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Wednesday, October 01, 2014 ..:: Home » Duluth MN Facts & History » Historical Timeline - Duluth, MN ::.. Register  Login
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Historical Timeline - Duluth, MN

Time line

-1854 & 1855:  rumors of immense copper deposits along the North Shore & of iron ore at Lake Vermilion sparked a boom in the area.
-1854:  the Treaty of La Point was signed at Fond du Lac by which the Grand Portage & Fond du Lac Indians gave up their rights to mineral tracts in the region.
-1855: Sault Ste Marie locks open allowing large ships into Lake Superior
-1857:  the national panic of 1857 brought disaster to the area and for 10 years there wasn't a single store on the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior
-1859:  scarlet fever epidemic devastates area
-1865:  only two house were occupied in Duluth, but another rush was on.  Geologists reported finding iron ore and gold-bearing quartz at Lake Vermilion.  Jay Cooke also decided to make Duluth the northern terminal of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad, replacing the old Military Road from St. Paul
-1869:  Population reaches 3,500
-1870:  First Charter; Duluth was booming and regarded itself as a "City of Destiny."
-1871:  Col. J. B. Culver was elected the first mayor of Duluth.  The canal through Minnesota Point, now bridged by the Aerial Lift Bridge, was dug.
-1873:  Jay Cooke's financial failure rocked the area.  Banks failed, real estate slumped, and there was no work.  The population dwindled from about 5,000 to 1,300.
-March 12, 1877:  Duluth held its last council meeting after which it burned up its bonds and lapsed into a "village" status.  The more settled parts of were known as the Duluth village for the next 10 years, and the surrounding areas the "district."
-1878:  Duluth's prominence begins to return; lumbering, grain began to pour into the port, and the village boundaries had to be expanded.
-1881:  the first street railway franchise was granted
-1886:  population was 26,000
-1887:  the legislature gave Duluth permission to call itself a city
-December 3, 1912:  present charter provided for a commission form of government was adopted
The development of elevators, docks, railroads, and sawmills gave impetus to the population numbers
-1890:  population - 33,115 (aided by the beginning of ore shipments)
-1900:  population - 52,969
-1902:  A State Normal School opens
-1910:  population - 78,466
-1916:  Iron, steel, and Portland cement plants for large scale production open
-1929:  Peak year of total net tonnage shipped of 60.39 million -- of this iron made up 50%;  the balance was limestone, coal, grain, and misc. products;  value exceeded $485 million.
-1930:  population - 101,463 (more than there is today); the foreign-born population totaled 24,929
-1935:  the average cargo received and shipped 124,190 tons, and 11,050 vessels passed in and out of the harbor each day
-In 1985, Duluth was second to New York in the United States in total net tonnage, even with only eight months of navigation.  The average yearly tonnage was 48 million net.

  
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