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Canada: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario – Riches to Rags in Sault Ste. Marie

Francis Hector Clergue, a”man of ideas” lived and worked in this 1821 powder magazine/fur trading post by adding an upper story. Arriving in Sault Ste. Marie in 1894, he promoted his “principle of correlation” by grouping related industries around a common power source. Supported by American investors plus local and provincial politicians, Clergue amassed an empire which by 1901 employed 7,000 and was worth about $119 million. The businesses were comprised of: mining, forestry, railway, steel and power. His amazing thinking and vision lasted only about 15 years here because by 1908 he hit a financial snag, lost it all, and moved to Montreal. C’est la vie.