1955 3¢ Soo Locks Centennial
Issue Date: June 28, 1955
City: Sault St. Marie, Michigan
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
U.S. #1069 showcases the Soo Canals, located on the United States-Canadian border, which permits ships to pass between Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The American canal system is also called the St. Mary’s Falls Canals and Locks. Before the canals were completed, ships were unable to navigate the 21-foot drop at St. Mary’s Rapids, where Lake Superior flows into the lower Great Lakes. The world-famous Soo Locks on the St. Mary’s Falls Canal form a passage around the treacherous rapids for deep-draft ships.
Michigan completed the canal and locks with financial aid from the federal government in 1855. In 1881, the U.S. government took over administration of the canal. As a result, tolls were abolished. With the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, Lake Superior was opened to ocean trade, as well.