Minnesota - History

Minnesota - History

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Minnesota, a territory organized in 1849 and named for a Sioux Indian word meaning "Sky-tinted water," was admitted to the Union 11 May, the 32nd State.

Minnesota, a wooden steam frigate, was laid down in May 1854 by Washington Navy Yard, launched 1 December 1855, sponsored by Miss Suson L. Mann, and commissioned 21 May 1857, Capt. S. F. Dupont in command.

Minnesota, carrying William B. Reed, U.S. Minister to China, departed Norfolk 1 July 1857 for the Orient. Dnring her service with the East India Squadron, she visited mally of the principal ports of China and Japan before departing Hong Kong to bring Mr. Reed home with a nevly negotiated Treaty of Commerce with China. Upon arrival in Boston 2 June 1859, Minnesota decommissioned at the Boston Navy Yard, 2 June 1859 and remained in ordinary until the outbreak of the Civil War.

Minnesota recommissioned 2 May 1861, Capt. G. J. Van Brlmt in command, and became flngship of the Atlantic Blockading Squndron, commanded by k'lag Offlcer Silas Stringham. She arrived Hampton Roads 13 May and the next day captured schooners Afary Willis, Delaware Farmer, and Emily Ann. Minnesota took bark Winfred on the 25th and bark Sally McGee 26 June. Schooner Sally Gears became her prize 1 July and bark Mary Warick struck her colors to the steam frignte on the 10th.

Minnesota led n joint Army-Nnvy expedition against two important Confederate forts which had been erected at Hatteras Inlet, N.C. The squadron opened fire on Fort Clark on the morning of 28 August 1861 forcing the Confedernte gunners to abandon the fort at noon. The following day, the fire of the squadron was concentrated on Fort EIatteras. The bombardment was so effective the Confederates were compelled to seek cover in bom,b shelters and surrendered.

When Flag Offlcer Louis M. Goldsborough relieved Stringham in command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron 23 September, he selected Minnesota as his flng ship.

While blockading off Hampton Roads, 8 March 1862, Minnesota sighted three Confedernte ships, Jamestown, Patrick Henry, and Virginia—the former Merrimack, rebuilt and protected by iron plates—rounding Sewell's Point and heading toward Newport News. Minnesota slipped her cables and got underway to engage the southern warships. When about 11/2 miles from Newport News, Minnesota grounded.

Meanwhile Virginia passed frigate Congress and rammed sloop-of-war Cumberland. Virginia then engaged Congress compelling her to surrender. Then Virfinia, Jameatown, and Patrick Henry bombarded Minnesota
killing and wounding several of her crew before the Union warship's heavy guns drove them off.Minnesota also fired upon Virginia with her pivot gun. Townrd twilight the southern iron-clad withdrew toward Norfolk.

The recoil from her broadside guns forced Minnesota further upon the mud bank. All night togs worked to haul her off, but to no nvail. However, during the night Monitor arrived. Eary the next morning Virginia reappeared. As the range closed, Monitor, steaming between Minnesota and the irol-clad, fired gun after gun, and Virginia returned fire with whole broadsides, neither with much apparent effect. Virginia, finding she could not hurt monitor, turned her attention to Minnesota, who answered with all guns. Virginia fired from her rifled bow gun a shell which passed through the chief engineer's stateroom, through the engineers' mess room, amidships nud burst in the bontswnin's room, exploding two charges of powder, starting a fire which was promptly extinguished.

At midday Virginia withdrew toward Norfolk and the Union Navy resumed its efforts to refloat.lIinnesota Early the next morning steamer S. R. Spaulding and several tugs managed to refloat the frigate and she anchored opposite Fort Monroe for temporary repairs.

For the next few years she served as flagship of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. While anchored off Newport News 9 April 1864, Minnesota was attacked by Confedernte torpedo boat Squibwho exploded n torpedo charge alongside without causing damage and escaped.

On 24 and 25 December, Minnesota took pnrt in amphibious operations at Fort Fisher which guarded Wihllington, N.C. During the landings she took a position about a mile from the fort and laid down a devastnting barrage on the Conferedate stronghold. However, Gen. B. Butler
wlthdrew his troops nullltying the gains won by the Joint Army-Navy effort. Three weeks later the Union Navy returned Federal Troops, now commanded by the more vigorous General Terry, to Fort Fisher. A landing force of 240 men from Minnesota, covered by a barrage from their own ship, participated in the successful assault. This operation closed Wilmington, denying the Confederacy the use of this invaluable port.

Ordered to Portsmouth, N.H.,Minnesota decommissioned 16 February 1865. She recommissioned 3 June 1867, and made n cruise with midshipmen to Europe. She was placed in ordinary at the New York Navy Yard, 13 January 1868. Recommissioned 12 June 1875, she remained at the New York Navy Yard as gunnery and training ship for naval apprentices. In October 1895, she was loaned to the ~Massachusetts Naval Militia, continuing that duty until August 1901 when she was sold to Thomas Butler & Co. of Boston. She eventually was burned at Eastport, Maine.

Minnesota History Timeline

People first came to Minnesota during the last ice age. They probably followed herds of large game into this area. Some of those early Minnesota people carved pictures of humans, animals and weapons into rocks. Some of these carvings, called "petroglyphs,"may be 5,000 years old - and many are still visible today in Minnesota's state parks, such as Jeffers Petroglyphs near Comfrey and Windom. Ancient burial mounds and unearthed objects like spear points are evidence that people lived here ages ago.

The Dakota and Ojibwe (also called Chippewa or Anishinabe) Indians lived in Minnesota when the first Europeans arrived. Many Dakota, Ojibwe and other American Indians live in Minnesota today.

Minnesota became the 32nd state of the union on May 11, 1858. A small extension of the northern boundary makes it the most northerly of the 48 conterminous U.S. states. (This peculiar protrusion is the result of a boundary agreement with Great Britain before the area had been carefully surveyed.) Minnesota is bounded by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario to the north, by Lake Superior and Wisconsin to the east, by Iowa to the south and South Dakota and North Dakota to the west.

17th Century Minnesota History Timeline

1659-1660 - French fur traders Groseilliers and Radisson explore western end of Lake Superior and environs.

1673 - French explorers Marquette and Joliet discover the upper portion of the Mississippi River.

1679 - Frenchman Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth meets with Dakota Indians near Mille Lacs.

1683 - Catholic Missionary Father Louis Hennepin returns to France after exploring Minnesota and being held captive by the Dakota to write the first book about Minnesota, Description de la Louisiane.

18th Century Minnesota History Timeline

1745 - The Ojibwe Indians defeat the Dakota Indians at the Kathio, driving the Dakota into southern and western Minnesota.

1763 - Spain receives Louisiana Territory (includes Minnesota west of the Mississippi River) from France in compensation for its loss of Florida during the Seven Years War. Great Britain wins claim to what is now eastern North America (east of the Mississippi River) and Canada.

  • Grand Portage (Minnesota) evolves into the western fur-trading headquarters of the British Empire in North America.
  • British troops stationed here act as only military force in Minnesota during the American Revolution.
  • Fur trading continues to be the main source of commerce in Minnesota through the early 19 th century.

1775-1783 - American Revolution

1783 - The newly formed republic of the United States of America wins the eastern portion of Minnesota (from the Mississippi river east) from Great Britain in the American Revolution.

  • Eastern Minnesota officially designated part of the American Northwest Territories of the United States of America.
  • David Thompson, working for the North West Company (fur-trading) completes the first formal mapping of Minnesota.

19th Century Minnesota History Timeline

1800 - France acquires Louisiana Territory from Spain.

1803 - The United States of America purchases Louisiana Territory from France, gaining ownership of the western portion of Minnesota. Boundary disputes with British Canada keep British fur companies in Minnesota until 1818.

1805 - Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike leads the first United States expedition through the Minnesota country.

1812-1814 - War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain with their Dakota, Winnebago, and Ojibwe allies.

1815 - Peace treaty negotiated between the Dakota Indian nation and the United States government. First American fur traders enter Minnesota.

1818 - Northern boundary of Minnesota fixed at the forty-ninth parallel. Boundary negotiations with British Canada continue until 1931. Lawrence Taliaferro instated as first United States Indian agent at Fort Snelling.

1819 - Begins construction of Fort St. Anthony on land purchased from the Dakota Indians for $2000 US.

  • Aug 24 - Colonel Henry Leavenworth and the Fifth Infantry arrive in Mendota to build what will become Fort Snelling at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers
  • Colonel Joshua Snelling of the Fifth United States Infantry arrived, and, on taking command, changed the site to where Fort Snelling now stands.
  • Virginian Lawrence Taliaferro becomes the Indian agent at Fort Snelling. Respected by the Indians for never making promises he could not keep, he works hard for 20 years to rid the fur trade of whisky and cheating. At last, in poor health and tired of the government's broken promises, he resigns
  • The Virginia is the first steamboat to reach Fort Snelling. Needed supplies are missing from the cargo, though the boat does carry the umbrella-wielding Italian count Giacomo Beltrami
  • Abigail Snelling starts a Sunday School at Ft. Snelling for the children.

1825 - The post continued to be called Fort St. Anthony until 1824, when, upon the recommendation of General Scott, who inspected the fort, it was named Fort Snelling, in honor of its founder. Here, where traffic could be controlled on two major rivers, Fort Snelling was completed in 1825

1830 - Seth Eastman comes to Fort Snelling as a captain. In his spare time, he learns the Dakota language and observes details of their lives. His subtle sketches, watercolors, and paintings become an invaluable record of the scenery and Indian life around the fort.

1832 - Henry Schoolcraft credited with finding the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, Minnesota with his Ojibwe guide Ozawindib.

1836 - Creation of Wisconsin Territory which encompassed Minnesota.

1837 - Land-cession treaties negotiated with the Dakota Indians and the Chippewa Indians for United States rights to a portion of land between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. This new land stimulates the lumber industry in Minnesota.

1841 - Chapel of Saint Paul built. Later it would serve to name the state capitol which sprang up around it.

1838-1848 - St. Paul, St. Anthony, and Stillwater (Minnesota's first towns) founded.

1848 - Wisconsin admitted into the union as a state, leaving residents of the area between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers (current day eastern Minnesota) without a territorial government or legal system.

  • Minnesota Territory formed with present day eastern and southern boundaries set.
  • The population amounts to less than 4000 people, not including persons of pure Native-American heritage.
  • Law provides for free public schools to be open to all people between four and twenty-one years of age.
  • Minnesota Historical Society formed to collect, publish, and educate people about Minnesota history.
  • James Madison Goodhue begins publishing Minnesota's first newspaper, the Minnesota Pioneer.

1850 - Treaties concluded at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota with the Dakota Indians whereby the Dakota ceded their lands east of the Red River, Lake Traverse, and the Big Dakota River and south of a boundary line between the Dakota and Chippewa in 1825. In return the Dakota received $1,665,000 US, $1,360,000 of which was set into a trust fund, of which the interest would be distributed to chiefs partly in cash, partly in supplies, and partly in education and civilization funds. The vast majority ended up being used to pay off Indian debts to white traders. Wheat becomes a major crop in Minnesota.

1851 - Charter granted to the University of Minnesota, the first collegiate institution in the territory.

1853-1857- Population explosion occurs in Minnesota from 40,000 people in 1853 to approximately 150,000 people in 1857.

1854 - St. Paul becomes a city with a total area of four square miles.

1855 - Die Minnesota Deutsche Zeitung (The Minnesota German Newspaper), Minnesota's first non-English newspaper, rolls off the press for the first time in St. Paul.

1857 - The Dred Scott Decision is rendered by the United States Supreme Court, where a Missouri slave, Dred Scott, sued for his freedom based in part upon his residence in Minnesota. Amidst the sectional and racial animosity sweeping the nation, the court ruled Scott remained a slave. The residents of the Minnesota territory ratify the state constitution almost unanimously. The Panic of 1857 sends prices skyrocketing. Banks bust and businesses fail. Depression lingers until 1861.

1858 - Newspaper promotion of the Minnesota Territory prompts over one thousand steamboat arrivals in St. Paul, filled with settlers. On May 11 Minnesota becomes the thirty-second state admitted to the Union of the United States of America. State seal adopted by the Minnesota Legislature.

1858-1859 - Henry Sibley instated as first governor of Minnesota.

1859 - First Minnesota State Fair held.

1861 - Civil War of the United States begins. Minnesota volunteers one thousand men for service in the Union Army. Minnesota eventually provides 24,000 men for service in the Union Army for fighting in the Civil War or the Indian Outbreak.

1862 - The Dakota Conflict sweeps across Minnesota with a series of attacks motivated by hungry Dakota enraged by the failure of land treaties and unfair fiscal practices of local traders. By the end of the conflict 486 white settlers would be dead. On December 26 thirty-eight Indians were hung at Mankato. Minnesota's first railroad is completed, connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

1863 - At the Battle of Gettysburg the First Minnesota Regiment makes a heroic charges, losing 215 of 262 men.

1865 - Civil War of the United States ends.

1868 - Mankato receives a city charter. The Minnesota Legislature authorizes establishment of the 2nd State Normal School in Mankato (now known as Minnesota State University, Mankato).

1873 -A three-day blizzard hits Minnesota in January, killing seventy Minnesotans.

1878 - 68.98% of tilled land in Minnesota devoted to wheat production, the high point for wheat farmers in Minnesota. After five consecutive summers of devastating infestations of Rocky Mountain Locusts (called the great Grasshopper Plague) which thrived on wheat, farmers decided to diversify, and wheat production was slowly replaced by other crops and dairy farming. A massive explosion in a Minneapolis flour mill kills 18.

1880 - Telephone communication begun between St. Paul and Minneapolis.

1881 - St. Paul is destroyed by fire.

1883 - Mayo Clinic founded by Dr. William Worrall Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota after a tornado sweeps through Rochester, killing 35. With his two sons, Dr. William James Mayo and Dr. Charles Horace Mayo, he begins a clinic world-renowned for its dedication to the latest advances in medicine and surgical procedures.

1884 - Minnesota iron ore begins to be exported heralding the dawn of iron mining in Minnesota. Over the next two decades mines spring up on the Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermilion iron ranges, spurring the rapid growth of mining cities such as Evelyth, Chisholm, Virginia, and Hibbing, Minnesota as well as the port cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin.

1886 - Sauk Rapids is flattened by a tornado. Seventy-nine people die. St. Paul holds its first winter carnival.

1887 - St. Paul hosts the first ski tourney in the Midwest.

1888 - Western Minnesota receives a major blizzard on January 12 which takes 109 lives.

1890s - Electric streetcars become commonplace in large Minnesota cities.

