Duluth's Incline Railway

Last fall I was able to cross a few stops in Duluth’s west end off of my to-do list. I wanted to walk the path that once ran alongside the Incline Railway for several years, but it always got pushed down on my list because I haven’t spent a lot of them in this part of town. I decided to park along Skyline Parkway (between N Sixth Avenue W, and N

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Interstate Bridge in Duluth

Before the Interstate Bridge was built between Duluth and Superior in the late-1890s, the only way to get between the two cities was by ferry. Of course, ice often prevented the ferry from crossing in the winter. In 1894, the Duluth-Superior Bridge Company was incorporated with the purpose of building a bridge that connected Connors Point

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Abandoned Amusement Park Gallery

I’d often heard that this place was going to be dismantled and put up for sale, but I’d never had the chance to get in a photograph it until a cold fall day when I was driving from point A to point B. I’d also heard a lot of people were getting in and that police routinely patrolled the area, so I knew I’d have to be quick. I was so happy to see most of

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Rainy Lake Gold Rush

When people think of the gold rush, they think of California, but Minnesota had its own gold rush. With stories of people striking it rich in California spreading east, even the slightest hint of gold elsewhere in the country would spark a new frenzy. When a vein of gold-laden quartz was found amid the forests and lakes of

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Stewart Creek Stone-Arch Bridge

Travelers come upon the Stewart Creek stone-arch bridge in a bend of an unpaved section of Skyline Parkway, where the bridge reveals its mammoth, craggy, Picturesque stonework over a beautifully wooded ravine. The bridge was constructed around 1925 as part of a new section of the scenic parkway. It conveys a mood rather than a

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Lundring Service Station in Canby

As the popularity and accessibility of automobiles grew throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the problem of finding the right place to put filling and service stations became a concern for residents and city officials. Filling stations in the mid-1910s were merely curbside gas pumps connected to an underground tank. The pumps were designed to fill a

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Enter Marlon Brando

Founded in 1858, Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault was one of the oldest and most respected college preparatory boarding schools in the Midwest. Shattuck was known for its rigid military discipline, strong academics, and was used to dealing with students who had been expelled from other schools. Enter Marlon Brando. After

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Oxford Mill Ruin

The Oxford Mill was located on the bank of the Little Cannon River near Cannon Falls. When the mill was built by C.N. Wilcox and John and Edward Archibald in 1878, it was part of the wheat boom sweeping through the state. Annual record yields of wheat generated the need to process the harvests, causing flour mills to spring up along

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Historic Ness Lutheran Church

The Ness Congregation was originally organized as the Norwegian Evangelical St. Johannes Congregation of Meeker and surrounding counties in 1861. The name was changed to Ness in October of that year. By 1864, the congregation had raised the $100.00 needed to purchase forty acres of land that had previously been set aside as a

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Schmid Farmhouse Ruins

The Schmid Farmhouse is located on a hill above Lake Minnetonka. It was constructed in 1876 by German immigrants Joseph and Benedict Schmid. Although Benedict was known to have lived in the home at one time, Joseph and his family spent the most time living and working on the 156-acre farm. Their livestock included

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The Wreck of the Arthur Orr

The Arthur Orr was a 286’ steel package freighter built by the Chicago Ship Building Company. She was entered into service as a package freighter on the Great Lakes in 1893. The Arthur Orr served faithfully out of Duluth, carrying packages and small freight up and down the north and south shores of Lake Superior. After leaving Duluth with a

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National Duties

On September 2, 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech titled "National Duties" to 10,000 people at the Grandstand of the Minnesota State Fair. The speech was the first time Roosevelt used his famous line, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” in a public address. Four days after Roosevelt spoke at the fair, President McKinley was

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Buchanan: A Town of Firsts

Rumors of copper riches hidden in the North Shore's streams and hillsides had excited the imaginations of mineral prospectors and speculators for years. Copper towns were numerous along the North Shore of Lake Superior in the mid-19th century. With few exceptions, the town sites, much like their creators' dreams, never became

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Railroad Shops in Two Harbors

Several buildings were constructed on 30 acres of lakefront property in Two Harbors in the 1920s to serve the Duluth, Messabe and Iron Range Railroad. A machine shop and 50-stall roundhouse operated 24-hours a day to maintain the fleet of railroad cars and locomotives that brought iron ore and timber from points inland to be

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Hasty: A Minnesota Ghost Town

The town of Hasty in central Minnesota began with the construction of a new Great Northern Railway line. Tracks were laid in 1881, adjacent to land owned by Warren Hasty. This line connected Minneapolis to Osseo, Monticello, and Clearwater. Construction of a railroad depot for Hasty began in the fall of 1888 and opened with little fanfare in

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The Eight Days in May Protests

For many at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, May 9, 1972 started out like any other day. The weather was much cooler than normal, so students rushed to and from their classes. The buzz on campus concerned President Nixon’s announcement that the United States would lay mines in North Vietnam's Haiphong Harbor in an

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