Large Iron Ore Boat Coming into Sabin Locks, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
LARGE IRON ORE BOAT COMING INTO SABIN LOCKS, SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN: The Great Lakes furnish the most remarkable inland waterway in the world. To make this waterway navigable all the way from Duluth, Minnesota, to Buffalo, New York, our country had done several things. The lake and rivers connecting Lakes Erie and Huron have been deepened. A canal has been built around the rapids in the St. Mary's River, which is between Lake Huron and Superior. This is known as the "Soo Canal." Lake Superior is twenty-three feet higher than Lake Huron, so the canal is provided with locks which lift the boats going west and lower those traveling east. This "Soo" canal handles more freight than any other canal in the world.
The odd looking "freighter" entering the locks is very well adapted to carrying ore or coal on the lakes. It is like a huge iron box with a flat bottom. There is a little house at each end. In one the crew lives. In the other is machinery. Some of these boats carry 10,000 tons of freight at one time.
What do they all carry? Many carry iron ore, which comes from the mines near Hibbing, to eastern ports. At Duluth and Superior the world's greatest elevators (store houses) are full of wheat awaiting shipment. Copper and lumber also make up many cargoes. The westward bound boats carry a greater variety of freight. Coal fills the most boats. (Why?) Others are loaded with dry goods, clothing, groceries, automoblies, machinery, and many smaller manufactured articles.
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