1893 - The Minnesota state flag, designed by Amelia Hyde Center of Minneapolis, is accepted by the Minnesota Legislature. Virginia, Minnesota destroyed by fire.

1894 - A massive forest fire caused by clear-cut logging debris encompasses Hinckley, Minnesota and several other nearby communities. Over four hundred die.

1898 - The Spanish-American War begins. Minnesota, the first state to volunteer, raises four regiments, one of which serves in the Philippines. Disease proves to be the biggest killer, with combat fatalities accounting for only four Minnesota soldier deaths. Farmer Olof Ohman finds a stone tablet with runic carvings on it in his field near Kensington, Minnesota. The runes indicate a party of Viking explorers passed through that area in 1362. Initially considered a hoax, it was accepted by the Smithsonian Institution in 1948. Opinions differ, but most academic sources today doubt its veracity.

1899 - Minnesota's lumber industry reaches its peak. By 1930 only 1/3 of the state would remain forested, with very little of that virgin growth.

20th Century Minnesota History Timeline

1900 - Virginia, Minnesota destroyed by fire again.

1902 - Approximately twelve automobiles appear in Minneapolis. Tom Shevlin, son of a lumber magnate, gets arrested for violating the ten mile per hour city speed limit.

1905 - John A. Johnson, Minnesota's first native-born governor, elected to the first of his three terms. Lumber production peaks in Minnesota.

1906 - William Williams is hanged in the county jail in St. Paul on February 13, ending capital punishment in Minnesota.

1908 - Chisholm, Minnesota is virtually obliterated by a late summer forest fire.

1914 - World War I begins. Minneapolis becomes the home of the Federal Reserve Bank.

1917 - The United States of America enters World War I. 118,497 men from Minnesota serve in the war.

1918 - World War I ends with 1,432 Minnesotans in uniform giving their lives for their country. The new Farmer-Labor Party becomes the second largest political party in Minnesota and capitalizes on the rural depression which plagues Minnesota until 1824 to gain a broad base of support. Influenza spreads to Minnesota. Labeled a "pandemic of influenza", this disease managed to kill 7,521Minnesotans in 1918 and more than 4,200 over the course of the following two years. Cloquet and Moose Lake, Minnesota are destroyed when seventy mile an hour winds change minor forest fires into major conflagrations.

1919 - Minnesota ratifies the 19th amendment (women's suffrage) to the United States constitution. A tornado strikes Fergus Falls, Minnesota killing 59.

1920 - Minnesota authors receive international recognition. Main Street, written by Sinclair Lewis, earns national recognition as he takes a critical look at his hometown of Sauk Centre, Minnesota. By the end of the decade he had won the Nobel Prize for literature after a string of four more novels won international acclaim. St. Paul native F. Scott Fitzgerald receives much acclaim for his book This Side of Paradise. By 1925 he had published five more works, all focusing on the extravagance and despair of the 1920s in the United States.

1921 - WLB, the first Minnesota radio station, formed at the University of Minnesota.

1927 - Charles Lindbergh, a native of Little Falls, Minnesota, flies solo across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris.

1929 - Great Depression begins in the United States. The depression begins in Minnesota with the bankruptcy of key employers in Minneapolis and quickly spreads to the rest of the state.

1930-1935 - Over 1/2 of iron ore extracted from the earth originates in Minnesota mines.

1931 - Ancient remains of 20,000 year old skeleton dubbed "Minnesota Man" found in Otter Tail County, Minnesota.

1933 - "Browns Valley Man" remains, estimated to be 8,000 - 10,000 years old, discovered in Brown County, Minnesota.

1934 - Edward G. Bremer of St. Paul kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis gang. His ransom of $200,000 US is one of the largest ransoms in the United States up to that time. By 1936 the kidnappers had been caught and convicted. "Public Enemy Number 1" John Dillinger has a gun battle with FBI agents in St. Paul on March 11 and escapes.

1936 - Temperatures remain below zero for a record thirty-six days beginning on January 18. Later in the summer Moorhead, Minnesota ties a state record high official temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit, previously set in Beardsley, Minnesota in 1927.

1939 - A hockey game in the Duluth Amphitheater is interrupted when the ceiling collapses under the weight of snow. No deaths are reported.

1940 - The Armistice Day Blizzard strikes Minnesota leaving a 16.8 inches of snow in twenty four hours. Winds that day exceed thirty two miles per hour with gusts over sixty miles per hour. Forty-nine Minnesota residents die and over $1,500,000 US worth of property is damaged as a result of the storm.

1941 - First tax on taconite, a black magnetic iron-bearing ore, in effect in Minnesota. The United States enters World War II. Singer Bob Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) born in Duluth.

1944 -The Democratic and Farmer Labor parties merge to form the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

1945 - World War II ends with 6,255 American servicemen from Minnesota giving their lives for their country. The Minnesota state song, "Hail! Minnesota" is adopted by the Minnesota Legislature.

1948 - Minnesota's first television station, KSTP, goes on the air.

1950 - The Korean War begins. By the time of the armistice in 1953, 688 Minnesotans had died in the fighting.

1951 - Over 82% of iron ore extracted from United States mines during this year originates in Minnesota.

1954 - Coya Knutson becomes the first Minnesota woman elected to the Congress of the United States.

1958 - Prince Rogers Nelson (the artist formerly known as Prince) born in Minneapolis.

1959 - The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway makes Duluth accessible to the Atlantic Ocean.

1963 - Last iron ore shipment leaves the Vermillion iron range.

1964 -Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey elected vice-president of the United States as the running-mate of president Lyndon Johnson. Conventional American ground forces are introduced into Vietnam.

1968 - Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota begins his bid for the presidency by easily winning the New Hampshire presidential primary. Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey also runs for president that year, narrowly losing to Richard Nixon. The American Indian Movement (AIM) is founded in Minneapolis to combat racism.

1969 - Warren Burger, a native of St. Paul, named to the Supreme Court of the United States.

1970 - Minnesotan Harry Blackmun named to the Supreme Court of the United States. He would later write the majority opinion in the case of Roe v. Wade, which legalizes abortion.

1975 - The last American military personnel leave Vietnam with the evacuation of the United States embassy in Saigon, completely ending American involvement in Vietnam and the Vietnam War. 1,053 Minnesotans gave their lives over the course of the war.

1976 - Jimmy Carter becomes the 39th president of the United States with Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale as his vice-president. Mondale would later run for president in 1984, losing to Ronald Reagan.

1977 - Rosalie Wahl becomes the first woman justice in the Minnesota Supreme Court.

1980 - Last iron ore shipment leaves the Cuyuna iron range.

1982 - A total of 34.3 inches of snow falls on the Twin Cities on January 20 and 22. Taconite mining emerges as the future employment source for the iron range, with 12,000 workers. The subsequent depression and trend toward mechanization halve that number by 1995.

1984 - Last iron ore shipment leaves the Mesabi iron range, effectively ending Minnesota's direct iron ore industry and confirming a difficult depression on the iron range.

1987 -The Minnesota Twins win the World Series.

1988 - The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, passed to promote tribal economies, causes a boom in Indian casinos and gambling in Minnesota. By 1990 Minnesota ranks fourth in the nation in per capita gambling sales. Minnesota hit by a record setting drought.

1990 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visits Minnesota.

1991 - Operation Desert Storm occurs with approximately 11,000 Minnesotans in uniform helping to defeat Iraq and liberate Kuwait. The Minnesota Twins win the World Series. A record-breaking snowstorm hits Minnesota on November 1 depositing twenty-four inches of snow in twenty-four hours.

1996 - Coldest official temperature ever recorded in Minnesota set at -60 degrees Fahrenheit on February 2 near Tower, MN.

1998 - Minnesota becomes home to largest ethnic Hmong population in America.

21st Century Minnesota History Timeline

2003 - 18-year old accused of releasing vaiant of MSBlast worm, caused crashing of hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide

2004 - Minnesota produced 75% of country's usable iron ore

  • Teenager killed nine, injured 12 in school shooting on reservation
  • partial government shutdown over budget dispute affected 9,000 workers
  • Part of I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into Mississippi River, killed seven
  • snow storms caused deaths of eight, over 300 auto accidents
  • statewide smoking ban for bars and restaurants enacted
  • Republican National Convention held in St. Paul contested U.S. Senate Race between Al Franken, Norm Coleman settled by Minnesota Supreme Court in favor of Franken
  • Northwest Airlines merged with Delta Airlines
  • Nurse charged with aiding suicides over internet
  • Tom Petters convicted of biggest fraud ($3.65 billion - in Minnesota history, sentenced to 50 years in prison
  • 26-year old Omer Abdi Mohamed of Minneapolis, admitted helping with Somalia terror plot
  • Representative Michele Bachmann announced run for U.S. presidency

2012 - Congresswoman Bachmann ended presidential campaign after sixth place finish in Iowa caucuses

Monumental rescue

“I can’t imagine the fear she had,” said Wohnoutka.

Back then, Kandiyohi County didn’t look like it does now. There were few trees and few roads and few places to find shelter.

At one of the cabins she came to, Guri found two men, including her son-in-law Oscar Erickson, and a neighbor Solomon Foot, severely wounded and near death. She got them in the wagon and to safety at Forest City, where her two daughters — who had escaped captivity — were found.

Wohnoutka said Guri is remembered for being a “strong person” in the midst of chaos and is a “symbol” of strength and pioneer perseverance during that violent and complicated time in Minnesota’s history.

A state monument honoring Guri Endreson can be found at the Vikor Lutheran Church Cemetery, where she is buried. The church, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, is located near Solomon Lake on Kandiyohi County Road 5 near the turnoff to the cabin. The monument is especially noteworthy because the honor was bestowed on a woman from that era, said Wohnoutka.

As most of the settlers who experienced the war, Endreson fled the area but four years later returned to the farm site where her husband and son were killed and are buried. She continued to live there for some time before other family members made the cabin their home. It has been refurbished over the years to maintain its original integrity.

Locator map of state monument to Guri Endreson

History of Minnesota

The history of Minnesota tells the tale of the first fur-traders arriving in Two Harbors, Minnesota in 1660 who discovered that the Native American tribes of the Chippewa and the Sioux had inhabited the area for some time. Around this time fur traders carrying hundreds of pounds of animal pelts discovered what is now known as Voyageurs National Park. The entire Lake Superior region was claimed in the name of France in 1679.

In Minnesota history, the land that was to the west of the Mississippi River was handed over to Spain circa 1760. France continued with its successful fur trading in the region where hunting was excellent. At the end of the Indian and French war, circa 1765, Britain was in control of Minnesota's eastern region.

The well-known Fort Snelling in St Paul, adjacent to Minneapolis, was constructed in 1825 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Fort Snelling was a big part of the development of the Northwest. Today it's surrounded by a metropolis but the history about Minnesota shows it was once staged alone in the wilderness.

Minnesota Map

Fort Snelling was a military outpost. In Minnesota history the outposts were there to ensure that non-citizens couldn't use the rivers for any commercial reasons. Later in Minnesota history treaties were created making foreigners less of a problem. Fort Snelling became a prosperous area that was eventually settled as the Twin Cities and Stillwater.

After ownership by many different territories, Minnesota officially became its own territory on March 3, 1849. Visitors can learn many more details at the Minnesota History Center. In the history of Minnesota the boundaries that existed in the late 1800s are almost identical to those that exist today. History about Minnesota explains how the Native Americans that lived in the region traded their land for food. The food was delivered to the isolated reservations where they lived, and often suffered without meals.

On May 11, 1858, highlighted in the history about Minnesota, the area was inaugurated as the 32nd state in the USA with St Paul as the capital. Two years later in Minnesota history the Civil War broke out. Due to the war consuming the Minnesotans, hostile and resentful Native Indians joined the war against the people of Minnesota due to their lack of food.

History about Minnesota shows that there was a wealth of industrial development occurring in the later 1800s. Minneapolis became a leader in flour milling. Railroads were further developed making transportation more accessible to the masses and for trading. Thousands of European immigrants began arriving in droves looking for new land to settle their families in. Newly discovered iron ore resources were shipped to the Vermillion Range. Today this area encompasses Lake Vermillion, one of the most popular outdoor regions in Minnesota. Kayaking, canoeing, excellent fishing and many water-based sports are all possible.

Around this time in the history of Minnesota the Mayo Clinic had begun development in Duluth. Today the clinic is one of the world leaders in medical research. After WW1 many industries which suffered from the Great Depression began expanding and included machinery, computers and electronic equipment.


In anticipation of its 150 th Anniversary, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) is hosting the Electrifying Minnesota Exhibit. The exhibit can be explored in the back of the Commission’s Large Hearing Room. The Commission will be the host site for the Minnesota Historical Society’s Traveling Exhibit until June 22, 2020. The Exhibit will be available for public viewing before and after Agenda Meetings, or by special request. To make arrangements please contact the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Unit at 651-296-0406 or email at [email protected] or contact Mary Swoboda at 651-201-2244 or [email protected]

Electrifying Minnesota Exhibit Background

Imagine what it was like, for the first time, to have electricity available at the flick of a switch. Discover what makes the miracle of generating electricity possible. Learn what people thought about electricity in the late-19th and early-20th centuries and how we will generate it in years to come. Period silent films, photography and an interactive electromagnetic generator all reveal the power of electricity and how it shapes our lives as Minnesotans.

This exhibit was created by The Bakken Museum in partnership with the Minnesota History Center. It is on temporary loan from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and will be traveling to venues throughout Minnesota.

The Minnesota Historical Society Traveling Exhibits Program has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008.

The Minnesota History Center is part of the Minnesota Historical Society, a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. Its essence is to help illuminate the past as a way to shed light on the future. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.

Historical Background - Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

The Commission’s lineage begins with the creation of railroad and warehouse regulation in the State during the 2 nd half of the 19 th century when in 1871 legislation was passed creating the Office of the Railroad Commissioner. ( MN Laws 1871 chapter 22 ). The Commissioner's duties were described, in part to:

"inquire into and report annually any neglect or infringement of the laws for the regulation of railroads in this state, by officers, employees, or agents of such roads, to the legislature the first week of its session and shall also, from time to time, carefully examine and inspect the condition of each railroad in this state, and learn its state of repair and sufficiency, and that of its carriages, engines, furniture and equipage, and the manner of its conduct and management for the public safety, and shall also report the same to the legislature, during the first week of its session."

Three years later, in 1874, legislation was passed that expanded state regulatory authority over railroads with the creation of a three-person Board of Railroad Commissioners ( MN Laws 1874 chapter 26 ). The Board members were appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The Board retained all of the powers under the 1871 law and added the responsibility for the oversight of railroad rates and the enforcement of a prohibition against charging discriminatory rates.

In 1875 legislation was enacted that changed the structure of the Board ( MN Laws 1875 chapter 103 ). The three member appointed board was done away with and replaced by a single elected Commissioner. The elected Commissioner was given the additional authority to inspect the financial conditions of the railroads, collect published rates and was required to provide annual reports to the Governor and Legislature.

Legislation passed in 1885 transferred the duties of this single Commissioner to the “Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners” which, once again, was made up of three members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate ( MN Laws 1885 chapter 188). The Commissioners were appointed by the governor for two-year terms with one being required to come from the “leading opposite political party to the governor”. The authorities of the Commission were once again expanded and, among other things, were given the power to examine the books of the railroads, issue subpoenas, administer oaths, and the power to eliminate unjust discrimination in rates, or unequal rate treatment of persons, towns, villages or locations.

In 1899 the terms of the Commissioners was extended to four years and once more, were to be elected. ( MN Laws 1899 chapter 39 ). In 1911 the terms of Commissioners were extended to six years ( MN Laws 1911 chapter 140 ). In 1915 the Commission was given the authority over the setting of rates charged be telephone companies for their services ( MN Laws 1915 chapter 152 ).

In 1967 legislation was passed that created the Department of Public Service ( MN Laws 1967, chapter 864 ), which consisted of two branches: the Public Service Commission and the Administrative Division. The legislation renamed the regulatory board and transferred all of the duties of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission to the newly created Public Service Commission.

In 1975, the Commission began regulating the rates charged by natural gas and electric utilities ( MN Laws 1974, chapter 429 ). The 1975 legislation also changed the composition of the Commission from three to five Commissioners and from serving six year terms to five year terms. In 1976 legislation returned Commissioner’s terms from five years back to six years ( MN Laws 1976, chapter 134 )

A 1979 report by the Legislative Auditor noted a strained relationship between the Director of the Administrative Division of the Department of Public Service and the Commissioners of the Public Service Commission, and recommended structural changes. In 1980 legislation was passed that separated the two branches of the Department and established two independent state agencies: the Department of Public Service and the Public Utilities Commission ( MN Laws 1980, chapter 614 ).

In 2005, legislation was enacted that transferred the authorities for the siting, routing and permitting of large electric generating plants, wind energy systems, high voltage transmission lines, and certain pipelines to the Commission ( MN Laws 2005, chapter 97 ).

This information was made available through the Legislative Reference Library:


Origin of name: From a Dakota Indian word meaning ??sky-tinted water?

10 largest cities (2012): Minneapolis, 392,880 St. Paul, 290,770 Rochester, 108,992 Duluth, 86,211 Bloomington, 86,033 Brooklyn Park, 77,752 Plymouth, 72,928 St. Cloud, 65,986 Eagan, 64,854 Woodbury, 64,496

Geographic center: In Crow Wing Co., 10 mi. SW of Brainerd

Number of counties: 87

Largest county by population and area: Hennepin, 1,152,425 (2010) St. Louis, 6,226 sq mi.

State forests: 58 (nearly 4 million ac.)

2010 resident census population (rank): 5,303,925 (21). Male: 2,632,132 Female: 2,671,793. White: 4,524,062 (88.0%) Black: 274,412 (4.4%) American Indian: 60,916 (1.0%) Asian: 214,234 (3.5%) Other race: 103,000 (1.4%) Two or more races: 125,145 (1.8%) Hispanic/Latino: 250,258 (4.0%). 2010 population 18 and over: 4,019,862 65 and over: 683,121 median age: 37.3.

Following the visits of several French explorers, fur traders, and missionaries, including Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, and Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, the region was claimed for Louis XIV by Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Duluth, in 1679.

The U.S. acquired eastern Minnesota from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War and 20 years later bought the western part from France in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Much of the region was explored by U.S. Army lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike before the northern strip of Minnesota bordering Canada was ceded by Britain in 1818.

The state is rich in natural resources. A few square miles of land in the north in the Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermilion ranges produce more than 75% of the nation's iron ore. The state's farms rank high in yields of corn, wheat, rye, alfalfa, and sugar beets. Other leading farm products include butter, eggs, milk, potatoes, green peas, barley, soybeans, oats, and livestock.

Minnesota's factories produce nonelectrical machinery, fabricated metals, flour-mill products, plastics, electronic computers, scientific instruments, and processed foods. The state is also a leader in the printing and paper-products industries.

Minneapolis is the trade center of the Midwest, and the headquarters of the world's largest super-computer and grain distributor. St. Paul is the nation's biggest publisher of calendars and law books. These ??twin cities? are the nation's third-largest trucking center. Duluth has the nation's largest inland harbor and now handles a significant amount of foreign trade. Rochester is home to the Mayo Clinic, a world-famous medical center.

Tourism is a major revenue producer in Minnesota, with arts, fishing, hunting, water sports, and winter sports bringing in millions of visitors each year.

Among the most popular attractions are the St. Paul Winter Carnival the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, the Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and Minnehaha Park, in Minneapolis Boundary Waters Canoe Area Voyageurs National Park North Shore Drive the Minnesota Zoological Gardens and the state's more than 10,000 lakes.

Minnesota History

Minnesota History features news articles that relate to historical events in Minnesota it is part of a partnership between MinnPost and the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). After their publication in MinnPost, the articles are developed into entries in MNopedia, MHS’ evolving online encyclopedia about Minnesota. These articles are researched and produced by MinnPost writers under the direction of Susan Albright in conjunction with MNopedia Editor Molly Huber. MNopedia is made possible with funding from the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Rosalie Wahl: Minnesota trailblazer

“She helped cement professional legal values and real experiences into the legal curriculum, here in Minnesota and across the nation.”

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid celebrates 100 years of ensuring access to justice

In 1913, John Benson opened the doors of a Minneapolis law office meant to help the poor and underserved. Today, that office has morphed into Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.

Minneapolis’ oldest skyway still in use turns 50

The 7th Street span that connects the Northstar Center with the Roanoke Building opened 50 years ago this summer, on June 12, 1963.

In 1977, boss tells Willmar 8 ‘We’re not all equal, you know’ strike ensues

Things didn’t work out so well for the Willmar 8. But for the women’s movement, the 1977-1979 strike was a resounding success.

Looking back at the 1878 Washburn A Mill explosion

In a matter of seconds, a series of thunderous explosions destroyed what had been the city’s largest industrial building, along with several adjacent mills.

When the wind screamed: Looking back at the 1998 St. Peter tornado

More than 1,700 homes in this town of 10,000 sustained significant damage from the 150-mile-an-hour winds that swept in 15 years ago.

30 years ago, Mickey’s Diner awarded historic status

With fluffy pancakes, Al Roker and “A Prairie Home Companion,” it would seem Mickey’s Diner has had a charmed existence. It has, except for one night in 2008.

Hard-fought United States vs. Reserve Mining changed environmentalism

Reserve Mining Company v. The United States of America is seen as a landmark decision, one that gave the EPA broader powers to regulate corporate pollution.

Jukebox divas from Minnesota: The Andrews Sisters

The sisters weren’t just popular. They defined the sound of the 1940s, as much as Glenn Miller’s big band or Bing Crosby’s velvety crooning.

Milford Mine disaster, 1924: ‘Save your breath and start climbing!’

On Feb. 5, 1924, boggy water from Foley Lake flooded the Milford Mine near Crosby, killing 41 men in Minnesota’s worst mining disaster.

Minnesota values shaped civil-rights leader Roy Wilkins

On Jan. 20, 1967, Roy Wilkins, longtime director of the NAACP, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

125 years ago, deadly ‘Children’s Blizzard’ blasted Minnesota

When the storm hit, it caught so many settlers by surprise that between 250 and 500 people died that weekend, according to estimates by newspaper editors in several states.

Gov. Olson, 80 years ago, proposed progressive taxes and unemployment insurance

By some estimates, in January of 1933 more than 50 percent of workers on the Iron Range were out of work or working only a few days a month.

The 1940 Marlborough Hotel fire: ‘There was nothing that escaped the flames’

The deadliest fire in Minneapolis history, which occurred 73 years ago today, would claim 19 lives and destroy a building that housed more than 120 residents.

50 years ago: The Andersen-Rolvaag recount begins

The hand count of 800,000 ballots was prompted by an election board’s declaration that Gov. Elmer L. Andersen had received 142 more votes than Lt. Gov. Karl Rolvaag.

Keeping temps just right: the Minneapolis-developed thermostat

The Round is so ubiquitous that Honeywell was granted a trademark for the word “Round” in 1987 and for the shape in 1990.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival celebrates 100 years of choral cheer

This year’s four-day festival begins Thursday night at the Skoglund Center Auditorium on the campus in Northfield the concert is also broadcast by MPR.

In ’87 the Twins turned the towns upside down

Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of the Twins’ Game Seven victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, an event that brought the Twin Cities their first major sports championship.

Citizens League to celebrate 60 years of policy innovation

“Our goal was to bring citizens into solving the issues in new and different ways,” said Citizens League Executive Director Sean Kershaw.

150 years ago: U.S.-Dakota War ends at the Battle of Wood Lake

Within about two hours, the battle was over. The badly outnumbered Dakota forces had succumbed to Sibley’s superior firepower.

Minnesota — History and Culture

Minnesota has enjoyed a fairly stable and prosperous economy since it began cutting timber and milling wood. Its mills have expanded to other sectors and added iron ore mining and shipping. Throughout its history, Minnesota has had a strong farming community. Today the state is diverse in both economy and population, with rich Scandinavian roots and a thriving arts scene in Minneapolis-St Paul. The natural beauty of the state and the strength of its people have shaped residents into some of America’s nicest folks. They seem to take everything in stride and are always welcoming when visitors come to town.


Like most of the northern United States, Minnesota had been traditional Native American land long before the first French fur trappers arrived in the 17th century. The Dakota, Sioux and Ojibwe were three of the biggest tribes in this region, and they did not always get along. Fort Snelling was built in the early 1800s to protect American interests in the area.

In the mid-1800s, Native Americans began selling their land to the US government and were displaced onto small reservations. This did not sit well with the Dakota, which led to the six-week Dakota War of 1862. The Indians lost and were moved to Crow Reservation in Dakota Territory. Hundreds of white settlers and Native Americans were killed in the battle.

Farming and logging were the first big industries in Minnesota thanks to the wealth of waterways that provided transportation and irrigation. Sawmills at Saint Anthony Falls and logging hubs at Winona and Stillwater helped the state grow. The mills gradually expanded into the flour industry, and several historic mills like Phelps are still around.

Iron ore provided the next economic boost, and port towns like Duluth and Two Harbors prospered through shipping routes on Lake Superior. The Great Depression brought much of Minnesota’s industry to a halt, allowing farming to become more important.

After WWII the state became a center for technology manufacturing. Early computer companies like Control Data and Cray built their headquarters in Minneapolis-St Paul, which in turn injected much needed cash, jobs and positivity into the state. With a strengthened economy came the creation of cultural attractions like the Guthrie Theater and Walker Art Center. Today, Minnesotans enjoy a broad lifestyle supported by outdoor recreation tourism and the energy of the Twin Cities.


Ask any American who the friendliest people in the are country and the answer often is Minnesotans. Maybe it’s the brutally harsh winters that forge such warm-hearted folks, but whatever the cause, it’s welcoming to travelers who can expect smiles and help all around.

Minnesota is well-known as a center of Scandinavian and German heritage thanks to the immigrants who settled over a century ago. Recent newcomers have been Asian and Latin American, helping create a rich ethnic diversity especially in Minneapolis-St Paul. The population of the state is one of the healthiest and best-educated in America. Residents are involved in their local communities and enjoy both the outdoors and the arts.


The first people probably came to the area now called Minnesota about 12,000 years ago. Native American tribes including the Dakota Sioux, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Iowa, Omaha, Winnebago, and Ojibwe, among others, lived on the land many centuries later.

After winning the American Revolution, the United States took control of land previously owned by Britain that’s now part of the Midwest. Then in 1803 the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. Portions of land from both of these areas, and land gained by making treaties with Native Americans, were combined to form the Minnesota Territory.

Minnesota was later expanded through treaties with the Dakota Indians, and in 1858 it became the 32nd state. At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Minnesota—a Union state—was the first state to volunteer troops to fight.


The name Minnesota comes from the Dakota tribe’s word for the Minnesota River, mnisota, meaning “cloudy, muddy water” or “sky-tinted water.”

Minnesota’s official nickname comes from its French state motto, adopted in 1861: l’étoile du nord meaning, “the star of the north.” Another unofficial nickname is the Land of 10,000 Lakes because, well, Minnesota has thousands of lakes—11,842 to be exact!

Right: Minnesota state symbols


Minnesota is bordered by Canada in the north, Lake Superior and Wisconsin in the east, Iowa in the south, and North and South Dakota in the west. Most of the state’s topography (or the shape of the terrain) was created thousands of years ago by glaciers. These slow-moving masses of ice carved out the Minnesota’s plains and low hills. They also created the state’s many lakes.

Northern Minnesota boasts deep lakes and streams, rocky ridges, thick forests, and the state’s highest point, Eagle Mountain. This area borders Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area.

Running west from the Canadian border to the edge of South Dakota is the Red River Valley, a mostly flat area with fertile soil.

Southwestern Minnesota is characterized by thick glacial deposits of clay and gravel.

The far southeastern part of the state is the only area that wasn’t affected by glaciers during the last ice age. It has stream-cut valleys, caverns, and high bluffs.


American martens, bobcats, muskrats, raccoons, and white-tailed deer are a few of Minnesota’s mammals. Gyrfalcons, great horned owls, and snipes are among the birds that fly through the state. Minnesota’s amphibians include western chorus frogs, eastern red-backed salamanders, and northern map turtles. The state is also home to reptiles such as prairie skinks, garter snakes, and venomous timber rattlesnakes.

Among Minnesota’s 52 native tree species are quaking aspen, American elm, mountain maple, white spruce, and red pine (the state tree). Doll’s eyes (known for their eyeball-like berries), black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, white meadowsweet, and sweet pea are a few of the state’s wildflowers.


Minnesota’s Mesabi mountain range has been a huge producer of iron ore. The state is also known for mining manganese, which is used to make aluminum and steel, and can also be found in batteries.


—Downtown Minneapolis has a nine-mile-long system of aboveground walkways that stretches between city buildings. Connecting more than 73 blocks, it’s considered the world’s biggest skyway.

—Famous Minnesotans include “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz, Wizard of Oz actress Judy Garland, and musicians Prince and Bob Dylan.

