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Old 07-15-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
279 posts, read 591,575 times
Reputation: 181

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Hello:

Recently, a friend of mine told me he could see me living in the UP. (He has been to the UP many times and I've known him for about 25 years.) I did a little research and discovered our company has a small office in Sault Sainte Marie, MI. The company I work for has offices all of the country and every so often we employees get to put together a "wish list" of 3 - 5 spots we would be willing to relocate to with the company. My wife and I are Buckeyes so we've been focusing on areas around our home state.

So, we've been doing some general internt research trying to learn what I can on Sault Sainte Marie and the surrounding area. We not really city people. Neither one of us grew up in big cities (for me 2 miles outside of a town of 3500 for her 2 miles outside of a town of 40,000). We both like the outdoors, peace and quite, basically a good safe family environment.

So we figured we would post and try to learn as much as we can learn about Sault Sainte Marie, MI and the area around it (say within about a 30-45 minute drive). Anything anyone wants to tell us and is willing to share with us would be great. We've look at the "stats" but how cold does it really get most winters? How much snow? How hot in the summer? How much rain in the spring/fall? How safe is the area? What are the issues in the area? How is the public education for kids? Etc. Etc. Etc. If you live or lived there please share what you like and dislike.

We appreciate you taking the time to respond.
HPY1's (i.e. Happy Ones)
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
9,468 posts, read 10,794,806 times
Reputation: 15967
I lived in Sault ste Marie for about 8 years so I think I can help you. First up here we call it "the Soo", Sault Ste Marie is a mouthfull. I loved living there and the natural beauty around the general eastern UP area is what really makes it worth living there. Acrost the river in Canada the scenery is even better, north of the Canadian Soo there is a high country with mountains the size you would have to go to Kentucky to see. All this is just 40 minutes from Sault Mi. The town itself is old, and some people run it down for that reason. The economy is not exactly robust (it is Michigan afterall). As far as safety I would say its very safe. The schools are average, but there is a University right in town. The weather is kinda extreme, in winter the temps can get as low as -30, and snow falls by the foot most years. I believe the town gets around 100 inches a year. Extreme weather events do happen there, in 1995 there was a 6 foot snowfall over one weekend, yes I said 6 FOOT. THe entire town was buried and the national guard had to dig it out. Summer is awesome in the UP, 75-80 degrees lots of nice weather. Fall is beautiful too, lots of color and nice cool crisp days. I always enjoyed summer, fall and most of the winter, but the worst time of year in the Soo is spring. Cool damp and wet conditions persist for months, snowmelt can take a month, I never liked march and april there. I have been gone from the Soo for over 10 years now, but I still miss living there. We moved to central Mi for my wife, but I have regreted leaving ever since. The quality of life there is great, your close to nature, best fishing around, close to all three great lakes etc. Obvioulsy Im kinda outdoorsey and that is why I loved it there. If you dont like the outdoors you would get bored there in my opinion. The downsides of the area are its remoteness from big city amenities, I never cared about this but its a common complaint there. Not counting the Canadian Soo the closest major towns for shopping are Traverse city, Saginaw or Green bay. All involve a 150 mile ride or more. I hope this info helps
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
302 posts, read 768,936 times
Reputation: 464
I'd also add Tahquamenon falls, The Mackinac Straits, Mackinac Island and The Pictured Rocks (well that is a little ways off) as near by natural wonders that can't be missed.
I grew up in the Sault Ste. Marie area, and while I've never been a fan of the isolation (I've always thought The Soo would be just perfect if it were say, an hour away from Detroit or Grand Rapids, instead of six) the town has plenty of wonderful old buildings, a lot of history (oldest city in Michigan and one of the oldest in the midwest!) and plenty of natural beauty.


Downtown | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
(downtown can get kind of busy during tourist season, but usually it's pretty easy going.)


Downtown Sault Ste. Marie 11 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
(Many of the buildings downtown are very, very old. I've seen pictures of the Soo from the 1920s and earlier, and downtown looks very similar.)


P9280047 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
I love this courthouse. It was built in the 1880s or 1890s in the French Second Empire architectural style. (Sault Ste. Marie was originally founded as a French city in 1668, after all.)


Museum Ship Valley Camp | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
One big selling point for the tourists here is watching the freighters sail by. We have The Valley Camp Ship Museum in Sault Ste. Marie, an old lake freighter turned into a ship museum. They have some of the Edmund Fitzgerald's lifeboats!


Edison Sault Electric | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
One of my favorite things about The Soo is the canal that circles the downtown and turns it into an island. It is a power canal that helps power a hundred year old hydro electric plant that we have here.


Returning parishioners | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
The canal bridges help make the downtown a great place to just walk around in, especially in the summer time.


City Hall | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Another great example of the old architecture here is our city hall, also known as the Old Federal Building. Neo-Classical style of course.


The Locks X | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Sault Ste. Marie is well known for the Soo Locks, which allow passage between Lakes Huron and Superior. There is a boat tour you can take of the locks system if you are interested!


Methodist church | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
There are a bunch of old churches and other buildings here.


PA060066 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


Edison Hydro plant on a snowy day | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Sault Ste. Marie is a great place to be if you love the snow and winter time activities. If not, come here during the summer! It's usually nice and cool during the summer; plenty of people own summer homes up here to escape the heat in other places!


