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River of History Museum

531 Ashmun St.
Sault Ste. Marie  Michigan  49783
United States
(906) 632-1999
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Midwest Living Review

Joan Lynch Luckett
There's a little something for everyone to discover at this museum depicting the history and importance of the St. Mary's River system, its people and region.

Visit the River of History Museum, and you'll find that good things do come in small packages. One of five historic sites owned and operated by the nonprofit Sault Historic Sites, the museum explores thousands of years of history of the St. Mary's River system, from its glacial formation to its influence and impact on the settlement and development of the region.

Visitors enter from either Ashmun or Court streets, then walk down the hall to the museum's entrance. Friendly staff welcome you and offer to answer questions. Ticket prices (self-guided tours) include the use of an audio stick (the size of a TV remote) with detailed narrations telling the stories as you journey through the exhibit area. 

The 11 galleries cover topics such as The Land and the River, The First People, Fur Traders, The First British Settlers, Water Power Realized, etc. Though the museum is small, the exhibits are attractive and nicely done. And the history is interesting. We like the option of using the self-monitored audio narrative (such as tales of John Johnston, noted European settler and successful fur trader), and kids love the hands-on exhibits. We enjoyed learning more about the history of the river and this region, with the exhibits and movie about the construction of the Soo Locks especially fascinating.

If you're a history buff (or even if you just have a mild interest in history), this museum is worth a stop. Save a little time to browse the gift shop, which offers a nice selection of merchandise, including educational books and gifty items such as lotions and other products made by Native Americans.

Open mid-May to mid-October; closed on Sundays. 

Visited: 
August 6, 2012

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