—Minnesota’s Mall of America is the biggest mall in the United States. It has more than 500 stores, a seven-acre amusement park, and full-size roller coasters inside!

—Waterskiing was invented in Minnesota in 1922.

—Legend has it giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his blue ox created Minnesota's lakes with their footprints. But the lakes were actually created by melting glaciers!


Native history Edit

The Ojibwe, sometimes referred to as the Chippewa, are clan members of the Anishinaabe, a group of culturally-related indigenous peoples including the Ojibwe who are resident in what are now Canada and the United States. The Ojibwe have a inhabited the Lake Superior region for more than 500 years. Already established as traders, after the arrival of Europeans, the Anishinaabe found a niche as the middlemen between the French fur traders and other Native peoples. They soon became the dominant Indian nation in the region, forcing out the Dakota Sioux and Fox and winning a victory against the Iroquois west of Sault Ste. Marie in 1662. By the mid-18th century, the Ojibwe occupied all of Lake Superior's shores. [10] [11] [12] In 1745, they adopted guns from the British for use against the Dakota nation of the Sioux, whom they pushed farther to the south. The Ojibwe Nation was the first to set the agenda with European-Canadian leaders for signing more detailed treaties before many European settlers were allowed too far west. [13]

The Ojibwe are historically known for their crafting of birch bark canoes, use of copper arrow points, and cultivation of wild rice. The settlement in Ojibwe is Onigamiinsing ("at the little portage"), a reference to the small and easy portage across Minnesota Point between Lake Superior and western St. Louis Bay, which forms Duluth's harbor. [14] For both the Ojibwe and the Dakota, interaction with Europeans during the contact period revolved around the fur trade and related activities. [15]

According to Ojibwe oral history, Spirit Island, near the Spirit Valley neighborhood, was the "Sixth Stopping Place", where the northern and southern branches of the Ojibwe Nation came together and proceeded to their "Seventh Stopping Place" near the present city of La Pointe, Wisconsin. The "Stopping Places" were the places the Native Americans occupied during their westward migration as the Europeans overran their territory. [16]

Exploration and fur trade Edit

Several factors brought fur traders to the Great Lakes in the early 17th century. The fashion for beaver hats in Europe generated demand for pelts. French trade for beaver in the lower St. Lawrence River had led to the depletion of the animals in that region by the late 1630s, so the French searched farther west for new resources and new routes, making alliances with the Native Americans along the way to trap and deliver their furs.

Étienne Brûlé is credited with the European discovery of Lake Superior before 1620. Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers explored the Duluth area, Fond du Lac (Bottom of the Lake) in 1654 and again in 1660. The French soon established fur posts near Duluth and in the far north where Grand Portage became a major trading center. The French explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, whose name is sometimes anglicized as "DuLuth", explored the St. Louis River in 1679.

After 1792 and the independence of the United States, the North West Company established several posts on Minnesota rivers and lakes, and in areas to the west and northwest, for trading with the Ojibwe, the Dakota, and other native tribes. The first post was where Superior, Wisconsin, later developed. Known as Fort St. Louis, the post became the headquarters for North West's new Fond du Lac Department. It had stockaded walls, two houses of 40 feet (12 m) each, a shed of 60 feet (18 m), a large warehouse, and a canoe yard. Over time, Indian peoples and European Americans settled nearby, and a town gradually developed at this point.

In 1808, the American Fur Company was organized by German-born John Jacob Astor. The company began trading at the Head of the Lakes in 1809. In 1817, it erected a new headquarters at present-day Fond du Lac on the St. Louis River. There, portages connected Lake Superior with Lake Vermillion to the north, and with the Mississippi River to the south. After creating a powerful monopoly, Astor got out of the business about 1830, as the trade was declining. But active trade was carried on until the failure of the fur trade in the 1840s. European fashions had changed and many American areas were getting over-trapped, with game declining.

In 1832 Henry Schoolcraft visited the Fond du Lac area and wrote of his experiences with the Ojibwe Indians there. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow based the Song of Hiawatha, his epic poem relating the fictional adventures of an Ojibwe warrior named Hiawatha and the tragedy of his love for Minnehaha, a Dakota woman, on Schoolcraft's writings. [17]

Natives signed two Treaties of Fond du Lac with the United States in the present neighborhood of Fond du Lac in 1826 and 1847, in which the Ojibwe ceded land to the American government. As part of the Treaty of Washington (1854) with the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa, the United States set aside the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation upstream from Duluth near Cloquet, Minnesota.

Permanent settlement Edit

As European Americans continued to settle and encroach on Ojibwe lands, the U.S. government made a series of treaties, executed between 1837 and 1889, that expropriated vast areas of tribal lands for their use and relegated the Native American peoples to a number of small reservations. [15] Interest in the area was piqued in the 1850s by rumors of copper mining. A government land survey in 1852, followed by a treaty with local tribes in 1854, secured wilderness for gold-seeking explorers, sparked a land rush, and led to the development of iron ore mining in the area. [18] The 1854 Ojibwe Land Cession Treaty would force the Ojibwe onto what are now known as the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Reservations, though some land rights such as hunting and fishing were retained. [19]

Around the same time, newly constructed channels and locks in the East permitted large ships to access the area. A road connecting Duluth to the Twin Cities was also constructed. Eleven small towns on both sides of the St. Louis River were formed, establishing Duluth's roots as a city.

By 1857, copper resources were scarce and the area's economic focus shifted to timber harvesting. A nationwide financial crisis, the Panic of 1857, caused most of the city's early pioneers to leave. A history of Duluth written in 1910 relates, "Of the handful remaining in 1859 four men were unemployed and one of those was a brewer. Capital idea build a brewery. The absence of malt and hops and barley did not at all embarrass those stout-hearted settlers." [20] The water for brewing was obtained from a stream that emptied into Lake Superior that came to be called Brewery Creek, as it is still known today. While the brewery "was not a pecuniary success", a few decades later it became the Fitger Brewing Company. [21]

The opening of the canal at Sault Ste. Marie in 1855 and the contemporaneous announcement of the railroads' approach had made Duluth the only port with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Soon the lumber industry, railroads and mining were all growing so quickly that the influx of workers could hardly keep up with demand, and storefronts popped up almost overnight. By 1868, business in Duluth was booming. In a Fourth of July speech Dr. Thomas Preston Foster, the founder of Duluth's first newspaper, coined the expression "The Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas".

In 1869–70, Duluth was the fastest-growing city in the country and was expected to surpass Chicago in only a few years. [22] When Jay Cooke, a wealthy Philadelphia land speculator, convinced the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad to create an extension from St. Paul to Duluth, the railroad opened areas due north and west of Lake Superior to iron ore mining. Duluth's population on New Year's Day of 1869 consisted of 14 families by the Fourth of July, 3,500 people were present to celebrate. [ citation needed ]

In the first Duluth Minnesotian printed on August 24, 1869, the editor placed the following notice on the editorial page:

"Newcomers should comprehend that Duluth is at present a small place, and hotel and boarding room accommodation is extremely limited. However, lumber is cheap and shanties can be built. Everyone should bring blankets and come prepared to rough it at first." [23]

In 1873, Cooke's empire crumbled and the stock market crashed, and Duluth almost disappeared from the map. But by the late 1870s, with the continued boom in lumber and mining and with the railroads completed, Duluth bloomed again. By the turn of the century, it had almost 100,000 inhabitants, and was again a thriving community with small-business loans, commerce and trade flowing through the city. Mining continued in the Mesabi Range and iron was shipped east to mills in Ohio, a trade continuing into the 20th century.

"The Untold Delights of Duluth" Edit

Early doubts about the Duluth area's potential were voiced in "The Untold Delights of Duluth," a speech U.S. Representative J. Proctor Knott of Kentucky gave in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 27, 1871. His speech opposing the St. Croix and Superior Land Grant lampooned Western boosterism, portraying Duluth as an Eden in fantastically florid terms. The speech has been reprinted in collections of folklore and humorous speeches and is regarded as a classic. [24] The nearby city of Proctor, Minnesota, is named for Knott.

Duluth's unofficial sister city, Duluth, Georgia, was named by Evan P. Howell in humorous reference to Knott's speech. Originally called Howell's Crossroads in honor of his grandfather, Evan Howell, the town had just had a railroad completed in 1871 and the "Delights of Duluth" speech was still popular.

Proctor Knott is sometimes credited with characterizing Duluth as the "zenith city of the unsalted seas," but the honor for that coinage belongs to journalist Thomas Preston Foster, speaking at a Fourth of July picnic in 1868. [25]

20th century Edit

During the 20th century, the Port of Duluth was for a time the busiest port in the United States, surpassing even New York City in gross tonnage. [26] Lake freighters carried iron ore through the Great Lakes to processing plants in Illinois and Ohio. Ten newspapers, six banks and an 11-story skyscraper, the Torrey Building, were founded and built. [27] As of 1905, Duluth was said to be home to the most millionaires per capita in the United States. [28]

In 1907, U.S. Steel announced that it would build a $5 million plant in the area. Although steel production did not begin until 1915, predictions held that Duluth's population would rise to 200,000–300,000. Along with the Duluth Works steel plant, US Steel developed Morgan Park, as a company town for steel workers. It is now a city neighborhood within Duluth.

The Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company was founded in 1908 and later became a major manufacturer and exporter of wrenches and automotive tools. Duluth's huge wholesale Marshall Wells Hardware Company expanded in 1901 by opening branches in Portland, Oregon, and Winnipeg, Manitoba the company catalog totaled 2,390 pages by 1913. The Duluth Showcase Company, which later became the Duluth Refrigerator Company and then the Coolerator Company, was established in 1908. The Universal Atlas Cement Company, which made cement from the slag byproduct of the steel plant, began operations in 1917.

Immigration Edit

Because of its numerous jobs in mining and industry, the city was a destination for large waves of immigrants from Europe during the early 20th century. It became the center of one of the largest Finnish communities in the world outside Finland. [29] For decades, a Finnish-language daily newspaper, Päivälehti, was published in the city it was named after the former Grand Duchy of Finland's pro-independence leftist paper. The Finnish community of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) members published a widely read labor newspaper Industrialisti. From 1907 to 1941, the Finnish Socialist Federation and then the IWW operated Work People's College, an educational institution that taught classes from a working-class, socialist perspective. Immigrants from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Ireland, England, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Romania, and Russia also settled in Duluth. [26] Today, people of Scandinavian descent constitute a strong plurality of Duluth's population, accounting for more than one third of the residents identifying European ancestry.

Duluth lynchings Edit

In September 1918 a group calling itself the Knights of Liberty dragged Finnish immigrant Olli Kinkkonen from his boarding house, tarred and feathered him, and lynched him. Kinkkonen did not want to fight in World War I and had planned to return to Finland. His body was found two weeks later hanging in a tree in Duluth's Lester Park. [30]

Another lynching in Duluth occurred on June 15, 1920, when three innocent black male circus workers: Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie, were attacked by a white mob and hanged after allegedly raping a teenage white girl. The Duluth lynchings took place on First Street and Second Avenue East. In the late 20th century, journalist Michael Fedo wrote The Lynchings in Duluth (1970), which began to raise awareness of the event. Community members from many different groups began to come together for reflection and education. The men's unmarked graves were located and in 1991, gravestones were erected with funding from a local church. Vigils were held at the intersection where the men were lynched. In 2000, a grassroots committee was formed, and began to offer speakers to groups and schools. It decided to commemorate the event with a memorial. The Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, which includes a corner wall and plaza, was dedicated in 2003. It includes three 7-foot (2.1 m)-tall bronze statues of the three men. The CJMM Committee continues to work for racial justice through educational outreach, community forums, and scholarships for youth. [31] [32]

1918 Cloquet Fire Edit

In 1918, the Cloquet Fire (named for the nearby city of Cloquet) burned across Carlton and southern St. Louis counties, destroying dozens of communities in the Duluth area. The fire was the worst natural disaster in Minnesota history in terms of the number of lives lost in a single day. Many people died on the rural roads surrounding the Duluth area, and historical accounts tell of victims dying while trying to outrun the fire. The News Tribune reported, "It is estimated that 100 families were rendered homeless by Saturday's fire in the territory known as the Woodland District. In most cases, families which lost their homes also lost most or all of their furniture and personal belongings, the limited time and transportation facilities affording little opportunity for saving anything but human life." [33] The National Guard unit based in Duluth was mobilized in a heroic effort to battle the fire and assist victims, but the troops were overwhelmed by the enormity of the fire.

Retired Duluth News Tribune columnist and journalist Jim Heffernan [34] writes that his mother "recalled an overnight vigil watching out the window of their small home on lower Piedmont Avenue with her father, her younger sisters having gone to sleep, ready to be evacuated to the waterfront should the need arise. The fire never made it that far down the hill, but devastated what is now Piedmont Heights, and, of course, a widespread area of Northeastern Minnesota." [35] In the fire's aftermath, tens of thousands of people were left injured or homeless many of the refugees fled into the city for aid and shelter. [36]

Continued growth Edit

For the first half of the 20th century, Duluth was an industrial port boom town dominated by its several grain elevators, a cement plant, a nail mill, wire mills, and the Duluth Works plant. Handling and export of iron ore, brought in from the Mesabi Range, was integral to the city's economy, as well as to the steel industry in the Midwest, including in manufacturing cities in Ohio.

The Aerial Lift Bridge (earlier known as the "Aerial Bridge" or "Aerial Ferry Bridge") was built in 1905 and at that time was known as the United States' first transporter bridge—only one other was ever constructed in the country. [37] In 1929–30, the span was converted to a vertical lift bridge (also rather uncommon). The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

In 1916, after Europe had entered the Great War (World War I), a shipyard was constructed on the St. Louis River. A new workers neighborhood, today known as Riverside, developed around the large operation. Similar industrial expansions took place during the Second World War, as Duluth's large harbor and the area's vast natural resources were put to work for the war effort. Tankers and submarine chasers (usually called "sub-chasers") were built at the Riverside shipyard. The population of Duluth continued to grow in the postwar decade and a half, peaking at 107,884 in 1960.

Economic decline Edit

Economic decline began in the 1950s, when high-grade iron ore ran out on the Iron Range north of Duluth ore shipments from the Duluth harbor had been critical to the city's economy. Low-grade ore (taconite) shipments continued, boosted by new taconite pellet technology, but ore shipments were lower overall.

In the 1970s the United States experienced a steel crisis, a recession in the global steel market, and like many American cities Duluth entered a period of industrial restructuring. In 1981, US Steel closed its Duluth Works plant, a blow to the city's economy whose effects included the closure of the cement company, which had depended on the steel plant for raw materials (slag). More closures followed in other industries, including shipbuilding and heavy machinery. By decade's end, unemployment rates hit 15 percent. The economic downturn was particularly hard on Duluth's West Side, where ethnic Eastern and Southern European workers had lived for decades.

