• UNIT-Local History
    Title: Industry in the Sault
    Focus: The Sault had four major industries in the early years of the 20th century.
    Connection: Remember when we talked about the power canal.  Today we are going to talk about industries that came to Sault Ste. Marie.
    Teaching Point:
    1. Sault Woolen Mill (1898)
    2. Northwestern Leather Company (1900)
    3. Union Carbide Company (1903)
    4. Cadillac-Soo Lumber Company (1923)
    Resource Material for Teachers:

                The availability of cheap electric power attracted the Union Carbide Company to Sault Ste. Marie as soon as the powerhouse was operational. It was quickly realized that the dreams of virtually unlimited power were not realistic, and the Carbide plant which was built utilized all of the electricity produced. But the plant was a mainstay of the economy of the city until it closed in 1962 — partly a victim of being relatively far from large markets, and partly because of changing technology. The huge plant was dismantled, and there is no evidence of it at the site, now occupied by the James Alford Park at the east end of the powerhouse. Tangible evidence of the era remains in the form of lime piles near the intersection of Easterday and Shunk. Waste products from the manufacturing process were dumped at that site for years, forming the huge piles.

                Waterpower was not a factor in attracting the Northwestern Leather Company to the Sault just before 1900. Instead, it was the proximity to large stands of hemlock trees, and sawmills which cut the logs. Hemlock bark was used in the tanning process at that time, although the plant switched over to a different process part way through its existence. The tannery closed in 1958 — also a victim of our remote location, as well as a changing economy. See pp. 183-199 of City of the Rapids for more detail about Sault Ste. Marie industries.

    Active Engagement: Color Book with descriptive text pages 38-39student pages.

    Share: Students use the information from the text to create a timeline showing when the industries came to the Sault.

Last Modified on February 14, 2018