The oldest city in Michigan was founded in 1668 by French missionaries.

It's not only the oldest city in Michigan but one of the oldest cities in the entire United States.

It's the second most populated city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula after Marquette.

What is the Oldest City in Michigan?

About an hour north of the Mackinac Bridge in Chippewa County, you'll find Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in Michigan.

Sault Ste. Marie was founded in 1668 by French missionaries Claude Dablon and Jacques Marquette.

What is the Meaning Behind the City's Name?

Sault Ste. Marie comes from the French term for the nearby rapids, which were called Les Saults de Sainte Marie. Sainte Marie (Saint Mary) was the name of the river and Saults referred to the rapids. Today, most people refer to Sault Ste. Marie as simply, The Soo.

Sault Ste. Marie is separated by the St. Marys River from the much larger city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

How Many People Live in Sault Ste. Marie?

Sault Ste. Marie has a population (as of 2020) of 13,175.

You'll find The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie as well. The Soo Locks are a set of parallel locks, operated and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, that enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.


SEE ALSO: This Huge Observation Tower Overlooks Michigan's Oldest City

As a kid, I would always hear my dad talk about the Soo Locks. He was always (and still is) fascinated by locks and the ships that pass through. I think a lot of his fascination comes from my grandfather who worked on the ships at the Soo Locks.

My first visit to Sault Ste. Marie was in 2021 when I went there with my wife who's originally from The Soo. It's really a cool town and super fun to visit in the winter during the famous I-500 snowmobile race. However, It's extremely cold. It was minus 20 degrees when I was there.

On your next visit to The Soo, be sure to visit The Palace Mexican Restaurant. They have the best Long Island iced teas. They will definitely warm you up.

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