During the 1980s, plans were underway to extend Interstate 35 through Duluth and up the North Shore, bringing new access to the city. The original plan called for the interstate to run along the shore on an elevated concrete structure, blocking the city's access to Lake Superior. Kent Worley, a local landscape architect, wrote an impassioned letter to then mayor Ben Boo asking that the route be reconsidered. The Minnesota Department of Transportation agreed to take another look, with Worley consulting. The new plan called for parts of the highway to run through tunnels, which allowed preservation of Fitger's Brewery, Sir Ben's Tavern, Leif Erickson Park, and Duluth's Rose Garden. Rock used from the interstate project was used to create an extensive new beach along Lake Superior, along which the city's Lakewalk was built. [38]

21st-century development Edit

With the decline of the city's industrial core, the local economic focus gradually shifted to tourism. The interstate brought new people into the community. The downtown area was renovated to emphasize its pedestrian character: streets were paved with red brick and skywalks and retail shops were added. The city and developers worked with the area's unique architectural character, converting old warehouses along the waterfront into cafés, shops, restaurants, and hotels. Combined with the new rock beach and Lakewalk, these changes developed the new Canal Park as a trendy tourism-oriented district. Duluth's population, which had declined since 1960, stabilized at around 85,000.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Duluth has become a regional center for banking, retail shopping, and medical care for northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and northwestern Michigan. It is estimated that more than 8,000 jobs in Duluth are directly related to its two hospitals. Arts and entertainment offerings, as well as year-round recreation and the natural environment, have contributed to expansion of the tourist industry. Some 3.5 million visitors each year contribute more than $400 million to the local economy.

Craft district gentrification Edit

More recently a collection of like-minded businesses in Lincoln Park, an old rundown blue-collar neighborhood with high unemployment and poverty rates, was cultivated by a group of entrepreneurs who have begun rebuilding and revitalizing the area. Since 2014 at least 25 commercial real estate transactions have occurred and 17 businesses have opened, including restaurants, breweries, coffee shops and artist studios. [39] [40] Due to the neighborhood's revitalization, many developers are also investing in housing projects in anticipation of further growth. [41]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 87.43 square miles (226.44 km 2 ) 67.79 square miles (175.58 km 2 ) is land and 19.64 square miles (50.87 km 2 ) is water. [42] It is Minnesota's second-largest city by land area, surpassed only by Hibbing. Of its 87.3 square miles (226 km 2 ), 68 square miles (180 km 2 ), or 77.89%, is land and 19.3 square miles (50 km 2 ), or 22.11%, is water. Duluth's canal connects Lake Superior to the Duluth–Superior harbor and the Saint Louis River. It is spanned by the Aerial Lift Bridge, which connects Canal Park with Minnesota Point (or "Park Point"). [43] Minnesota Point is about 7 miles (11 km) long, and when included with adjacent Wisconsin Point, which extends 3 miles (4.8 km) from the city of Superior, Wisconsin, is the largest freshwater baymouth bar in the world at a total of 10 miles (16 km). [44]

Duluth's topography is dominated by a steep hillside that climbs from Lake Superior to high inland elevations. Duluth has been called "the San Francisco of the Midwest," alluding to San Francisco's similar water-to-hilltop topography. This similarity was most evident before World War II, when Duluth had a network of streetcars and an inclined railroad, the 7th Avenue West Incline Railway, that, like San Francisco's cable cars, climbed a steep hill. The change in elevation is illustrated by Duluth's two airports. The weather station at the lakeside Sky Harbor Airport on Minnesota Point has an elevation of 607 feet (185 m), while Duluth International Airport, atop the hill, is 820 feet (250 m) higher at 1,427 feet (435 m). [45]

Even as the city has grown, its populace has tended to hug Lake Superior's shoreline, so Duluth is primarily a southwest–northeast city. The considerable development on the hill has given Duluth many steep streets. Some neighborhoods, such as Piedmont Heights and Bayview Heights, are atop the hill with scenic views of the city. Skyline Parkway is a scenic roadway that extends from Becks Road above the Gary – New Duluth neighborhood near the western end of the city to the Lester Park neighborhood on the east side. It crosses nearly Duluth's entire length and affords views of Lake Superior, the Aerial Lift Bridge, Canal Park, and the many industries that inhabit the largest inland port.

A developing part of the city is the Miller Hill Mall area and the adjacent big-box retailer shopping strips "over the hill" along the Miller Trunk Highway corridor. The 2009–10 road reconstruction project in Duluth's Miller Hill area improved movement through the U.S. Highway 53 corridor from Trinity Road to Maple Grove Road. The highway project reconstructed connector roads, intersections, and adjacent roadways. A new international airport terminal was completed in 2013 as part of the federal government's Stimulus Reconstruction Program.

Geological history Edit

The geology of Duluth demonstrates the Midcontinent Rift, formed as the North American continent began to split apart about 1.1 billion years ago. As the earth's crust thinned, magma rose toward the surface. These intrusions formed a 16 km (9.9 mi)-thick sill, primarily of gabbro, which is known as the Duluth Complex. An intrusion of the Duluth Complex can be seen at Enger Tower, which is built on a knob of exposed gabbro. [46]

The lava flows formed the conditions for the creation of Lake Superior agates. As the lava solidified, gas trapped within the flows formed an amygdaloidal texture (literally, rock filled with small vesicles). Later, groundwater transported dissolved minerals through the vesicles depositing concentric bands of fine-grained quartz called chalcedony. The color scheme is caused by the concentration of iron present in the groundwater at the time that each new layer was being deposited. The process went on until the cavity had been completely filled. Over time erosion freed the agates from the solidified lava, which is not as hard as quartz.

The creation of the Lake Superior basin reflects the erosive power of continental glaciers that advanced and retreated over Minnesota several times in the past 2 million years. The mile-thick ice sheets easily eroded the sandstone that filled the axis of the rift valley, but encountered more resistance from the igneous rocks forming the flanks of the rift, now the margins of the lake basin. As the last glacier retreated, meltwaters filled the lake to as high as 500 feet (150 m) above the current level the Skyline Parkway roughly follows one of the highest levels of the ancient Lake Superior, Glacial Lake Duluth. [46] The sandstone that buried the igneous rocks of the rift is exposed near Fond du Lac. At one time a large number of quarries produced the stone, sold as Fond du Lac or Lake Superior brownstone. It was widely used in Duluth buildings and also shipped to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee, where it was also used extensively. The weathered sandstone forms the sandy lake bottom and shores of Park Point. [46]

Climate Edit

Duluth has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), slightly moderated by its proximity to Lake Superior. Winters are long, snowy, and very cold, normally seeing maximum temperatures remaining below 32 °F (0 °C) on 106 days (the second-most of any city in the contiguous US behind International Falls), falling to or below 0 °F (−18 °C) on 40–41 nights and bringing consistent snow cover from late November to late March. [47] Winter storms that pass south or east of Duluth can often set up easterly or northeasterly flow, which leads to occasional upslope lake-effect snow events that bring 1 foot (30 cm) or more of snow to the city while areas 50 miles (80 km) inland receive considerably less. The average annual snowfall is 81.5 in. The lake steams in the winter when moist, lake-warmed air at the surface rises and cools, losing some of its moisture-carrying capacity. [48]

Duluth has been called "The Air-Conditioned City" because of the summertime cooling effect of Lake Superior. Using data on the minimum monthly temperature between 1981 and 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developed a Comparative Climatic Data report. With a minimum average monthly low temperature of 1.5 °F (−16.9 °C) and a maximum average monthly low temperature of 55.4 °F (13.0 °C), Duluth was found to be the fifth-coldest city in the United States. [49]

Summers are warm, though nights are generally cool, with daytime temperatures averaging 76 °F (24 °C) in July, with the same figure over 80 °F (26.7 °C) inland. Temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average, only two days per year, while the city has officially only seen 100 °F (38 °C) temperatures on three days, all during the July 1936 heat wave, part of the Dust Bowl years. [47] The phrase "cooler by the lake" can be heard often in weather forecasts during the summer, especially on days when an easterly wind is expected. Great local variations are also common because of the rapid change in elevation between the nearly 900-foot (270 m) hilltop and shoreside. Often this variation manifests itself as snow in higher elevations while rain falls near Lake Superior. [48]

The record low temperature in Duluth is −41 °F (−41 °C), set on January 2, 1885, and the record high temperature is 106 °F (41 °C), set on July 13, 1936. On average, the first freezing temperature occurs on September 25, and the last on May 25, though a freezing temperature has occurred in August the average window for measurable (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) snowfall is October 21 through April 23. [47]

Climate data for Duluth Int'l, Minnesota (1981–2010 normals, [a] extremes 1871–present [b] )
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 55
Mean maximum °F (°C) 38.8
Average high °F (°C) 18.9
Average low °F (°C) 1.5
Mean minimum °F (°C) −23.2
Record low °F (°C) −41
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.96
Average snowfall inches (cm) 19.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.3 8.5 9.7 10.6 12.3 12.6 11.8 10.8 12.3 11.3 10.7 10.5 131.4
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 12.9 10.1 8.7 4.6 0.5 0 0 0 0.1 2.0 8.9 12.8 60.6
Average relative humidity (%) 72.0 69.8 69.3 63.6 62.7 69.5 70.9 74.5 75.7 71.4 74.9 76.3 70.9
Average dew point °F (°C) 0.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 132.7 149.7 190.7 229.5 263.5 272.8 307.5 261.8 194.0 150.4 98.5 102.3 2,353.4
Percent possible sunshine 47 52 52 56 57 58 64 60 51 44 35 38 53
Source: NOAA (relative humidity, dew point, and sun 1961–1990) [47] [50] [51]

2012 flooding Edit

From June 19–20, 2012, Duluth suffered the worst flood in its history, caused by nine inches (230 mm) of rain throughout the course of thirty hours. [52] Combined with its rocky sediments, hard soil and 43 streams and creeks, the city could not handle the massive rainfall. [53] Mayor Don Ness declared a state of emergency, asking for national assistance. [54] Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency, sending the National Guard and the Red Cross to assist in the relief efforts. [55] Several sinkholes opened throughout the city, causing massive property damage. [56] Several feet of standing water accumulated in many city alleys and parking lots. [57] Streets were turned into rapids and many roads split apart due to the heavy flow of water. [58] [59] A portion of West Skyline Parkway tumbled down the hill, isolating a neighborhood. [60] The Saint Louis River, in Duluth's Fond du Lac neighborhood, flooded Highway 23, isolating that neighborhood as well, and damaging roadways and bridges. [61]

The Lake Superior Zoo flooded in the early hours of June 20 11 barnyard animals drowned, as did a turkey vulture, a raven and a snowy owl. [62] The rising waters enabled a polar bear to escape her exhibit, though she was quickly found on zoo grounds, tranquilized and moved to safety. Two harbor seals escaped the zoo grounds but were later found on Grand Avenue. All three animals were moved to Como Park Zoo in Saint Paul for a temporary, but indeterminate, amount of time. [63] [64] [65] The polar bear was transferred to the Kansas City Zoo in late 2012 as part of the American Zoological Association's (AZA) Species Survival Program breeding recommendation.

2012 tornado Edit

Tornadoes are uncommon in Duluth, considering its latitude and location next to the climate-moderating Lake Superior. However, on August 9, 2012 at around 11 AM, a tornado touched down on Minnesota Point. It had originally started as a waterspout in Superior Bay, two miles (3.2 km) from Sky Harbor Airport, but briefly found its way onto the sandbar's shoreline, making it a true tornado. It quickly dissipated, but soon touched down again on Superior’s Barker's Island, where it again quickly dissipated. It caused no serious damage the tornado was categorized as an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. At the time the National Weather Service reported that it was Duluth's first tornado. Further investigation showed that more than 60 years ago, on May 26, 1958, Duluth had a "miniature tornado" that collapsed a garage and damaged two area lake cabins. It lasted only five minutes. The News-Tribune reported a possible twister on July 11, 1935: "Swirling into the city on the wings of a torrential rain, a miniature tornado struck in the heart of the Gary-New Duluth district shortly before 8 a.m. yesterday, flattening a row of coal sheds (and) a frame garage and causing general damage to trees in the vicinity. The United States weather bureau had no means of officially recording the twister, the high wind having limited itself to the Gary-New Duluth district." [66] [67]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18703,131 3,813.8%
18803,483 11.2%
189033,115 850.8%
190052,969 60.0%
191078,466 48.1%
192098,917 26.1%
1930101,453 2.6%
1940101,065 −0.4%
1950104,511 3.4%
1960107,312 2.7%
1970100,578 −6.3%
198092,811 −7.7%
199085,493 −7.9%
200086,918 1.7%
201086,265 −0.8%
2019 (est.)85,618 [3] −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [68]
2018 Estimate [69]

2010 census Edit

As of the 2010 census, there were 86,265 people, 35,705 households, and 18,680 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,272.5 inhabitants per square mile (491.3/km 2 ). There were 38,208 housing units at an average density of 563.6 per square mile (217.6/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 90.4% White, 2.3% African American, 2.5% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.3% from other races, 0.1% Russian and 3.0% from two or more races and ethnicities. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 35,705 households, of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.7% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the city was 33.6 years. 18.5% of residents were under the age of 18 19.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24 23.4% were from 25 to 44 24.8% were from 45 to 64 and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 census Edit

As of the 2000 census, there were 35,500 households and 19,918 families in the city. The population density was 1,278.1/sq mi (493.5/km 2 ). There were 36,994 housing units at an average density of 544.0/sq mi (210.0/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 92.7% White, 1.6% Black or African American, 2.4% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. 1.1% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Among Duluth's households, 26.6% had children under 18, 41.4% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.9% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were one-person households, and 13.3% had someone 65 or older living alone. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 21.3% under the age of 18, 16.2% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over there were 89.7 males.

Duluth's median household income was $33,766 median family income was $46,394. Males had a median income of $35,182, females $24,965. The per capita income was $18,969. About 8.6% of families and 15.5% of all residents were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under 18 and 9.5% of those 65 or over.

