St. Mary's Falls Canal

Also known as: The Soo Locks
Portage St., Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan


St. Mary's Falls Canal, Soo Locks

1. Wayne Chandler, Photographer, November 2000 Photographic copy of photograph (original print in possession of Heritage Research, Ltd. Menomonee Falls, WI) John N. Vogel, Photographer, July 2000 View to northwest. Aerial view of Soo Complex. Downtown Sault Ste. Marie to lower left

Photo from the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


There are 4 locks on US side of St. Mary's Falls. They are, from north to south: The Sabin lock (now closed), built in 1919, is 1350' long. The Davis lock, built in 1914, is 1350' long. The Poe lock, built in 1968, is 1200' long. And the MacArthur lock, built in 1943, is 800' long

The Administration building, located between the Poe & MacArthur locks, was built in 1897. In 1943 the main chimney was removed & replaced with a dispatch tower. Each office on the 1st & 2nd floor has a fireplace, tho no longer used. The basement contains pumps used to dewater the locks.

The Davis building, located between the Davis & Poe locks, was built in 1914. The basement also contains pumps used to dewater the locks.

The Sabin Lock's Northeast Intermediate Shelter is significant as an element that contributes to the overall integrity of the Soo Lock complex in general. The shelter is also significant as a unique component that facilitates the operation of the lock's gates, thus accommodating navigation on the St. Marys River between Lakes Huron and Superior. -- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER MI-322-B-7)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1966
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Water-related; Water works
Current functions
Water works; Water-related
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 5
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • July 5, 2019: Updated by Jim Allen: expanded the description
  • July 5, 2019: New photos from Jim Allen
  • May 23, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller