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2015 Walk of Fame Recipients Announced

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Walk of Fame Award. This year's recipients are the late Helen Arvonen (author) and the late James W. Curran (newspaper editor and author).

The Walk of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have achieved a provincial, national or international excellence in a competitive athletic endeavour or cultural, academic or humanitarian field.

Helen Arvonen and James W. Curran will be honoured posthumously at a public ceremony this fall.

This is a joint project of the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Downtown Association.


Helen Arvonen

Helen Arvonen is considered one of Sault Ste. Marie's most published yet least known authors. She wrote internationally printed Gothic mystery novels as well as science fiction tales and short stories.

Helen's 1965 novel 'The Summer of Evil' was the first of fourteen books purchased and printed by various publishers in New York City. 'The Witches of Brimstone Hill' was considered one of her most popular books.

Her novels were reprinted for distribution in the British Isles, Denmark, France, and Spain and translated for circulation in Sweden and Germany.

Sault Ste. Marie landmarks and community references were regularly mentioned in many of her story lines, and the names of family and friends were often used for characters in Helen Arvonen's books.

Helen Margaret Arvonen 1918-1992

James W. Curran

James W. Curran, newspaper editor and author, moved to Sault Ste. Marie in 1901 after purchasing 'The Star', which at the time was a weekly newspaper. By 1912, Curran had transformed the newspaper into a daily publication.

Curran was an avid promoter of the Sault Ste. Marie community and surrounding areas through the publication of many historical articles. He authored two books 'Here Was Vinland' (1939), and 'Wolves Don't Bite' (1940).

Curran was one of the original members of the Sault Ste. Marie Historical Society. As president of the Rotary Club in the early 1920s, Curran established the first Community Day Parade - known as Rotaryfest.

During the planning of the Civic War Memorial, James persuaded Rudyard Kipling to compose the verse engraved on the base of the Sault Ste. Marie Cenotaph.

James Curran created various festivals and events, including 'Wolf Week', in an effort to bring tourists to the city and revitalize the community after the Great Depression.

James Watson Curran 1865-1952
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