Sault Ste. Marie, MI | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


Mackinac bridge | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
The Mackinac straits are about an hour away, what a great view! Mackinac island is a lot of fun, and so is old Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw city.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
9,468 posts, read 10,794,806 times
Reputation: 15967
You have some very nice pics of the town there. Those pics are really worth 1000 words, I wish I had some talent with a camera.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
302 posts, read 768,936 times
Reputation: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielj72 View Post
You have some very nice pics of the town there. Those pics are really worth 1000 words, I wish I had some talent with a camera.
Thank you ! I've never taken classes or anything, but I think the trick to getting good pictures is just try and do your best framing the pic, take pictures of things that interest you, take LOTS of pictures, and above all have fun!
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:34 AM
 
301 posts, read 823,100 times
Reputation: 448
ManoftheNorth,
Thank you so much for posting these pictures!! What a treat!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
279 posts, read 591,575 times
Reputation: 181
Thank you for the reply.
As stated, I am doing my research now so that when I put together my "wish list" I make sure the places I put on it are places my family and I want to be/live. We didn't have much of a choice on our current location, VERY HOT, VERY SOUTH, Texas. Where we live is remote, poverty stricken, yet densely populated. It isn’t a horrible location, but definitely not a place we want to be any longer than is necessary! I say it is remote because we are 6 hours south of Houston and 5 hours south of San Antonio. The closest big city to us is about Corpus Christi which is about 2.5 hours away. We like rural small town living, I like to hunt and fish and I want to teach my kids how to hunt and fish. I like that I can afford a house with some land which will enable me to hunt in my backyard. We looking for a safe place, and small towns are normally safe. As far as the snow and the cold, I have experienced -15 to -20 in Ohio, and I have experienced snow. Granted, I am sure the winter in the Soo is over all colder and snowier than it is in Ohio. A friend of a friend used to live in the Soo. That friend complained about how far it is to Home Depot and how remote it is, which makes me ask, isn’t there a hardware/lumber store in the Soo or at least across the border in Canada? What do most people do as far as say back to school shopping for the kids, grocery stores, clothing shopping? My wife will ask how long of a drive to the mall? (As it stands we don’t often go to the mall, we have one about ½ of a mile from our home and we have visited it about 3 times in 15 months. It is more just for knowledge and consideration.)
Thanks again!
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
302 posts, read 768,936 times
Reputation: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPY1 View Post
Thank you for the reply.
As stated, I am doing my research now so that when I put together my "wish list" I make sure the places I put on it are places my family and I want to be/live. We didn't have much of a choice on our current location, VERY HOT, VERY SOUTH, Texas. Where we live is remote, poverty stricken, yet densely populated. It isn’t a horrible location, but definitely not a place we want to be any longer than is necessary! I say it is remote because we are 6 hours south of Houston and 5 hours south of San Antonio. The closest big city to us is about Corpus Christi which is about 2.5 hours away. We like rural small town living, I like to hunt and fish and I want to teach my kids how to hunt and fish. I like that I can afford a house with some land which will enable me to hunt in my backyard. We looking for a safe place, and small towns are normally safe. As far as the snow and the cold, I have experienced -15 to -20 in Ohio, and I have experienced snow. Granted, I am sure the winter in the Soo is over all colder and snowier than it is in Ohio. A friend of a friend used to live in the Soo. That friend complained about how far it is to Home Depot and how remote it is, which makes me ask, isn’t there a hardware/lumber store in the Soo or at least across the border in Canada? What do most people do as far as say back to school shopping for the kids, grocery stores, clothing shopping? My wife will ask how long of a drive to the mall? (As it stands we don’t often go to the mall, we have one about ½ of a mile from our home and we have visited it about 3 times in 15 months. It is more just for knowledge and consideration.)
Thanks again!
Sault Ste. Marie has a few hardware stores (Ace Hardware and a few others), a Super Wal-Mart, a Kmart, some smaller stores like Big Lots, and plenty of grocery stores (Supervalue near downtown is the one everyone shops at, but we also have a Save-A-Lot, Glen's, Gordon foods,Neville's Superette, and Wal-Mart has groceries of course). Sault Ste. Marie Ontario right across the river has a mall, as well as a home depot. Hunting and fishing are pretty big in Sault Ste. Marie, by the way.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/aeverett55/7546204170/

Last edited by ManoftheNorth; 07-17-2012 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
279 posts, read 591,575 times
Reputation: 181
A friend of mine keeps telling me that the flies (biting flies) and mosquitos are going to be horrible there. I countered with the winters are so severe that they most kill most (obviously not all) insects. I'm comfortable with driving to Canada especially if it saves me from driving so far.

To me, Soo and the UP sounds like a great place to live. The people that don't like it, what are their chief complaints?
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
302 posts, read 768,936 times
Reputation: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPY1 View Post
A friend of mine keeps telling me that the flies (biting flies) and mosquitos are going to be horrible there. I countered with the winters are so severe that they most kill most (obviously not all) insects. I'm comfortable with driving to Canada especially if it saves me from driving so far.

To me, Soo and the UP sounds like a great place to live. The people that don't like it, what are their chief complaints?
Winter lasts forever (snow cover on the ground from October or November to March or April is pretty standard), it's isolated (six hour drive to Michigan's largest cities Detroit and Grand Rapids), not a ton of cultural amenities (we have a theater downtown that puts on plays and the Casino gets shows like KISS and Bill Cosby every once and a while, but it's not like living near a big city), and not a lot of jobs would be some of the major complaints.
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