Touring the Museum Ship Valley Camp

Floating History is Here!

by Cliff Duvernois

Museum Ship Valley Camp

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The Valley Camp is as much a part of the identity of Sault Ste Marie as hockey or the Soo Locks. This floating museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts, showcasing the rich history of shipping throughout Michigan’s Great Lakes. In this episode, curator Paul Sabourin walks us through some of that history, what you can expect when you arrive, and how to plan your trip to the Museum Ship Valley Camp


Museum Ship Valley Camp Website

Museum Ship Valley Camp

Nestled along the scenic shores of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the Museum Ship Valley Camp offers a captivating journey through maritime history and a chance to marvel at the beauty of vintage vessels. This hidden gem of the Great Lakes region beckons history enthusiasts, maritime aficionados, and curious travelers to step aboard and relive the storied past of Great Lakes shipping.

Unveiling the Ship’s Legacy

The Museum Ship Valley Camp, often referred to simply as the Valley Camp, was once a proud workhorse of the Great Lakes, transporting a variety of cargo across these vast freshwater bodies. Now retired from its duties, the Valley Camp has been thoughtfully transformed into a floating museum that preserves the rich history of maritime trade and transportation. This captivating museum ship welcomes visitors to step into its world and explore its decks, offering a tangible connection to the past.

A Voyage Back in Time

As you step aboard the Valley Camp, you’re instantly transported back to an era of bustling harbors and courageous sailors. The ship’s interior is a treasure trove of artifacts, interactive exhibits, and informative displays that shed light on the challenges and triumphs of life at sea. From the cramped crew quarters to the expansive cargo holds, every corner of the ship tells a tale of grit, determination, and the indomitable spirit of those who navigated the Great Lakes.

Navigating the Ship’s Highlights

Your journey through the Valley Camp begins on the main deck, where you’re greeted by the breathtaking sight of the ship’s massive anchor. Moving through the ship, you’ll encounter a diverse array of exhibits that highlight the ship’s history, the evolution of maritime technology, and the captivating stories of the sailors who called this vessel home. The “Iron Ore and the Iron Horse” exhibit offers a captivating look into the iron ore trade that played a pivotal role in the region’s development.

Connecting with Nature

Beyond its historical significance, the Museum Ship Valley Camp also offers an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty of Sault Ste. Marie. With the shimmering waters of the St. Marys River as a backdrop, visitors can relish the serene ambiance as they explore the ship’s open decks. Gaze across the water, and you might even catch a glimpse of modern freighters gracefully passing by, a stark contrast to the ships of yesteryears.

Preserving the Past for Future Generations

The Museum Ship Valley Camp stands as a testament to the dedication of historians, preservationists, and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the legacy of Great Lakes shipping lives on. Through careful curation and engaging exhibits, the ship offers an immersive experience that educates and entertains visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a maritime enthusiast, a history buff, or simply a curious traveler, the Valley Camp promises a journey that transcends time.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re planning a trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, don’t miss the opportunity to step aboard the Museum Ship Valley Camp. With its rich history, captivating exhibits, and stunning waterfront location, the ship offers a unique blend of education and adventure. Immerse yourself in the tales of sailors, explorers, and the vessels that shaped the Great Lakes region. Whether you’re exploring solo or with your family, the Valley Camp promises an unforgettable voyage into the heart of maritime history.