In these few pages the endeavour has been made to set in order in simple form the story of the Sault. The wish has ever been to give honour where honour is due and to shed upon all the light of impartiality.
The work is now sent upon its journeyings in the hope of a kindly reception.
For the conservation of all things of interest connected with our town two suggestions might be made : The first is, that a society be formed for the purpose of gathering together relics and treasures of the past and of marking the sites of historic buildings with small distinguishing plates. The second suggestion is that the Town Council set apart a suitable room in the Municipal buildings now in the course of erection (1903) where relics and mementoes gathered by any society which may be formed or contributed by any individual for historical purposes, may be received and properly cared for.
There are no doubt books and sketches without number bearing directly or indirectly on the history and scenery Algoma in general and of Sault Sainte Marie in particular, many of which may gradually find their way to such a repository if it be but established.
If the suggestions made are not considered in order by the readers, the only excuse which is pleaded is that of an enthusiastic desire to see such relics of the past history of the town placed in safety ere they be lost to us altogether.
The story of our town as unfolded by legend, tradition and history is somewhat unique. What the future has in store, none may say.
It was Omar, the 4 Tent Maker,” who in his Rubaiyat wrote :
” Up from Earth’s centre through the Seventh Gate,
I rose, and on the throne of Saturn sate,
And a many a knot unravelled by the Road,
But not the Master-knot of Human Fate.
” There was the Door to which I found no key,
There was the veil through which I might not see.
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There wasand then no more of Thee and Me.”
Thus one might sing concerning our little town by the Rapids.
All men, from time to time, build castles-inthe-air, and to Sault Sainte Marie’s citizens at castle-building, times, the unborn years, seem indeed to have in store a long period of steady growth and great prosperity. May it indeed be so.
The brave who, at his new stopping-place, in 1400 A.D., shaded his eyes to scan the channel of the River St. Mary, would not have believed that white men could ever penetrate her wilds and rear the mission and the trading post, nor did Black Robes, the Wamitigosha and the swarthy Bourgeois think as they, too, trod the shores that towns of many thousands of people would one day adorn St. Mary’s banks.
Yet, nevertheless, has it all come to pass. The ” Brave ” is only met witheven herein books ; his weapons of olden times find peaceful repose as curios in the halls and studies of those who have succeeded him ; his very language is passing away, and he who among the whites can speak the Ojibway ” is regarded with a certain wonder by his fellows.
Muckwa, the divine, like his red pursuer, has gone to be hunted in the ” Ishpeming,” beyond there to flee before spirit huntsmen discharging ghostly arrows from phantom bows. Only on White Fish Island, where crosses the International Bridge, is to be found a semblance to the Indian of a few generation ago, and even these are few and unchoice.
Following the ” Brave ” and his victims the humble log mission, too, has disappeared, but in its stead have risen stately structures of noble form wherein is offered the same memorial of sacrifice as that which was pleaded in Bawating in 1642.
Even to the settlers of 1843-56 the Saultseemed as though it were always to be a mere child among its sister towns, but behold, a greater town than many another unfolds more fully each day its glory to the view. May those who come after us to carry on the work which we now indulge in find our dreams quite fulfilled, and Baw-a-ting, midway between the oceans, the centre of the great lakes, an industrial centre and a loyal metropolis in a mighty and prosperous land, Adieu !