscaping awesome. She said she has never seen so many varieties of lilies.

Lake Superior State University

We enjoyed our walk around campus and found it very beautiful. If you are in the area, take a walkabout. We think you will enjoy it.

After the University visit, we drove a short way down the street to see freighters passing through the famous Soo Locks. The Locks are used to raise and lower ships in the different water levels between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. There are nearly 11,000 vessels that pass through the Locks annually hauling 90 million tons of cargo.

Administration Building.

The four Locks operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers - the Davis, Sabin, MacArthur, and Poe locks. From the time a vessel approaches the lock until the time it leaves takes between 40-60 minutes.  Once the vessel is secured inside the lock it takes 15-20 minutes to raise or lower the boat 21 feet (just over a foot a minute!). We watched vessels come and go from the brand-new observation platform situated at the Lock’s edge. It takes 22 million gallons of water to lift a boat.

Taken from a photo at the Soo Locks Visitor’s Center.Soo Locks

Soo locks

We watched a few freighters enter the locks from one end and exit the other. This tour boat came in from Lake Superior and travel through a lock to Lake Huron. The following photos will show how much the water level changes.

Tour boat entering from Lake Superior which is 21 feet higher than Lake Huron.
Soo Locks

After the adjustment of the water level is made. Look at the back wall to see the difference in the water level.
Soo Locks

Gates of the lock.
Soo Locks

Ready to depart.
Soo Locks

It's amazing to see these huge ships being raised or lowered in the Locks. This is another sight we really enjoyed and one we definitely recommend for fellow travelers.

Soo Locks

Don’t miss the Soo Locks Visitor’s Center. It has excellent displays, information and pamphlets.

Soo Locks

We will continue our tour of Saulte Ste. Marie in the next post. What a great area.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!