This exhibit area offers a pictorial display of early Great Lakes cruise ships, a brief history of the Locks, a scale model of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Chicora. A replica scale model of the lighthouse “Sisters Light” is also showcased in the exhibit.
Ferries began operating between the two Saults in the 1860s. Edmund Parr ran a small ferry from the foot of Spring Street which ran on no particular schedule, the ferry was called the “Dime”. In 1873 Joachim Biron was issued a “coasting license” by the Dominion government.
Francis H. Clergue began a ferry service between the twin Saults in 1902 with a ferry called the “Fortune” through the International Transit Company. He was in competition with the U. S. Ferry Service which he bought out in 1903.
On September 15th, 1915 the Government of Canada issued license to the International Transit Company for the exclusive right, liberty and privilege of operating a ferry across the St. Marys River between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The License included the following tariffs:
- Foot passengers each way – Adults 10¢ / Children 5¢
- Horse & Rider each way – 25¢
- Horse vehicle & driver each way – 35¢
- Each additional horse & passenger – 10¢
- Each head of horned cattle each way – 25¢
- Each sheep or hog each way – 5¢
The ferry would operate every 30 minutes. Starting June 1st between the hours of 7am and 9pm and November 1st to close of navigation from 7am to 8pm.
In 1926 the Ferry License was renewed for a period of 10 years. The schedule was changed to the opening of navigation to May 31st from 7am to 8pm; June 1st to September 30th from 7am to 9pm; from October 1st until close of navigation from 7am to 8pm. Charges for fares and tariffs were changed as follows:
- One passenger – Adult 10¢ / 20¢ (return)
- One child under 10 years of age – 5¢ / 10¢ (return)
- Single horse vehicle or truck not loaded, with driver – 35¢ / 70¢ (return)
- Two horse vehicle or truck not loaded , with driver – 50¢ / $1.00 (return)
- Moving van not loaded, with driver – 85¢ / $1.20 (return)
- One 5 passenger automobile or under with driver – 75¢ / $1.00 (return)
- One over 5 passenger heavy automobile or long wheel base, with driver – 85¢ / $1.20 (return)
- One auto truck not loaded, 1 ton capacity or under with driver – 75¢ / $1.00 (return)
- One motorcycle and rider – 25¢
- One motorcycle and rider with side car – 25¢
- One horse and rider – 25¢ / 50¢ (return)
Baggage & Freight
- Baggage per 100lbs. 10¢
- Minimum charge per shipment 10¢
- Fares & Tariffs changed by Order in Council February 13th, 1953
Passengers / Motor Vehicles
- Passenger vehicle not over 18ft in length, with driver – $1.00 / $1.50 (return)
- Passenger vehicle, over 18 ft in length, with driver – $1.25 / $2.00 (return)
In 1926 ferry service in the Sault changed from steam to diesel. Three ferries all built in Collingwood – Agoming – 1926, James W. Curran – 1947, John A. McPhail – 1955. In 1962 ferry service between the two Saults ceased operation with the opening of the International Bridge.
The James W. Curran & John D. McPhail were transferred to Lake Ontario to supplement a ferry service between Kingston & Wolfe Island, the Agoming was sold at auction to local contractor Jack Smale. The John A. McPhail sank during a storm while being towed to Kingston.