Michigan Transportation History

Charles T. Harvey

Public PersonReal EstateSoo LocksCanal

See also
Soo Locks
Soo Locks-Bibliographic Info

Charles T. Harvey (1829-1912) was a traveling salesman for the Fairbanks Scale Company. The Fairbanks had many contracts with Lake Superior mining companies, and Harvey may have been traveling in Copper Country as a salesman, but he stayed for a spell in 1852(?) in Sault Ste Marie recovering from a bout with typhoid fever when he gained the inspiration to promote the locks.

He was able to interest, not only the Fairbanks company in the idea, but also Michigan Central Railroad president James F. Joy who worked to get favorable state legislation for the locks. The interested parties formed the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal Company? to construct the locks. The company retained Harvey, despite being trained as a salesman and having no experience in the field, as the canal's first construction engineer. The project quickly overwhelmed him. In the second year of construction (1854), Joy sent the chief engineer for the Michigan Central, John W. Brooks?, to complete the work. Thereafter, Harvey served as land agent for the company in selecting the 750,000 acres awarded the company as a land grant for completing the canal.

After completing the canal and its land selection, Harvey went to New York City and began working in street railways, building the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Company which was an experimental cable car operation in lower Manhattan.

He was an honored guest at the semi-centennial celebration of the opening of the locks.

He died in 1912.


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See the bibliography for the Soo Locks: Soo Locks-Bibliographic Info

Citation: When referencing this page please use the following citation:

R. D. Jones, "Charles T. Harvey," Michigan Transportation History (Ypsilanti, MI: 2020), www.michtranshist.info/.

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Page last modified on January 01, 2020, at 08:37 PM EST

Page last modified on January 01, 2020, at 08:37 PM EST