Aug 25-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: August: Aug 25-05
Edison Sault Hydroelectric Plant    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Robert Halonen
A closer look at the columns    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Robert Halonen

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:15 am:

Robert Halonen recently visited Sault Ste. Marie, on the eastern end of the U.P. and snapped a couple shots of the Edison Sault Hydroelectric Plant, considered a historical landmark dating back to 1900, when construction began. Looking at these photos you can see where the water enters the plant through the columns underneath, to then be converted into electricity. In 1992 a project was completed that enhanced the safety and efficiency of producing electricity through the plant, which discharges approximately 30,000 cubic feet of water per second, equating to about 13 million gallons per minute. Now that's an impressive amount of H20!

By Chris Little (Caphris) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:40 am:

Good Morning!...Close to the Buckhorn, Great steak place

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:06 am:

ah yes, the power of mighty superior used as a good, clean, efficient source of energy.

By Timothy Paull Colborn (Timmer280) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 07:09 am:

No visit to the Soo is complete without lunch at the Antlers!!!!

By Leslie at the Northern Lights Lodge (Leslie) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 07:13 am:

Good Morning!
I loved finding the photo of the Soo Power Plant this morning... but "Close to the Buckhorn"????? Close but NO DICE! Wouldn't that be the ANTLERS??

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 07:14 am:

I'm amazed how green the water is.

By Patrick McKenney (Mckenneyp) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 07:24 am:

I was just up there this past weekend, in fact judgeing by the chop on the water and overcast clouds that picture could have been taken this past weekend. I havn't gotten all my pictures loaded into my Pasty Cam Album yet...

Did you know this power plant was at one time considered to be a 'Wonder of the World'... :-)

By JOHN AND ANNE KENTUCKY (Username) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:16 am:

It can be "shocking" to think of the development this may have "sparked".

By Alan (Adams_aj) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:20 am:

Great structure. Still very impressive! By my calculations, it's actually over 15 million gallons per minute, if the 30,000 cu. ft. per second is accurate.

You would think that with the flow rate at the Soo, that Lake Superior water would refresh at a pretty rapid rate, but I hear it takes over 100 years for Lake Superior's water to "recycle", i.e. be completely replenished.

By drum (Btom) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:31 am:

The water is green because all the red ions have been removed to produce electricity leaving only the blue and yellow ions in the water. Everyone knows that blue and yellow make green.

By Marg Rohrer (Marg) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:42 am:

Also just for your information Lake Superior State University has a fresh water fish research station in one end of the power Plant. Also people use to store vehicles and other stuff in the winter inside the top part of the plant. Also some great rainbow trout fishing out in front of the power plant. When I was younger we would go fishing out there and it is something to behold when you see the trout walking on their tails trying to get away from you. It made for good sport fishing. What memories this picture brings back for me since I was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie.

By Michael Forgrave (Mike) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:37 am:

For those that are interested, the Library of Congress has an
online exhibit of this very power plant. It is very interesting,
containg over a hundred photos, technical drawings and papers.
It's amazing to me the sheer size of the project, it originally
called for three to four similar power plants - not just one.

To find it, go to, and enter the American Memory
Exhibit. From there, place in the search field "Michigan Lake
Superior Power Company" - it will be the top hit.

By Mary-Ella Broere (Sandstoneprince) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:56 am:

uhhh, I thought electricity was in the walls! (OK, I am married to a techtoot double e. Puts me right to sleep!)

By PATT HANSEN (Truetroll) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 10:19 am:

How do you plant electricty? Is it a shade or full sun plant?

By Chris Little (Caphris) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 10:33 am:

Good call, my bad, Antlers not Buckhorn...5:30 in the morning, guess I should have had more coffee first!

