I have researched out the possible locations of each Sault Mission established by the Jesuit Fathers Raymbault, Jogues, Marquette and Albanel. It is documented that the first Sault MI mission was located 3 leagues south from the mouth of Lac Superieur. Literally translated, this mission would have been on the western bay most likely between "Mission", or the bay on 5 Mile Rd. For those of us who live in the area, the mission served as a medicine house, prayer house, refugee camps for displaced Sioux, Dakotas and Iroquois. Since the international Saults have the same history, and it wasn't until the victorious American Revolution, did the division of the borders begin. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until late 1790's, that the American government decided to put some interest in their northern territories for trade and commerce. Knowing full well that the Sault rapids were the mainstream of nautical trade routes for the French, British and Ojibwe's for the past hundred years (more for the Anishnabe), the Americans occupied the old Fort Repentigny, which was rebuilt twice in the wake of the War of 1812. Their fear was that Britain would invade the US through the north side of rapids and saw the area as vulnerable. In the 1820's, the Fort was enhanced by Colonel Hugh Brady and then rebuilt some 60 years later on the present location of Lake State University. These buildings also exist today.
Why am I sharing all this vital historical information? It should be a hot spot of activity, from mission locations, smallpox epidemics and Iroquois-Ojibwe wars. There was a cemetery on the site of Fort Repentigny/Fort Brady (was located at present Armory Place but the bodies have been removed to Riverside Cemetery) and known sicknesses and suicides did occur. The Indian cemetery was also abandoned and demolished, and was located on the present site of Park Place. As a side note, Portage Lane was actually the front garrison entrance. If you do venture to these places, please be respectful and even if you do not encounter any paranormal activity, it's still a beautiful walk along the Sault MI waterfront.
On the Canadian side, it should be noted as well that there was a trading post and Fort location on the present site of St. Mary's Paper Corps. As you journey past the hydro station on your way to the Sault Locks Canal, the open area known as the "gateway" site was the location of these 18th Century trading activities. The "blockhouse" was removed in the 1990's and taken to it's present site beside the Ermatinger Old Stone House.
Which brings me to Charles Oakes Ermatinger's activities in the latter part of the 18th Century to the early 19th Century. Ermatinger also had bought up property on the Sault MI side, from Jean-Baptiste Nolin, the french fur trader, and had trade connections on Drummond Island and Mackinaw Island. The only known location of Ermatinger's abode is the Old Stone House, which he abandoned during the burn-outs by the Americans in 1814 to live on the Sault MI side of the rapids. He did return and finished his stone house in 1815, rebuilt his trading post on the present site of Purvis Marina (Bay St.).
The present location of Precious Blood Cathedral did house a wooden church prior to 1846, and did have a cemetery at the current derelict and empty lot which used to Boston's car lot. Catholic burials would have adhered to strict rules of burying their deceased on consecrated grounds or close to a church.
This also brings me to Ojibwe burial mounds. Now, don't quote me, but I'm sure that St. Mary's Island could have housed several. By now, they would look like a grown-over bunker. Should you encounter any of these mounds, please be respectful.
Looking at old maps by French explorers, there was a civilisation documented on the Sault ON side right at St. Mary's Island, and also expanded to the current site of ASI, Prince Township and Gros Cap, although these names were not actually documented until the 1700's. The "Village de Saulteurs" was actually the present Gros Cap. I am sure that Ojibwe burial mounds would have been destroyed during any housing development. Not to mention that we do still have "Voyageur" trails in existence, and we as local residents have taken for granted these important historical facts.
There are several other locations; however, these have been reported to SSM PRG and we have investigated some, not all, of the locations. Due to privacy and scheduling, we have been unable to thoroughly investigate all of these locations for an extended period of time. Should you have insight as to more public places, please contact SSM PRG and we will verify your claim.
Our List (in no particular order):
1. Algoma University - Due to the site being a converted Residential School, with numerous deaths and traumas, AU is one of our favourites.
2. Plummer Memorial Hospital/General Hospital Sites - now Condo developments. We should be getting quite a few phone calls in 2016 when they're open. While it was the hospital, staff reported figures, cold spots and voices.
3. Ermatinger Old Stone House - This home built in 1814, was the site of many purposes: a jail, post office, boarding house, tavern, etc. People have claimed to have been touched, watched; seen shadow figures wandering from room to room.
4. Whitefish Island - A Jesuit monk has been spotted, Ojibwe men wandering as well as Victoria period men working near the canal, still doing their jobs.
5. Bellevue Park - closer to the Colonel Prince burial site, reports have been strange noises, cold spots and a man wandering in period dress.
6. Hiawatha Highlands - Closer to the first waterfall and along the wooden walkway, a woman has been seen walking her dog; a teen dressed in 1980's clothes near the NO SWIMMING signs.
7. Greenwood Cemetery - A little boy has been documented to be searching for his father, crossing Greenwood A and B sites. SSMPRG has captured this boy on EVP; various mists and ectoplasms, voices in the night.
8. Precious Blood Cathedral - We're not sure why this peaceful site is under unrest: voices, mists and mysterious footsteps in the back rooms.
9. Boston's Car lot Queen St. (former Queen St. Cemetery) This entire area - from Queen to Bay, including southward Robb's Dentistry and adjacent lots was the original site of Precious Blood, the old wooden mission and it's burial ground. No business on the Queen street site has been successful. Ectoplasms, voices, and strange forms have all been documented on and near the mission site.
10. Queen St. Cemetery (relocated from old mission site, now on corner of Queen and Pine) I am presupposing that the removal and displacement of ancient burials prior to 1900 has provoked the dead into wandering the cemetery at night. Ectoplasms, voices and misty apparitions have all been documented and reported.
11. Norgoma Ship Museum - This is a classic case of "unsure" and "unsettling". While movements on the ship and shifting floorboards create nausea, claustrophobia and other unsettling feelings, the most reports have come that there have been male voices, a moaning below deck and shadows.
12. The Sault Ste. Marie Museum - Formerly the Old Post Office, this particular building has had over 100 years of changing businesses but has been home to the Sault Museum since 1983. Cold spots, footsteps, noises and other sounds have been reported.
13. Top Hat Billiards - The building was the site of the Algoma Theatre - Unsettling feelings, cold spots and figures wandering in the basement as well as the women's bathroom.
14. Memorial Gardens (now Essar Centre) - The "Garden's" housed decades of budding athletes, not to mention many labour-related deaths while it was being built. The most reports came from the basement concession areas and change rooms. Essar Centre was rebuilt on the corner of Bruce, Queen and Bay Streets, also encompassing the site of the Algoma Hotel (Queen and Bruce Corner) Since it's completion, no reports have been documented.
15. Coronation Block (Queen St. E) - Added to Canada's Heritage database, the Coronation block has had several changing businesses, including apartments in the upper floors. Paranormal activity includes footsteps, objects moving from place to place; figures and string music being played in the middle of the night.