Duluth is the major regional center for health care, higher education, retail, and business services not only of its own immediate area but also of a larger area encompassing northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is also a major transportation center for the transshipment of coal, taconite, agricultural products, steel, limestone, and cement. In recent years it has seen strong growth in the transshipment of wind turbine components coming and going from manufacturers in both Europe and North Dakota and of oversized industrial machinery manufactured all around the world and destined for the tar sands oil extraction projects in northern Alberta. The Port of Duluth handles an average of 35 million short tons of cargo and nearly 900 vessel visits each year. [8] 90% of the ports vessels are "Lakers," ships that ship goods exclusively among the upper four Great Lakes and are too large to transit the Welland Canal. 10% are "Salties", ships that can traverse the seaway all the way from the Atlantic Ocean. [8]

Duluth has attracted several new engineering firms including TKDA, Barr Engineering, LHB, Enbridge and Lake Superior Consulting, as well as new start-ups in various fields, including Loll Designs, an eco-friendly furniture company, and microbrewery Bent Paddle. [70] Women's clothing retail chain Maurices is also headquartered in Duluth. In 1989, the workwear and accessories brand Duluth Trading Company was founded on a barge in the city's shipping district. The company moved its headquarters to southern Wisconsin in 2000.

Duluth is a center for aquatic biology and aquatic science. The city is home to the EPA's Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory and the University of Minnesota–Duluth. These institutions have spawned many economically and scientifically important businesses that support Duluth's economy. A short list of these businesses include ERA Laboratories, LimnoLogic, the ASci Corporation, Environmental Consulting and Testing, and Ecolab.

The city is popular for tourism. Duluth is a convenient base for trips to the scenic North Shore via Highway 61 and to fishing and wilderness destinations in Minnesota's far north, including the Superior National Forest, Lake Vermilion and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Tourists also may drive on the North Shore Scenic Drive to Gooseberry Falls State Park, Baptism Falls (Minnesota's largest waterfall), the vertical cliff of Palisade Head, Isle Royale National Park (reached via ferry), Grand Portage National Monument in Grand Portage, and High Falls of the Pigeon River (on the Canada–US border). Thunder Bay, Ontario, can be reached by following the highway into Canada along Lake Superior.

In 2006, a volunteer task force was formed to manage the spiraling retiree health care benefit obligations that were threatening to bankrupt the city. Mayor Don Ness called it "the single most important volunteer effort in our city's history." After reforming and restructuring the benefits and a court case that went all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, in 2013 the liability stood at an estimated $191 million. [71] In 2014, the mayor announced "a full solution for the retiree health care issue that once threatened to bankrupt our city." [72]

Largest Employers in Duluth (2005) [ needs update ]
No. Employer No. of Employees
1 St. Mary's/Duluth Clinic (now Essentia Health) 3,800
2 Duluth Public Schools 1,700
3 St. Louis County 1,640
4 University of Minnesota Duluth 1,571
5 St. Luke's Hospital 1,143
6 City of Duluth 1,060

Aviation Edit

In the summer of 1913, the world's first heavier-than-air airline service opened in the form of a biplane flying boat named Lark of Duluth, offering joyrides over the Duluth harbor. Not a commercial success, the flights ended later that summer when the designer of the aircraft's engine crashed it. After being purchased and used for scheduled flights in Florida, the plane returned to Duluth and other locations for passenger flights in 1914, until it was ultimately damaged in a hard landing later that year in California and pronounced unsalvageable. A replica of the 1913 Lark of Duluth was constructed and flown by the Duluth Aviation Institute in 2013, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation. [73]

Several multinational aviation corporations operate near Duluth. Since 1994, the city has been home to the headquarters and main manufacturing facility of Cirrus Aircraft, [74] whose 1,500-plus employees build the world's best-selling general aviation aircraft, the SR22, and the world's first single-engine personal jet, the Vision SF50. [75] [76] James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, said that Cirrus' rapid growth in Duluth over the years "was a major, major factor in the town's modern emergence". [70] The company is Duluth's largest manufacturer. [77] In 2012, another aircraft manufacturer, Kestrel Aircraft, maker of the K-350 turboprop plane and now known as ONE Aviation, moved to the Twin Ports. [78] Later that year, AAR Corp opened an aircraft repair and maintenance facility at the Duluth airport. [79]

In January 2013, the Duluth International Airport opened a new terminal, now named the "U.S. Representative James L. Oberstar Terminal" after the late Jim Oberstar. [80]

The Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing is based in Duluth, and was in 2016 the city's seventh-largest employer. It is one of a handful of National Guard units with an active association, which in the 148th's case means having the capability to provide training for Air Force pilots. [81] The 179th Fighter Squadron is a unit of the 148th.

Local attractions include a variety in the arts and literature. Museums include the Tweed Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. The premiere community art center is the Duluth Art Institute, with galleries, a fiber studio and darkroom in the Depot downtown and ceramic and multi-purpose studios in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. A number of local art galleries are also located downtown and in Canal Park. The Duluth Public Library has three locations. Duluth is also home to a professional ballet company, the Minnesota Ballet. Duluth shares a symphony orchestra—the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra—with Superior, Wisconsin. In summer free concerts are often held in Chester Park, where local musicians play for crowds. The Bayfront Blues Festival is held in early August.

Duluth is home to several local theater companies, including The Duluth Playhouse, one of the oldest operating community theaters in the United States. Founded in 1914, the Playhouse's main offices and two of its theaters are housed in the historic Depot Building on Michigan Street. The Playhouse has a comprehensive theatrical season across multiple stages, including Duluth's Nor Shor Theater as of April 2018. It also has a renowned education program. [82]

Since 2004, Duluth has celebrated Gay Pride with a parade on Labor Day weekend. Since 1998, the city has held the Homegrown Music Festival the first week in May. The festival features over 170 local musical acts performing across the city. The Junior Achievement High School ROCKS – Battle of the Bands showcases middle school and high school bands from central Minnesota to the Canada–US border and northern Wisconsin and takes place at the DECC in mid-April. Duluth also hosts the Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards, honoring books about the region. Soon to be renovated, the NorShor Theatre will be a center for arts and entertainment downtown that will bring a wide variety of local, regional, and national performers. [83]

The NorShor Theatre is a historic movie palace on Superior Street that is being restored for use as a performance venue. The century-old venue is generally considered a local landmark. Once restoration is complete, it will serve as a center for arts and entertainment in the downtown district. [84] It will be a mid-sized venue managed by the Duluth Playhouse that will offer a state-of-the-art facility for local, regional, and national performers. [85]

Attractions Edit

The Historic Old Central High School, built in 1892 of locally quarried sandstone at a cost of $460,000, it houses an 1890s classroom museum. It features a 230-foot (70 m) clock tower with chimes patterned after Big Ben in London the clock faces are each 10 + 1 ⁄ 2 feet (3.2 m) in diameter, overlooking the Duluth harbor.

The Aerial Lift Bridge, spanning the Duluth Ship Canal into Duluth's harbor, is a vertical lift bridge. It was originally an exceedingly rare aerial transfer bridge—a bridge that slides a basketlike "gondola" back and forth to transfer people and vehicles from one side to the other. The wreck of the Thomas Wilson, a classic early-20th-century whaleback ore boat, lies underwater less than 1 mile (1.6 km) outside the Duluth harbor ship canal. The 610-foot-long (190 m) former ore ship William A Irvin is a museum ship along the Duluth waterfront.

Duluth is the starting point for the North Shore of Lake Superior scenic route that runs from Duluth, at the southwestern end of the lake, to Thunder Bay and Nipigon, in the north, and to Sault Ste. Marie in the east. The route was already a popular tourist destination after 1855 when the Great Lakes lock system first allowed steamboats onto the lake and eastern tourists began to travel onto Lake Superior for recreational purposes. By the mid-1870s many excursion boats, coastal steamers, and ferries ran along the North Shore, primarily out of Duluth and Thunder Bay. After docking in Duluth they would canoe or be ferried up the North Shore, staying in hunting and fishing camps, and later hotels and small cabins. [86]

Great Lakes Aquarium Edit

The Great Lakes Aquarium is in the Duluth Waterfront Park. A freshwater aquarium, it features animals and habitats found in the Great Lakes Basin and other freshwater ecosystems such as the Amazon River. The aquarium houses 205 different species of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. It is one of the few aquariums in the United States to focus on freshwater exhibits.

Lake Superior Zoo Edit

The 16-acre Lake Superior Zoo offers year-round recreational activities and features animals from around the world, including Amur tigers, snow leopards, African lions, brown bears, kangaroos, and gray wolves, plus a variety of birds, reptiles, primates and barnyard animals. The zoo offers learning programs and regularly features special events. [87]

Lake Superior Railroad Museum Edit

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is in the Duluth Union Depot. It has seven steam, 14 diesel, and two electric locomotives, and over 40 other pieces of rolling stock. The collection includes the William Crooks, the first locomotive to operate in the state of Minnesota, and the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Number 227, a "Yellowstone" locomotive that was among the largest steam engines ever. Only 18 Yellowstones were ever built, and Duluth exhibits one of the three that remain. [88]

Hawk Ridge fall raptor count Edit

Minnesota sits in the path of many avian flyways, and migratory birds pass over the state in great numbers. Hawk Ridge, on Skyline Parkway, is one of the nation's top spots for viewing migratory raptors. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Hawk Ridge "has attracted visitors from all 50 states and 40 countries. From Labor Day through October, visitors come for the spectacular views of Lake Superior and breathtaking glimpses of towering kettles (groups) of raptors spiraling upward as far as the eye can see". On a nearby ridge, volunteers and licensed bird banders capture raptors in nets and band them. Large crowds gather to observe the captured birds and help release them. Hawk Ridge staff and volunteers are available to offer information and answer questions. [89] [90]

Enger Tower Edit

Enger Tower is an 80-foot (24 m), five-story blue stone observation tower atop Enger Hill in Duluth. The tower providing panoramic views of the Twin Ports. Each of the tower's levels has a lookout accessible by stairs. A green beacon mounted atop the tower can be seen for many miles. Free admission and near unlimited access to the tower during park hours make this attraction popular among visitors and locals.

North Shore Scenic Railroad Edit

The North Shore Scenic Railroad is a heritage railroad that operates between Duluth and Two Harbors, Minnesota. It is owned by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and offers several different types of passenger excursion trains between May 28 and October 15 each year. The railroad was started in 1990, using the Lakefront Line once owned by the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway.

Fitger's Brewery Edit

The original brewery was built in 1857 on a stream that came to be known as Brewery Creek it was purchased by Michael Fink in 1881 and moved downstream to its present location on Superior Street. Fink's Lake Superior Brewery hired a new brewmaster, August Fitger, a graduate of one of Germany's premier brewing schools, and the brewery was renamed A. Fitger & Co. / Lake Superior Brewery. The brewery was successful and stayed in operation even through prohibition but finally closed in 1972 after 115 years of continual operation, making it the oldest business in Duluth. The complex was reopened in 1984 and contains a craft brewery, several restaurants, hotels, shops, and a museum. Fitger's Brewery Complex is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. [91]

Canal Park Edit

Canal Park is a district with recreation activities, restaurants, cafés, hotels, and shops, especially those dealing in antiques. Formerly a warehouse district, the area converted to a recreation-oriented district following the decline in manufacturing in the 1980s. A 2.6-mile (4.2 km) walking path offers views of Park Point's sand dunes and swimming beaches. Attractions include a lighthouse pier, Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Great Lakes Aquarium, the William A. Irvin floating ship museum, and the annual Bayfront Blues Festival in Bayfront Festival Park. [92] [93]

Glensheen Mansion Edit

The Glensheen Historic Estate, on the shore of Lake Superior, was built as the family home for wealthy businessman Chester Adgate Congdon. Glensheen sits on 7.6 acres (3.1 ha) of lakefront property, has 38 rooms and is built in the Jacobean architectural tradition, inspired by the Beaux-Arts styles of the era. The building was designed by Minnesota architect Clarence H. Johnston Sr., with interiors designed by William French. The formal terraced garden and English-style landscape was designed by the Charles Wellford Leavitt firm of New York. Construction began in 1905 at a cost of $854,000 (about $21 million in today's dollars), and was completed in 1908. Aside from its architectural significance, Glensheen is noteworthy for the murders of Elisabeth Congdon and her nurse on June 27, 1977. The mansion is open to tours year-round.

Duluth Children's Museum Edit

Founded in 1930, the Duluth Children's Museum in the Lincoln Park neighborhood is the fifth-oldest of its kind in the United States. It features interactive exhibits, educational programs, and opportunities for creative play designed for children, their families and caregivers, and school field trips. The museum also curates an artifact collection of over 25,000 objects drawn from the lives and cultures of people who have resided in the region, particularly American Indians and immigrants.

Christmas City of the North Parade Edit

Each year in November, the Christmas City of the North Parade takes place in Duluth. The parade dates to 1957, when the holiday shopping season ran particularly short. Wanting to extend Christmas shopping days, Bob Rich, who at the time owned the former WDSM-TV, now KBJR-TV, came up with the idea. Since then, the parade has marched through downtown Duluth annually on the Friday night before Thanksgiving. The event has survived pouring rain, snow and frigid cold. Even in years when instruments were too cold to produce music, the bands became choirs, using their voices to entertain the crowd. Recorded by Merv Griffin in 1962, the "Christmas City" song is the parade's signature sound. According to Rich's grandson, the song was written by a local resident and his grandfather asked his friend Griffin, at that time not the well-known TV personality he later became, if he would sing the song and put it to music. [94] [95]

Gichi-Ode' Akiing Edit

Just off the Lakewalk, Lake Place Park became Gichi-Ode' Akiing, Ojibwe for "a grand heart place." [96] The Duluth City Council approved the name change in 2018. [97] A memorial to Kechewaishke, also known as Chief Buffalo, honors his symbolic petition carried to president Millard Fillmore in 1849. [98] Kechewaishke signed the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe a year before his death, with the provision that one square mile (2.6 km 2 ) of land at the corner of Lake Superior be given to his adopted son Benjamin G. Armstrong. [99] Known as the Buffalo Tract, Armstrong's land comprised part of today's downtown Duluth. [100]

Professional sports history Edit

Duluth in the NFL
Year W L T Finish
1923 4 3 0 7th
1924 5 1 0 4th
1925 0 3 0 16th
1926 6 5 3 8th
1927 1 8 0 11th

Duluth fielded a National Football League team called the Kelleys (officially the Kelley Duluths after the Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store) from 1923 to 1925 and the Eskimos (officially [101] Ernie Nevers' Eskimos after the early NFL great, their star player) from 1926 to 1927. The Eskimos were then sold and became the Orange Tornadoes (Orange, New Jersey). This bit of history became the basis for the 2008 George Clooney/Renée Zellweger movie, Leatherheads.

