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The speaker is a 76-year-old White woman with a high school education from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; she was recorded in 1966.

County: Chippewa
State: MI

The first permanent settlement in Michigan, at the northeastern tip of the Upper Peninsula at the juncture of Lakes Superior and Huron, bordering on Canada, Sault Ste. Marie was founded in 1668 by a French missionary. Locks and canals were built on the river much later to allow avoidance of the rapids when transporting people and goods. This speaker discusses family and local history, here telling about major events during the course of growing up in the town.
Inf: You have asked me to give the reminiscences of my life here in Sault Ste. Marie. One of the oldest in the United States, you know. I was born here. My mother came here as a bride. My father had uh looked over the state of Michigan. He had gone to Hot Springs, too. And he was thinking of Australia, but he chose Sault Ste. Marie. And I have always been thankful for that.

Eh, the early years do not concern me so much, but I remember vividly the day that Water Street, the main street, burned. That was the day that my father was out to the races. And somebody said to him, "Water Street's burning and the whole town's apt to burn."

And he said, "Let her burn."

But when he came in, in a horse and buggy, he found that his business was completely demolished. He then took over the Park Hotel. It still stands. It's opposite the Ojibway.

It was there that I saw the boys leave for the Spanish-American War. Every child in town marched that day. We carried flags. I had just recovered from the measles, an' my poor sister was sick up in the back room of the Park Hotel, a dark room. She couldn't go. Uh, my mother and her sister were weeping copiously. They had a picture taken with their two brothers, two very young men -- one lied about his age -- who were leaving. I remembered also when the women packed great big boxes to send to the boys, and I remember so well the day the first of them came home. The city met them at the station, and they drove to the Park Hotel. We sat on the steps. They looked like ghosts. They seemed to have no cheeks, and they were yellow, and they stared.

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