Sneha Girap (Editor)

Duluth, Minnesota

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United States

86,128 (2013)

Unemployment rate
4.5% (Feb 2015)

87.43 sq mi

Don Ness (DFL)

Points of interest
Canal Park - Duluth, Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Aerial Lift Bridge, Glensheen Historic Estate, Great Lakes Aquarium

Colleges and Universities
University of Minnesota Duluth, The College of St Scholastica, Lake Superior College, Duluth Business University, Regency Beauty Institute-Duluth

Duluth is a seaport city in the State of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. Duluth has a population of 86,128 and is the second-largest city on Lake Superiors shores, after Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the lakes Canadian border; it does, however, have the largest metropolitan area on the Lake. The Duluth MSA had a population of 279,771 in 2010, the second-largest in Minnesota. The combined urban population of Duluth and its adjacent communities – including Proctor, Hermantown, and Superior, Wisconsin – totals over 131,000, based on 2010 census figures.


Map of Duluth, Minnesota

Situated at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes on the north shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is accessible to oceangoing vessels from the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles (3,700 km) away via the Great Lakes Waterway and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.

Duluth forms a metropolitan area with Superior called the Twin Ports. The cities share the Duluth–Superior harbor and together are the Great Lakes largest port transporting coal, iron ore (taconite), and grain.

Duluth mn location trailer

A tourist destination for the Midwest, Duluth features Americas only all-freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium; the Aerial Lift Bridge, which spans the Duluth Ship Canal into the Duluth–Superior Harbor; and Minnesota Point (known locally as Park Point), the worlds longest freshwater baymouth bar, spanning 6 miles (9.7 km). The city is also the starting point for vehicle trips along Minnesotas North Shore.

The city is named for Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, the first known European explorer of the area.


Duluth, Minnesota in the past, History of Duluth, Minnesota

The Anishinaabe, also known as the Ojibwe or Chippewa, have inhabited the Lake Superior region for over five hundred years and were preceded by the Dakota, Fox, Menominee, Nipigon, Noquet and Gros Ventres. After the arrival of Europeans, the Anishinaabe made themselves the middle-men between the French fur traders and other Native peoples. They soon became the dominant Indian nation in the region: they forced out the Dakota Sioux and Fox and won a victory against the Iroquois west of Sault Ste. Marie in 1662. By the mid-18th century, the Ojibwe occupied all of Lake Superiors shores. For both the Ojibwe and the Dakota, interaction with Europeans during the contact period revolved around the fur trade and related activities. A series of treaties executed between 1837 and 1889 expropriated vast areas of tribal lands for the use of Euro-Americans and relegated the Native American peoples to a number of small reservations.

Duluth, Minnesota in the past, History of Duluth, Minnesota

The Ojibwe are historically known for their crafting of birch bark canoes, use of copper arrow points, and cultivation of wild rice. In 1745 they adopted guns from the British to use to defeat and push the Dakota nation of the Sioux 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.

Duluths name in Ojibwe is "Onigamiinsing"("at the little portage"), and takes its name from the small and easy portage across Minnesota Point between Lake Superior and western Saint Louis Bay forming Duluths harbor. According to Ojibwa oral history, Spirit Island, located near the Spirit Valley neighborhood, was the "Sixth Stopping Place" where the northern and southern branches of the Ojibwa Nation came together and then proceeded to their "Seventh Stopping Place" near the present city of La Pointe, Wisconsin. The "Stopping Places" were places along the migration trail that the Native Americans took as they traveled from East to West as the Europeans overran their territory.


Duluth, Minnesota Beautiful Landscapes of Duluth, Minnesota

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 87.43 square miles (226.44 km2); 67.79 square miles (175.58 km2) is land and 19.64 square miles (50.87 km2) is water. It is Minnesotas second largest city in terms of land area, surpassed only by Hibbing. Of its 87.3 square miles (226 km2), 68 square miles (180 km2) or 77.89% is land and 19.3 square miles (50 km2) or 22.11% is water. Duluths canal connects Lake Superior to the Duluth–Superior harbor and the Saint Louis River. The Aerial Lift Bridge, on which vehicles cross the canal, connects Canal Park with Minnesota Point ("Park Point"). Minnesota Point is approximately 7 miles long, and when included with adjacent Wisconsin Point, which extends 3 miles out from the city of Superior, Wisconsin, is reported to be the largest freshwater sand spit in the world at a total of 10 miles.

Duluths 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." The expression alludes to San Franciscos similar water-to-hilltop topography. This similarity was most evident before World War II, when Duluth had a network of street cars and an "Incline Railroad" that, like San Franciscos cable cars, climbed a steep hill (at Seventh Avenue West). The change in elevation is illustrated by Duluths two airports. The Sky Harbor airports weather station, situated on Park Point, has an elevation of 607 feet (185 m), whereas the elevation of Duluth International Airport atop the hill is 1,427 feet (435 m)820 feet higher.

