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Remember this? Gros Cap, an artist's muse

This week we see some of the inspirations arising from the experience of Gros Cap

From the archives of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library:

What is it about certain areas of the landscape that are so captivating? Is it the history that the area holds? Is it the beauty that it boasts? Is it the feeling that inspires a soul?

For all of these reasons, areas of the Algoma Region have been, and continue to be inspiring to artists of all expressions. And, it is true; the area in which we live has for decades inspired people. People try to capture its beauty in an effort to make a moment last, and to relay the feeling that the landscape evokes.

In August of 1932, William Hewey felt the inspiration to share his sentiments through poetry on one of the most beautiful and popular areas in our region. The following is a poem that he submitted to the Sault Star about majestic Gros Cap.


The lake! the lake! the open lake!
Superior’s deep dark blue!”
A scene that thrills you to the depths,
And stirs the soul of you!
From Gros Cap.

The mountains of Superior’s shore
Push on into the sea.
And form a cape both high and bold,
And Rocky as can be,
Called Gros Cap.

The left-ward shore low-lying lies
Indented with deep bays,
And clothed with forests, mountain-flanked;
Far off a smoky haze,
At Gros-Cap.

To right, the shore is mountainous,
Steep down into the sea.
With jagged rocks along the edge
As treacherous as can be,
At Gros Cap.

On East and South dim land is seen;
To West – the open sea –
And o’er its miles of water’s pass
The ships so dear to me,
By Gros,Cap.

They come from East; they come
From West,
And each one greets the other,
As though upon the sea of life
They recognized a brother,
At Gros Cap.

And when the West wind blows a gale
That sends the sailor home,
Her rocky base is white with waves
That dash and splash with foam,
On Gros Cap.

The scene is glorious all the time;
Its thrill is never done;
But oh! To see it at its best
Behold the setting sun,
From Gros Cap.

The lake lies calm, a hazy blue,
Where sky and water meet;
The sun in gold and crimson waves
A pathway to your feet,
On Gros-Cap.

The ships glide by so gracefully;
They pass on one by one
Into the smoke-blue haze to see
Where went the sinking sun,
From Gros Cap.

And here I lie and drouse and dream,
And drink its beauty in,
Content that I this glorious day
With Happiness have been,
On Gros Cap.

During the early 1900s postcards featuring different views of the Gros Cap region were sold and circulated. Over the years, photographers have relied on their cameras to freeze its beauty in time, and painters of all styles have spent hours trying to convey its wonder.

A visit to the open waters of Lake Superior is sure to soothe any soul, not to mention the breathtaking views that a climb to the top of the mountain offers. Water as far as the eye can see, majestic pines, gorgeous sunsets and Lakers inching along the deep waters allow for plenty to inspire the artist!

Situated at the tip of Highway 550, Gros Cap warrants taking a drive for yourself to drink in its wonder. As autumn is beginning to envelop the region, any visitor will find themselves refreshed and possibly inspired to recreate their own artistic interpretation.

*A special thank-you to local photographer Bob McGauley and local artist Tania Taraniuk-Caputo.

Each week, the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library and its Archives provide SooToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Public Library has to offer at and look for more "Remember This?" columns here.

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