• UNIT-Local History
    Title: Change and Opportunity
    Focus: The loss of manufacturing and the military caused economic hardships, but the Sault area found ways to overcome the problems.
    Connection: Remember when we talked about the military presence and major industries in Sault Ste. Marie.  Today we are going to talk about the changes the city has faced when industries left.
    Teaching Point:
    1. New Fort Brady became Michigan College of Mining and Technology (now LSSU).
    2. Kincheloe AFB became a commercial airport, housing, a golf course and 4 state prisons.
    3. Without  heavy industry, the air and water were less polluted, and the area became healthier.
    4. Many tourists came to the Sault area to enjoy outdoor activities and to view the Soo Locks.
    Resource Materials for Teachers:   The post-WWII era in the Sault was one of rapid change. Shipping tonnage through the locks continued its growth, and, indeed, the all-time record tonnage year was 1953, during which 128 million tons of cargo passed through.

                The conversion of Fort Brady into Soo Branch of Michigan College of Mining and Technology (now Michigan Technological University) was a response to the need to accommodate returning WWII veterans seeking education under the GI Bill. First classes were held in the fall of 1946, led by a group of dedicated faculty from the mother campus in Houghton. Attempts to close the branch after the influx of GI’s subsided were resisted by the “pioneers” from Houghton, who had developed a dedication to the success of the fledgling institution.

                The Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957, and this changed some basic relationships in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, since travel to northern Lower Michigan became easier, faster, and less dependent on weather. As a small, but perhaps telling example, the teams with which Sault High School competed in athletics were largely other Upper Peninsula schools before the bridge was built; afterwards, opponents such as Petoskey, Gaylord, Traverse City, and Cheboygan began to show up on the Sault’s schedules. The coming of I-75, and the opening of the International Bridge in 1962, added also to the efficiency of transportation and travel, both for Eastern Upper Peninsula residents, and for tourists wishing to visit.

    Active Engagement: Color Book with descriptive text found on pages 46-47Student Pages.

    Share: Have students brainstorm with a partner a new business or industry that could come to this area.

Last Modified on February 14, 2018