Michigan’s Oldest Town is Older Than America by More Than 100 Years

Michigan, recognized for its diverse history and vibrant culture, is home to Sault Ste Marie, the oldest town in the state. Established by the French in 1668, this town holds the distinction of being not only Michigan’s oldest but also one of America’s ancient settlements. Notably, Sault Ste Marie predates the formation of the United States by over a century.

A Peek into History

The origins of Sault Ste Marie can be traced back to the 17th century when French explorers, fur traders, and missionaries engaged with the native peoples inhabiting the region. This interaction laid the foundation for some of the oldest cities in the state.

Situated in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste Marie has continually functioned as a vital link connecting the United States and Canada. It served as a crucial trading post and a popular fishing destination.

A Town Preceding America

The United States, in its present form, emerged from the thirteen colonies of Great Britain after prevailing in the American Revolutionary War. The Declaration of Independence, marking the nation’s birth, was issued on July 4, 1776. Consequently, when Sault Ste Marie was established in 1668, the United States was more than a century away from existence.


The history of Sault Ste Marie unfolds as a captivating journey through time, embodying the enduring spirit of its early settlers and their interactions with the native communities. Today, Sault Ste Marie stands as a poignant reminder of our past—a town that witnessed the birth of a nation and continues to flourish over 350 years later.


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