As the city has grown, the population has tended to hug the Lake Superior shoreline, hence Duluth is primarily a southwest–northeast city. A considerable amount of development on the hills upslope gives Duluth a reputation for steep streets. Some neighborhoods, such as Piedmont Heights and Bayview Heights, are atop the hill, at times giving scenic views of the city. Another example is Skyline Parkway, 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. Skyline Parkway crosses nearly the entire length of Duluth and affords breathtaking views of the famous Aerial Lift Bridge, Canal Park, and the many industries that inhabit the largest inland port. Most important, the tip of Lake Superior can be seen continuously from high on the brow of the hill. Perhaps the most rapidly developing part of the city is Miller Hill Mall and the adjacent big-box retailer shopping strip "over the hill"—the Miller Trunk Highway corridor. The 2009–2010 road reconstruction project in Duluths Miller Hill area improved transit 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. Construction of a new international airport terminal was completed in 2013 as part of the United States governments Stimulus Reconstruction Program.


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.


Historic Central High School, built in 1892 of locally mined Sandstone at a cost of $460,000, houses an 1890s classroom museum. It features a 230 foot clock tower with chimes patterned after Big Ben in London; the clock faces are each 10½ feet in diameter, overlooking the Duluth harbor.

The Aerial Lift Bridge, spanning the Duluth Ship Canal into Duluths 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 a mile outside the Duluth harbor ship canal. The 610 long former ore ship William A Irvin is a museum ship along the Duluth waterfront.

The short lived 1996 sitcom The Louie Show was set in Duluth. Louie Anderson played psychotherapist Louie Lundgren. The opening title sequence featured downtown Duluth buildings.

Duluth, Minnesota Culture of Duluth, Minnesota

The 1983 Gore Vidal novel Duluth was set in a stylized version of Duluth.

The 2008 American sports comedy film Leatherheads, starring and directed by George Clooney, was set in Duluth. (Leatherheads was actually filmed in North and South Carolina.) The film featured a fictitious football team called the Duluth Bulldogs.

Thomas M. Dischs 1965 alien-invasion novel The Genocides is set primarily in a fictional community in adjacent Lake County called Tassel. A pivotal scene in the beginning of chapter four treats the incineration of the city of Duluth by the extraterrestrial invaders machines with some detail, even mentioning downtown Duluths Alworth Building and including a group of characters escape along Highway 61.

A song ("Duluth") by Mason Jennings from the album Birds Flying Away. Released in year 2000 under Bar/None label.

A series of suspense novels by author Brian Freeman featuring the fictional police lieutenant Jonathan Stride take place in and around Duluth and feature real locations from the city.

Significant portions of the 2014 FX series Fargo are set in a fictional depiction of Duluth. The series is filmed in Calgary, Alberta.

Duluth, Minnesota cuisine

Duluth, Minnesota Cuisine of Duluth, Minnesota, Popular Food of Duluth, Minnesota

Some common wild edibles include wild rice, serviceberry, chokecherry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, thimbleberry, and hazelnuts. A variety of fish, such as trout and walleye, are available in the multitude of state lakes. Many of these foods have long been staples of Native communities prior to the Industrial Revolution and before white settlement in the region. The Ojibwe, for example, consider wild rice not only to be an important foodstuff but an "object of veneration, and an important ingredient of social and ceremonial life."

With an increase in immigration from abroad, Minnesotas culture appropriated traditions from its parent Scandinavian and German heritages, adopting traditional cuisine items such as lefse, lutefisk, rosettes, gravlax, krumkake, lingonberries, kransekake, sausages, and sauerkraut. Minnesota is also known for hot dish and jello salads.

Immigrants in the late 20th and 21st century are more likely to have come from Vietnam, Somalia, Laos, and Mexico, bringing with them traditional food items such as cha-lua, summer rolls, cymbopogon, thai basil, ginger, padek, taquitos, tortillas, and poblanos. A significant Northeast African presence has also developed in recent years, with the Somali Resource website listing a total of twenty "restaurants of the Somali community."

The relatively short growing season demanded agricultural innovation. The Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Stations Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota developed three new apple varieties, the Haralson, Honeycrisp, and very recently the Sweetango. These fare well in the harsh Minnesota climate and produce popular fruit.

At the Minnesota State Fair dozens of foods are offered "on a stick", such as Pronto Pups and deep fried candy bars. Although not actually typical Minnesota Cuisine, these are archetypal fair foods. Minnesota is also home to several beers including Hamms Brewery, Summit Brewing Company, Surly Brewing Company, Lift Bridge Brewing Company, and August Schell Brewing Company, which also produces Grain Belt.


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