Skip to Main

Sault Ste. Marie welcomes the first freighter through the Soo Locks in 2024

UPDATE 3/22/24 11:15 p.m.

SAULT STE. MARIE — Hundreds of people filled Soo Locks Park to watch the first freighter of the season use the locks.

One woman made the trip from Holland, Michigan to watch. “It’s like everybody knows each other, even though nobody really knows anybody. We are meeting for the first time in person, not on the internet or on Facebook. It’s just an excitement in the air, I’m not sure how to explain it. It is an amazing thing to see,” said Jody Forward.


Several more freighters are scheduled to pass through the locks this weekend.

3/22/24 6:30 p.m.

SAULT STE. MARIE — The Joseph L. Block will have the honor of being the first freighter through the Soo Locks for the 2024 shipping season.

The 728-foot freighter arrived in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday afternoon and has been docked on the east side of the locks until they open at 6 p.m. Friday night. After that, the Block will head to Two Harbors, Minnesota to pick up iron ore pellets.


RELATED: Poe Lock to open early on March 22, MacArthur Lock to remain closed until April

Friday afternoon, a group of dignitaries and special guests were invited aboard the 48-year-old freighter to meet the captain and crew and to pass out some goodies from area organizations.

This is the 50th year working in the shipping industry for Captain Thomas Garvey.

“I have been through the Soo Locks here in my career almost 4,000 times, coming and going. Getting these items will help me remember today. It’s a special day for me, and I appreciate everything they have done,” said Garvey.

On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Soo Locks Visitor Center will have an open house for area enthusiasts.

Local Trending News