The Duluth–Superior Dukes of the Northern League Independent Professional Baseball played in West Duluth's Wade Stadium from the league's inception in 1993 until 2002 when the team moved to Kansas City, Kansas, and became the Kansas City T-Bones. The Dukes were Northern League champions in 1997. An earlier Northern League, based in the Midwest, was also in operation off and on from 1902 to 1971, the longest stint being 1932–1971. The Dukes were a farm team for the Detroit Tigers from 1960 to 1964 and several other teams in later years before the Northern League folded in 1971. The Dukes produced notable players such as Denny McLain, Bill Freehan, Gates Brown, Ray Oyler, Jim Northrup, Mickey Stanley, John Hiller, and Willie Horton, all of whom were members of the 1968 world champion Detroit Tigers.

Duluth is also home to Horton's Gym, the home gym of professional boxers Zach "Jungle Boy" Walters and Andy Kolle, as well as a number of other professional prizefighters. Horton's Gym was run by Chuck Horton from 1994 to 2011. During that time, Horton trained some of the most recognized professional and amateur boxers in Minnesota such as Walters, Kolle, RJ Lasse, Gary Eyer and Wayne Putnam. In 2011, Horton turned the gym over to Zach Walters so that Horton could concentrate solely on training professional boxers Walters changed the gym's name to Jungle Boy Boxing Gym. Horton is currently the trainer of Al Sands Sands won the North American Boxing Association's U.S. Cruiserweight title in April 2014. [102]

Amateur sports Edit

Hockey Edit

The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldog hockey games are televised locally, and attended by thousands in person at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). A new hockey arena, Amsoil Arena, opened December 30, 2010, adjacent to the DECC. Several Bulldogs, including hockey great Brett Hull and Matt Niskanen have gone on to success in the National Hockey League. [103] On April 9, 2011, the Bulldog men's team defeated Michigan to win their first national championship in school history. They won the championship again in 2018 and 2019. [104]

The UMD women's ice hockey team has won five NCAA Division I national championships (2001–03, 2008, 2010). [105] The 2010 title game against Cornell University lasted through nearly three full overtimes and was the longest women's ice hockey championship game in NCAA history. The 2003 women's Frozen Four tournament was played at the DECC with the Bulldogs claiming their third consecutive national title by defeating Harvard University via a dramatic double-overtime goal by Nora Tallus in front of a sellout home crowd. The 2008 Frozen Four tournament was also held at the DECC and saw the Bulldogs claim their fourth national title with a 4–0 shutout of the Wisconsin Badgers. The Women's Frozen Four was held in Amsoil Arena in 2012. [106]

Baseball Edit

The Duluth Dukes are an amateur baseball team that plays its home games at Bulldog Park on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth and at Wade Stadium. The Dukes are composed of current and former college players and former professional players. The Dukes compete in two leagues: the Arrowhead League of the Minnesota Baseball Association, and the Upper 13 League of the Wisconsin Baseball Association.

The Duluth Xpress are an amateur baseball team that plays its games at the Ordean Middle School baseball field. The team is made up of current and former college players and former professional players. The Xpress compete in the Arrowhead League, a class B league in Minnesota town team baseball.

The Duluth Huskies are a college summer wood bat league baseball team based in Duluth and playing in the Northwoods League. The team plays its home games at Wade Stadium. The roster includes some of the top college baseball players in the country. The Huskies play 34 home games each summer between June and August.

The Twin Ports North Stars are an amateur baseball team that plays its games at Ordean Field at Duluth East High School. The North Stars are composed of current and former college and professional baseball players who reside in the Twin Ports area. As of 2013, the North Stars compete out of the Arrowhead League, a Class B league in the Minnesota Baseball Association.

Soccer Edit

The National Premier Soccer League team Duluth FC plays its home games at Denfeld High School's Public Schools Stadium.

Bandy Edit

Bandy is a team sport similar to ice hockey. All American Bandy League matches are played at Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval in Roseville. [107] In 2012, the Duluth team Dynamo Duluth finished 2nd in the league. [108] and in 2013 they became champions for the first time. [109] In 2009 they won North American Cup, which is rink bandy. [110]

Roller derby Edit

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction (counter-clockwise) around a track. The Harbor City Roller Derby, an 18+ league, [111] was founded in 2007 and is Duluth–Superior's first women's flat-track roller derby league.

Duluth has numerous parks, [112] including six parks on Lake Superior: Brighton Beach Park, Leif Erickson Park, Canal Park on Park Point, the Lakewalk (connecting Canal Park and Leif Erickson Park via the lakeshore), Lafayette Park on Park Point, and Park Point Recreation Area near the end of Park Point, where a sand beach invites swimming in the lake. Park Point Pine Forest, located at the tip of Park Point, is popular for bird watching in the spring and fall when numerous shore birds use the area as a resting point during their migration. [113]

Duluth's other parks include Lester Park, Congdon Park, Hartley Park, Chester Park, the Rose Garden (next to Leif Erickson Park), Bayfront Festival Park, Cascade Park, Enger Park, Lincoln Park, Brewer Park, Fairmount Park, Indian Point Park, Magney–Snively Park, and Fond du Lac Park, as well as some small neighborhood parks and athletic fields. Lester Park, Congdon Park, Hartley Park, and Chester Park have trail systems, and three of these parks—all except Hartley—also have waterfalls, as does Lincoln Park. Hartley Park also has a nature center. Lester Park and Enger Park have public golf courses. Fairmount Park has the Lake Superior Zoo.

Leif Erikson Park Edit

For many years the Viking ship that was built in Norway by local boat builders to replicate the type of ship sailed by Leif Erikson who arrived in North America around 997 A.D. was on display in the Leif Erickson park. [114] The vessel is 42 feet (13 m) long, has a 12-foot-9-inch (4 m) beam and draws 4 feet (1.2 m) of water. The Dragon's Head and Tail are considered by architects to be masterpieces. The ship was invited to Duluth by Norwegian-American immigrant and businessman H.H. Borgen, whose descendants have maintained the ship as a family symbol, and who have contributed regularly to restoration efforts. When the crew landed in Duluth on June 23, 1927,[3] they had traveled a distance of 6,700 miles (10,800 km), the greatest distance for a ship of its size in modern history. Hundreds of people lined the dock to greet the ship as it sailed into the Duluth harbor.

Duluthian Emil Olson purchased the ship soon after the voyage, and donated the Leif Erikson to the City of Duluth. The ship was placed on display in Duluth's Lake Park, which was later named Leif Erikson Park. [115] [116]

The Leif Erikson steadily deteriorated after years of neglect and vandalism, and by 1980 was in such poor condition that it was even considered that the ship be burned in the traditional Viking manner of putting a ship to rest. This suggestion inspired Emil Olson's grandson, Will Borg, to bring volunteers together and begin fundraising efforts to restore the ship. Through donations, festivals and other endeavors, the group raised $100,000. Boatbuilders began the restoration in 1991. [117] Restoration went slowly with starts and stops due to lack of funding. In March 2015 it was announced that restoration had been completed and plans were in place to build a glass structure to house the ship. The structure will be located near the entrance to the park and the Restoration Project Chair Neill Atkins believes that "the remodeled ship will be an iconic symbol in Duluth." The building project is expected to be completed in the fall and the ship will be put on display at that time. [118]

Duluth Rose Garden Edit

Located within Leif Erikson Park and overlooking Lake Superior, the Duluth Rose Garden is a formal English style garden with more than 3,000 rose bushes and 12,000 non-rose plantings, including day lilies, evergreen shrubs, mixed perennials and an herb garden. The rose varieties are labeled and there are signs that give information on the rose's history and culture. The six acre garden grows in soil resting over a highway tunnel that encloses the termination point of the freeway entering Duluth. Brick walkways connect all of the beds and there are many benches in the garden that resemble stone sofas. There is an antique horse fountain and a marble gazebo. The garden is a popular place for summer outdoor weddings. [119]

Jay Cooke State Park Edit

Jay Cooke State Park is a Minnesota state park located about ten miles (16 km) southwest of Duluth. The park is situated along the Saint Louis River, and is the site of a canoe portage used by Native Americans, European explorers, fur traders, Voyageurs, coureurs des bois, and missionaries of the 18th and 19th centuries. The river was a vital link connecting the Mississippi River waterways to the west with the Great Lakes to the east. [120] The park is noted for its Rustic Style historical structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1933 and 1942. All the major landmarks in Jay Cooke Park are built with local basalt or gabbro stone and dark planks and logs. Three districts of the park are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The park offers camping, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and kayaking. Park rangers hold over 400 naturalist outreach events each year including nature walks, evening campfire talks, snowshoe-building lessons, and geocaching. As part of the "I Can!" program for kids and families, the park provides a number of classes and guides to help with camping skills, canoeing, fishing, archery, and other activities. [121]

Recreation Edit

Duluth offers numerous outdoor activities including fishing, hiking, skiing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and both biking and mountain biking. In addition to the two public golf courses at Lester and Enger Park, golfers can play at the Northland Country Club and the Ridgeview Country Club. Duluth has five public tennis courts and 63 private tennis club courts. The city has many indoor and outdoor ice rinks, including curling facilities. [122] Duluth is also home to the Lake Superior Surfing Club which currently has about 50 members who surf the cold waters of Lake Superior. [123] [124]

The University of Minnesota Duluth Recreational Sport Outdoor Program offers classes in kayak, stand-up paddleboarding, or canoe whitewater river running, and they hold the Annual St. Louis River Whitewater Rendezvous Slalom & Sprint Races in July. The program also provides sea kayaking and rock climbing lessons for individuals and families. [125]

In 2014, Duluth won Outside magazine's "Best Town 2014" tournament. Outside magazine editors asked readers to choose "the best place to live in America" from 64 cites that they had selected, and Duluth took first place. [126]

Agate hunting Edit

The Minnesota state gem, the Lake Superior agate, can be found on the shores of Lake Superior or the streams that run into it, and in gravel pits and road cuts. Duluth's Park Point is an excellent area for hunting. Shorelines and beaches are replenished each year because winter ice and storms push new material up on the shores. Books are available in Duluth to help amateur rock hounds learn more about agates, and how to locate them. [127] [128] [129]

Grandma's Marathon Edit

Since 1977, Duluth has played host to Grandma's Marathon, held annually in June. Named after its original sponsor, Grandma's Restaurant, it draws runners from all over the world. The course starts just outside Two Harbors, Minnesota, runs down Old Highway 61 (the former route of Highway 61 along the North Shore of Lake Superior), and finishes in one of Duluth's tourism neighborhoods, Canal Park. The same route is also taken during the North Shore Inline Marathon, held in September and also drawing racers from all over the world.

Superior Hiking Trail Edit

Duluth hosts a 39-mile (63 km) segment of the Superior Hiking Trail, which is also part of the North Country National Scenic Trail – the nation's longest hiking trail. This trail segment passes through or near Jay Cooke State Park, Ely Peak, Bardon Peak, the Magney–Snively old growth forest, Spirit Mountain, Enger Park, Point of Rocks, the Lakewalk, Chester Park, UMD's Bagley nature trails, and Hartley Park. It features views of the Saint Louis River, the Twin Ports, the Aerial Bridge, and Lake Superior.

Piedmont mountain biking trail Edit

The hilly, 10-mile (16 km) Piedmont mountain biking trail crosses numerous bridges and offers scenic views of Duluth and the bay. The trail is recommended for both beginner and intermediate riders. [130] In 2014, a reader poll conducted by Singletrack magazine named it the best mountain-bike trail in the eastern United States. [131]

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Edit

Duluth's annual sled dog race is the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, named for John Beargrease, the son of Anishinaabe Chief Makwabimidem. Beargrease and his brothers were among the first to carry mail between Two Harbors, and Grand Marais, going by dogsled, boat, and horse for almost 20 years before the two towns were connected by road. Competitors can choose between two distances: a 400-mile (644 km) round trip between Duluth and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and a 150-mile (241 km) course from Duluth to Tofte. Run every January since 1980, the race is regarded as a training ground for Alaska's larger and more elite Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. [132]

Skiing Edit

With a vertical elevation of approximately 700 feet (210 m), Spirit Mountain is Minnesota's second-highest ski hill. The park includes jumps ranging from 15 feet (4.6 m) to over 60 feet (18 m), and numerous rails, boxes, and other jibs. Spirit Mountain opened an alpine coaster in 2010 and in 2011 announced plans to add a zip line, miniature golf, and snow tubing. In 1995 the mountain completed its first NORBA application and in 2012 work began on downhill mountain bike trails.

The Duluth area also has a large and active Nordic skiing community, with many parks providing excellent Nordic skate skiing as well as classic cross-country skiing opportunities.

Chester Bowl, off Skyline Parkway in Chester Park, is a city-owned park with a chairlift, and has the lowest daily lift ticket prices in the nation, at only $6. For decades, Chester Bowl was also known for its ski jumps, which were removed due to safety concerns in 2015. [133]

Sailing Edit

Duluth is considered a world-class sailing destination and the Duluth–Superior harbor has several marinas, the Duluth Yacht Club, and the Duluth-Superior Sailing Association. Duluth is also the finishing destination for the Biennial Trans Superior International Yacht Race. The race runs the length of Lake Superior, from Sault Ste. Marie to Duluth. [134]

Surfing Edit

When the season is right, Duluth offers waves "that can compare to some of the best surfing in Hawaii or California". In Duluth the right season for surfing is winter, especially during one of Lake Superior's infamous gales of November. Wearing a thick neoprene wetsuit, or perhaps two, surfers gather at Stoney Point, a rocky bay about 15 miles (24 km) north of Duluth, where waves as high as 15 feet (4.6 m) can be expected. In a 2013 broadcast, Minnesota Public Radio featured a segment on Duluth/Lake Superior surfing, and surfer Mark Anderson from St. Paul described the Duluth surfing experience as ". standing in the snow, jumping off of an ice-covered rock into Lake Superior to go catch waves that any surfer anywhere in the world, pro or beginner, would envy." Erik Wilkie, a surfer originally from California interviewed by MPR, remarked that while Lake Superior surfing may look easy, it can be dangerous. "There's the ice-cold freshwater, which is not as buoyant as saltwater. Lake waves also appear every five seconds or so, much faster than those in the ocean. If you take off on the first or second wave and you wipe out, then you've got four, five, six, eight waves coming right behind you to smash you in the head before you can get back on your board and swim out of there to safety." Like surfers everywhere, Duluth surfers notify fellow surfers when the waves are up. The Lake Superior Surf Club maintains a website where they share information and photos. [124]

Duluth is in Minnesota's 8th congressional district, represented by Pete Stauber of the Republican Party. It has a Mayor–Council form of government. The mayor is Emily Larson, who took office in 2016 as Duluth's first female mayor. The longest-serving mayor in Duluth history is Samuel F. Snively, who served from 1921–1937. The City Administration makes policy proposals to a nine-member City Council. Duluth's five representational districts are divided into 36 precincts. Each district elects its own councilor. There are also four at-large councilors, representing the entire city. The City Council elects a president who presides at meetings.