By Charles in Adrian (Charlesinadrian) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 11:05 am:

That power plant is so long! Are we looking at the St. Mary's
River there, or was a bypass channel built for the dam. Also,
why such a large plant? The Soo is not very big. Did the locks
need all that power, or was some sent over to the larger Soo in

By stix (Stixoutwest) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 11:27 am:

Hey Mary-Ella, could this be..... the Jacobsville Sandstoneprince???

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 12:31 pm:

It is a bypass with about 4 bridges in the Soo to get out to the Locks..Go to Google Maps and use the Satellite images..comes up great view.

By Michael Forgrave (Mike) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 01:13 pm:

This plant was designed as part of a grand vision for the Soo
area. Originally, the planners had seen the rapids as a source of
unlimited and cheap power. Planners built this power plant with
the idea that industry would rush to the area to take advantage
of this cheap power and the Soo's location on the great lakes. It
didn't quite turn out that way

The power generated by this plant serves the soo and
surrounding areas. The locks are provided power by it's own
hydroelectric plant on the rapids.

By Former Fulton Resident (Dashamo) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 02:42 pm:

The second picture is actually the discharge side of the plant. What's amazing is that the water level on the inlet side is some 21 feet higher. You learn a lot on the Soo Locks boat tours!!! LOL

By Charles in Adrian (Charlesinadrian) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 03:07 pm:

Boy, you learn a lot on this site. Lots (or should I say "locks"
since my qss had to do with the Soo) of knowledgeable people
tune in obviously. Thanks! But here is another one. There is a
great mystery writer who writes about the Soo and Paradise all
the time. I forget his name. My question is whether or not he
has ever used this wonderful power plant as a scene in one of
his mysteries. Seems as tho it would be a natural place for our
well-intended but not always so bright detective to agree to
meet someone dangerous. I can just see the ensuing fight,
someone knocked into the water, and his body turning up miles
downstream the next week.

By Robert - CO (Halork) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 04:10 pm:

Hi Everyone! These pictures were taken 8/17 from the Soo Locks Boat Tour, which I hadn't been on since I was in Elementary School. I really appreciated the lighthouse-shaped 'columns' on the power plant; what a great architectural touch! The tour was great; I recommend it to anyone who appreciates an afternoon on the water. We went through the Macarthur lock upbound (no big ships at the same time unfortunately), then toured the Algoma Steel dock area before coming downbound through the Canadian lock.

By the way, I had lunch at Clyde's Drive-In and lake perch for dinner at the Lockview. Love it!

By Former Fulton Resident (Dashamo) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 04:43 pm:

Robert, My Wife and I took the dinner tour August 6th. I hadn't been there since 1963!!! Also had to stop and have the 3/4 lb. Clydeburger!!! I have some pics posted in my gallery from that trip, Ron's Pics, page 56.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:45 pm:

Btom: Oh, I didn't know that. I'm an English major and could care less about chemistry except when it comes to making coffee.

By 69 TOOT (Flyindamooney) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:15 pm:

At 30,000 cubic feet per minute, and 231 cubic inches per gallon, I think the results would be closer to 13,464,935 gallons per minute......First time I used that line formula that I learned at da Tech in over 30 years....but it still works....and puts gas in da plane.......

Anyway you you cook it, it is a lot of Big Lake water...........

By Joseph Johnson (Martin) on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 10:00 pm:

The outlet picture would make a dandy puzzle.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 12:24 am:

FRNash/PHX, AZ (BS Math, MTU '62) sez:
"I have to vote with 69 TOOT (Flyindamooney) ... even though his post quoted the initial units (30000 gal. per sec.) as 30000 gal. per min. ... his numbers work, assuming the flow rate of 30000 gal. per sec. is correct:

30000 cu. ft.
12 in. * 12 in. * 12 in.
60 sec.
13464935.065 gal.
cu. ft.
231 cu. in.

Tim Bertsos (Timb) on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 03:21 pm:

Charles in Adrian,

In case you look back at this, I think you are thinking of Steve Hamilton. Great detective-type books all set in the UP.

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