E. & T. Fairbanks Co. Builds First Soo Locks
To the Editor:
The genesis of the 1853 – 1855 construction of the first Sault Ste. Marie Canal Locks (“Soo Locks”) in Michigan - connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron via the St. Mary’s River - had its origin with the venerable St. Johnsbury scale concern, E. & T. Fairbanks and Company.
A history of the Soo Locks provided by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Detroit District) notes that: “The E&T Fairbanks Company, a Vermont company investing in mineral resources in [Michigan] won the [construction] contract and with [Fairbanks employee and Sault Ste. Marie sales agent] Charles T. Harvey on site to oversee operations completed two locks, each chamber measuring 350’ long, 70’ wide and 12 feet deep with a lift of 9 feet in less than two years.” (Source: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Soo-Locks-Visitor-Center/Soo-Locks-History/ (last visited Dec. 1, 2019)).
Additionally, Lake Superior Magazine (“How the Soo Locks Were Made”) (July 27, 2015 edition) noted that: