• UNIT-Local History Component
    Title: Building of Fort Brady
    Focus:  In 1822, an American fort was built at Sault Ste. Marie.
    Connection: Remember when we talked about the Cass Expedition.  Today we are going to learn about why Territorial Governor Lewis Cass negotiated a treaty with the Chippewa to buy land at Sault Ste.Marie.
    Teaching Point:
    1.  More Americans began to move into the area.
    2.  Pauwayteeg became the small village of Sault Ste. Marie.

    3.  Fort Brady was built partly on the land that had been Fort Repentigny (1822).


    Resource Material for Teachers:

                The grant of land ceded to the United States in 1820 by the Chippewas consisted of about sixteen square miles of land, and it coincides remarkably well with the present-day land area of the City of Sault Ste. Marie. It was more than enough for a fort!  In 1822, Col. Hugh Brady arrived with a battalion of  soldiers from the 2nd  Regiment of the U.S. Army and set to work to build the fort at the foot of the rapids, on a piece of land which had been owned by the fur trader Charles Ermatinger, who was living on the north (British) side of the river at the time. Disputes arose over the purchase price of the land, and they were not settled until 1847, fourteen years after Mr. Ermatinger died.  

                In order to have some sawn lumber available for the construction of the fort, the soldiers excavated a millrace for a water-powered sawmill. The mill was operational in 1823, and stood approximately where the Ojibway Hotel now stands. This millrace was to play a role in the abortive attempt, in 1839, by the State of Michigan to construct a shipping canal and locks to bypass the rapids.

                The original Fort Brady was located at the foot of present-day Bingham Avenue, and remained the site of the fort until 1892, when it was moved further from the river, atop the hill overlooking the upper St. Marys River — now occupied by Lake Superior State University. See  City of the Rapids, pp. 63-72. Fort Brady was left in the hands of a caretaker for several years beginning in 1846, when the soldiers were deployed to the Texas-Mexico border for service in the Mexican-American War.


    Active Engagement: pages 22-23 Student Pages.

    Share: Take a classroom visit or a virtual tour of the River of History Museum. http://history.eup.k12.mi.us/local/river/

Last Modified on February 14, 2018