A quick trip into Duluth

We headed through Duluth, MN to Pattison State Park just south of Superior, WI which is like an eastern suburb of Duluth.  The park is lovely and once again our timing was off as they only had a spot for us for one night as all the spots are reserved for the up-coming weekend.  So we set up camp and drove back into Duluth to do some sightseeing.  Duluth is a big city that sits on the southwest corner of Lake Superior.  The drive up London Drive along Lake Superior was really spectacular as there are some large estates that sit on the edge of the Lake and across the street are other quite imposing homes.  One of them is Glensheen, the historic Congdon estate.  Glensheen was built for the family of Chester and Clara Congdon between 1905 and 1908.  Both Chester and Clara were born to ministers and met at Syracuse University in New York, graduating in 1875.  They waited six years after graduation to get married, until Chester felt he was financially secure enough to support a family.  By 1892 the family had moved to Duluth.  As an attorney and investor involved with Iron Range land speculation, Chester saw his financial outlook change dramatically when he was 50 years old.  It was around this time that Chester also became active in politics, serving as a legislator and as a Minnesota representative to the Republican National Convention in 1916.  This red sandstone home has 39 rooms with 27,000 sq ft and is on the National Historic Register.  They have tours but we were too late that day to take one.

Then we drove into downtown Duluth.  One of the most imposing buildings is the Historic Central High School was built in 1892 of locally-mined Sandstone at a cost of $460,000. 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.  Architectural details such as gargoyles are the work of George Tharna.  In 1972 the school board ceased using the building for classroom instruction, possibly because the hungry boilers would burn up to 8 tons of coal per winter day.  The Central Preservation Committee and other interested citizens saved the building and created an 1890s classroom museum within the structure.  Duluth is a clean, old city with beautiful hanging baskets everywhere and many very fine hotels on the waterfront.  We drove uphill each block as the city sits on the side of the lake.  Several really interesting long bridges cross into Wisconsin from here.

Lots of old money here from the days when grain came here by wagon and then on the railroad where it was stored and loaded onto barges.  Still some large grain elevators exist near the port.  Remember Duluth is the home of General Mills and probably your favorite cereals.

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