Duluth is the heart of the state's 7th legislative district, represented in the Minnesota Senate by Jen McEwen and in the Minnesota House of Representatives by Jennifer Schultz (District 7A) and Liz Olson (District 7B), all members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which has long dominated the city's politics.

Precinct General Election Results [135]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 29.3% 15,154 68.1% 35,182 2.6% 1,352
2016 30.5% 14,764 59.6% 28,845 9.9% 4,807
2012 29.7% 14,842 67.4% 33,660 2.9% 1,459
2008 29.4% 15,253 68.6% 35,611 2.0% 1,087
2004 31.5% 16,463 67.3% 35,177 1.2% 550
2000 31.2% 14,082 61.7% 27,362 7.1% 3,595
1996 27.8% 11,326 62.3% 25,335 9.9% 4,035
1992 25.5% 11,836 55.6% 25,794 18.9% 8,754
1988 34.5% 14,716 65.5% 27,879 0.0% 0
1984 33.2% 15,451 66.8% 31,152 0.0% 0
1980 30.6% 14,265 56.7% 26,411 12.7% 5,928
1976 37.7% 17,686 59.8% 28,000 2.5% 1,168
1972 45.2% 20,957 53.2% 24,626 1.6% 739
1968 30.1% 13,638 66.8% 30,313 3.1% 1,412
1964 28.2% 13,411 71.3% 33,965 0.5% 235
1960 43.1% 21,498 56.1% 27,965 0.8% 417

Local colleges and universities include the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) the UMD campus includes a medical school. The UMD Bulldogs won the Division I National Hockey Championship in 2011, 2018 and 2019. Other schools include The College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College, and Duluth Business University. The University of Wisconsin–Superior and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College are in nearby Superior, Wisconsin.

Most public schools are administered by Duluth Public Schools. The schools have open enrollment. ISD 709 (Independent School District number 709) is now undertaking a reconstruction of all area schools under a program called the "Red Plan." The Red Plan's goals are the reconstruction of some older schools to meet new educational guidelines, and the construction of four new school buildings. The new schools will result in the redistricting of many students. As of 2009, the Red Plan was and is being contested in court by some citizens because of the cost of implementing the plan and because of the choice of construction management contractor. [136]

Several independent and public charter schools also serve Duluth students. The largest is Duluth Edison Charter Schools, a public charter school covering grades K-8. Marshall School, a private college preparatory school founded as Duluth Cathedral in 1904, covers grades 4–12. Duluth has four Catholic schools with coverage up to grades 6 or 8, two Protestant schools, two Montessori schools, and six other charter and private schools.

Due to its proximity to the Great Lakes, Duluth is the location for the Large Lakes Observatory. [137] The Large Lakes Observatory operates the largest university-owned research vessel in the Great Lakes, the R/V Blue Heron. Built in 1985 for fishing on the Grand Banks, the Blue Heron was purchased by the University of Minnesota in 1997, sailed from Portland, Maine, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Duluth, and converted into a limnological research vessel during the winter of 1997–98. The Blue Heron is part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, and is available for charter by research scientists on any of the Great Lakes.

Local newspapers include the monthly BusinessNorth and the twice-weekly Duluth News Tribune. Free newspapers include the Transistor, [138] The Zenith, [139] and The Reader Weekly.

Locally based nationally distributed magazines include Lake Superior Magazine and New Moon Magazine.

Transportation Edit

The Duluth area marks the northern endpoint of Interstate Highway 35, which stretches south to Laredo, Texas. U.S. Highways that serve the area are U.S. Highway 53, which stretches from La Crosse, Wisconsin, to International Falls, and U.S. Highway 2, which stretches from Everett, Washington, to St. Ignace, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The southwestern part of the city has Thompson Hill, where travelers entering Duluth on I-35 can see most of Duluth, including the Aerial Lift Bridge and the waterfront. There are two freeway connections from Duluth to Superior. U.S. 2 provides a connection into Superior via the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge and Interstate 535 runs concurrently with U.S. 53 over the John Blatnik Bridge.

Many state highways serve the area. Highway 23 runs diagonally across Minnesota, indirectly connecting Duluth to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Highway 33 provides a western bypass of Duluth connecting Interstate 35, which comes up from the Twin Cities, to U.S. 53, which leads to Iron Range cities and International Falls. Highway 61 provides access to Thunder Bay, Ontario, via the North Shore of Lake Superior. Highway 194 provides a spur route into the city of Duluth known as "Central Entrance" and Mesaba Avenue. Wisconsin Highway 13 reaches along Lake Superior's South Shore. Wisconsin Highway 35 runs along Wisconsin's western border for 412 miles (663 km) to its southern terminus at the Wisconsin–Illinois border (three miles or 4.8 kilometres north of East Dubuque).

Highway 61 and parts of Highways 2 and 53 are segments of the Lake Superior Circle Tour route that follows Lake Superior through Minnesota, Ontario, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Duluth International Airport serves the city and surrounding region with daily flights to Minneapolis and Chicago. Nearby municipal airports are Duluth Sky Harbor on Minnesota Point and the Richard I. Bong Airport in Superior. Both the Bong Airport and Bong Bridge are named for famed World War II pilot and highest-scoring American World War II air ace Major Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, a native of nearby Poplar, Wisconsin.

Located at the western end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the Duluth–Superior seaport is the largest and farthest-inland freshwater seaport in North America. By far the largest and busiest on the Great Lakes, the port handles an average of 46 million short tons (42,000,000 t) of cargo and over 1,100 visits each year from domestic and international vessels. With 49 miles (79 km) of waterfront, it is one of the leading bulk cargo ports in North America and ranks among the top 20 ports in the United States. [140] Duluth is a major shipping port for taconite pellets, made from concentrated low-grade iron ore and destined for midwestern and eastern steel mills.

Duluth was connected to Minneapolis by the North Star from 1978 to 1985. A proposal to restore service between the Twin Cities and the Twin Ports, the Northern Lights Express, was first made in 2000 and detailed plans and environmental assessments have been completed, but the project has yet to be fully funded. The North Shore Scenic Railroad operated seasonal excursion trains on its line to Two Harbors. The former Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway, now part of the Canadian National Railway, operates taconite-hauling trains in the area. Duluth is also served by the BNSF Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Union Pacific Railroad.

The local bus system is run by the Duluth Transit Authority, which serves Duluth, Hermantown, Proctor and Superior, Wisconsin. The DTA runs a system of buses manufactured by Gillig, including new hybrids.

Duluth is also served by Skyline Shuttle, with daily service to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, and Jefferson Lines, with daily service to the Twin Cities.

Major highways Edit

Utilities Edit

Duluth gets electric power from Duluth-based Minnesota Power, a subsidiary of ALLETE Corporation. [141] Minnesota Power produces energy at generation facilities located throughout northern Minnesota and a generation plant in North Dakota. The latter supplies electricity into the MP system by the Square Butte HVDC line, which ends near the town.

Minnesota Power primarily uses western coal to generate electricity, but also has a number of small hydroelectric facilities, the largest of which is the Thomson Dam southwest of Duluth on the Saint Louis River.

In December 2006, Minnesota Power began purchasing all the energy generated from the new 50-MW Oliver Wind I Energy Center built by NextEra Resources near Center, N.D. In 2007, Minnesota Power entered into a second 25-year wind power purchase agreement with NextEra. A 48-MW facility was built adjacent to the initial Oliver County wind farm, and the new generators began commercial operation in November 2007.

Construction began in 2010 on the 76-MW Bison Wind I Energy Center near New Salem, N.D. Bison I represents the first wave of Minnesota Power-constructed wind farms that will be built in south central North Dakota and linked to Minnesota. by way of a 465-mile (748 km) direct current (DC) transmission line. ALLETE finalized an agreement January 1, 2010 to purchase a 250-kilovolt DC line between Center, N.D. and Hermantown, Minn. (near ALLETE headquarters in Duluth) and phase out a long-term contract to buy coal-generated electricity now transmitted over the line.

Because of wind energy demand, Duluth has recently become a port for wind energy parts shipments from overseas and the Midwestern hub for shipments out to various wind energy sites. [142]

Duluth's water supply is sourced from Lake Superior and treated at the Lakewood Water Treatment Plant. The plant's oldest structure, the Lakewood Pumphouse, was built in 1896 in Romanesque Revival style, replacing older facilities that had been unable to prevent a typhoid epidemic. It was designed by William Patton. A 42-inch original main from 1896, one of two leaving the facility with clean, treated water, is still in use today. The system supplies approximately 100,000 people in Duluth and nearby towns. [143] [144]

Throughout its history, Duluth's sewers have overflowed when it rained, causing untreated sewage to flow into Lake Superior and the Saint Louis River. For example, in 2001 alone the overflow amounted to over 6.9 million US gallons (26,000,000 L 5,700,000 imp gal). Over the past five years the City of Duluth has taken extraordinary measures to completely eliminate sewage overflows and in 2013, the improvements are three years ahead of schedule. [ citation needed ]

Fire department Edit

The city of Duluth is protected by 132 paid, professional firefighters of the city of Duluth Fire Department. [145] [146] The Duluth Fire Department responded to 12,231 fire and emergency medical calls in 2015.

The Duluth Fire Department operates out of eight fire stations throughout the city, under the command of an Assistant Chief, Squad 251. The department also operates a fire apparatus fleet of six engines, one tower ladder, two quints, one heavy-duty rescue, two light medical response vehicles, and numerous other special, support, and reserve units. [ citation needed ]

Duluth Pack portage packs Edit

A Duluth pack is a traditional portage pack used in canoe travel. A specialized type of backpack, Duluth packs are nearly square in order to fit easily in the bottom of a canoe. The Duluth pack has its roots in a French-Canadian named Camille Poirier. Arriving in Duluth in 1870 with a small stock of leather and tools, he began a shoe store in what was then a booming frontier town on the shores of Lake Superior. Out of his small shoe shop on the waterfront, Poirier began building a new style of canoe pack with a tumpline, sternum strap, and umbrella holder. Patented by Poirier in 1882, the original #3 Duluth packs have changed little since they were first introduced. He sold the backpack business to the company that now does business as Duluth Pack, [147] which has its main outlet store in the Canal Park area.

Pie à la Mode Edit

The dessert pie à la Mode, a slice of pie topped by a scoop of ice cream, was first invented and named by John Gieriet in Duluth in 1885. But Charles Watson Townsend's 1936 New York Times obituary claimed that he was the inventor, and a controversy developed. A St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter read Townsend's obituary and realized that the Times had incorrectly attributed the invention to Townsend. Wanting to set the record straight, on May 23, 1936, the Pioneer Press ran a story about how the dessert was really invented at a Superior Street restaurant in Duluth in the 1880s, and indicated that the restaurant served ice cream with blueberry pie specifically. This was over a decade before Townsend first ordered pie with ice cream in New York, making Duluth the true birthplace of pie à la Mode. [148] [149] [150] [151]

Electric elevator Edit

In 1887, inventor Alexander Miles of Duluth patented an electric elevator. Although not the first elevator, the design was important for improving the method of opening and closing elevator doors, as well as closing the opening to the elevator shaft when an elevator was between floors. At that time, elevator patrons or operators were required to manually shut a door to cut off access to the shaft, and Miles created an automatic mechanism that closed that access. [152]

First mall in the United States Edit

The Lake View Store was the first modern indoor mall in the United States. [153] It was built in 1915, and is in the former U.S. Steel company town of Morgan Park, now the Duluth neighborhood Morgan Park. It was estimated that 10,000 people toured the mall on its opening day. The building has two stories and a full basement, and shops were originally on all three levels. All the stores were inside the mall, with some accessible from both inside and out. The first floor had a pharmacy and a department store with groceries, a butcher shop, clothing, hardware, furniture, and a general store. The second floor had a bank, dentist office, barbershop, hair salon, hat shop, billiard room, and auditorium. The basement had a shoe store and an ice making plant that made eight tons of ice per day. The building and the department store were owned and operated by U.S. Steel, but the pharmacy, bank, barbershop, hair salon, and dentist were privately run. [154]

Chun King, Jeno's Pizza Rolls, and Bellisio Frozen Foods Edit

Duluth was the home of food magnate Jeno Paulucci. While working as a wholesale grocer in Hibbing in the late 1940s, Paulucci noticed a growing market for prepared Chinese food. Borrowing $2,500 from a friend (c. $30,000 in 2020), he started canning chow mein "seasoned to [his] own Italian taste", and selling it to retailers under the label Chun King. Chun King came to encompass an entire line of prepared Chinese food, at that time not available in grocery stores. In 1966, he sold his enterprise for $63 million ($509 million in 2020). In 1968 Paulucci founded Jeno's Inc., a company that sold frozen pizzas and a variety of other "Italian" foods. The most notable of these was the pizza roll, a snack food consisting of Italian filling in an egg roll wrapper. In 1985, Paulucci sold Jeno's Inc. for $135 million ($329 million in 2020). In the 1990s, he started Bellisio Foods, a leading diversified frozen food company named after Paulucci's familial home village in Bellisio Solfare, Italy. [155]

First whole-plane parachute system on a certified aircraft Edit

In association with southern Minnesota company Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), Duluth-based aircraft manufacturing company Cirrus Aircraft developed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), the first whole-plane, emergency parachute recovery system to be installed on a line of type certified aircraft, the Cirrus SR20 and SR22. [156] A solid-fuel rocket housed in the fuselage is used to pull the parachute out from its housing and deploy the canopy full within seconds. It is designed to save the pilot and passengers by lowering the entire aircraft down to the ground in case of an emergency or structural failure. To date, CAPS has saved over 150 lives. [157] [158] The Cirrus management and design teams have won many awards for their efforts, including the 2016 Joseph T. Nall Safety Award. [159]

CAPS was conceived by Cirrus founders brothers Dale and Alan Klapmeier after Alan survived a deadly mid-air collision in the mid-1980s, which inspired them to develop the device. [156] It was first tested over the high desert of southern California in 1998 by the late author, Cirrus test pilot and Minnesota Air National Guard pilot Scott D. Anderson. Anderson died the following year when his plane crashed about 400 meters from the Duluth International Airport during an experimental test flight assessing changes Cirrus planned to use in production. The plane he was testing was the first off the production line and had not yet been equipped with CAPS. [160] [156] [161] Anderson was posthumously inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2010. [162]

Watch the video: The 10 Worst Cities In Minnesota Explained (July 2022).


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  3. Telabar

    the Sympathetic response

  4. Apis

    You hit the mark. It seems to me a good thought. I agree with you.

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