References on map read: Duluth is laid out on the head of Minnesota Point under the Town Site Law of 1844 for George E. Nettleton, F.B. Culver, O.W. Rice, William Nettleton and R.E. Jefferson owner and occupants of Town Site. Avenues and Streets are 60 ft. wide, Blocks are 400 ft. long by 200 ft. deep, Lots are 40 ft. front and 100 ft. deep. Upper Duluth to the left and Lower Duluth to the right of Pine Street. Pier at Portage St. is 25 ft. wide the "T" is 140 ft. front. The stone monuments on Pine Street govern the survey. Richard Relf, Surveyor. Horizontal Scale 500 ft. 1 inch, Perpendicular 250 ft. 1 inch.
R.B. McLean came to Superior, Wisconsin, in June of 1854 on the schooner "Algonquin." McLean recollects several trips along Lake Superior's North Shore, both before and after the 1854 Treaty of LaPointe, searching for veins of copper. He discusses early settlers on the North Shore, the first election in St. Louis County in 1855, the first mail route from Superior to Grand Portage (which McLean delivered), and the first cabins built in Duluth in the winter of 1854-55.
This map of Duluth and the surrounding area as of 1865 was drawn by R.E. Carey based on old records and memoirs. The accompanying booklet, also by Carey, describes historical sites in Duluth, which are number coded on the map. Sites include early houses, a sawmill, a schoolhouse, an early brewery, the Vermilion Trail, and a stone quarry.
This photograph by Paul B. Gaylord and Edward A. Thompson shows the Clark House, Duluth's second hotel, which opened in July of 1870 on the 100 block of West Superior Street; it was destroyed by fire on November 16, 1881.
United States Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, 42nd Congress, 2nd session
This 62-page document, from the 42nd Congress, 2nd Session, reproduces letters regarding the digging of the canal that connected the Duluth harbor with Lake Superior in 1871. The first letter, from William W. Belknap, Secretary of War, describes the process that was followed to dig the canal. Following letters, often exchanged between engineers or politicians and J.J. Egan, city attorney for Duluth, contain a discussion of the legality of the canal being dug as well as a discussion of the building of a dike to keep the waters of the St. Louis River from flowing through the canal and filling the Superior, Wisconsin, entry with silt. (United States Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, 42nd Congress, 2nd session, no. 60 Senate Executive Document.)
Dr. Vespasian Smith was the third mayor of Duluth. Born Oct. 21, 1818 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, he earned a medical degree from Western Reserve College in 1851 and practiced in Ohio and Superior, Wisconsin before moving to Duluth. In 1860 he received a government appointment to serve as physician to the Indians at the Bayfield Agency. It is said that there were no votes opposing his first election to mayor, in 1873, except his own. He was re-elected the following year. The financial panic of 1873 and dire financial circumstances of Duluth itself made for difficult mayoral terms, but he was said to have been a man of great common sense who was well suited to lead during such times. He also served on the State Board of Health for twenty years. Dr. Smith died in Duluth on Oct. 11, 1897.
John Drew, a successful businessman, was born in Connecticut in April 1817 and moved to Duluth in 1869. By the time he was elected mayor in 1876, Duluth was in a grave financial state. The city's debt was so large that in order to get any settlement, the city itself had to be dissolved and replaced by the village of Duluth. John Drew presided over this transition in 1877, and once the city had become a village he resigned his post as mayor. In 1879 Drew was again elected to office, this time as president of the village, and used his one year of office to help get Duluth back on its feet. He later enjoyed a successful furnishing and clothing business until his death on September 1, 1909. He had three children with his wife Emma H. Drew and was believed to be one of the oldest residents of Duluth when he died.
This photograph by Paul B. Gaylord from the 1880s or early 1890s looks to the south from Duluth's hillside to Rice's Point and shows the 1871 railroad roundhouse to the east of Garfield Avenue and the steeple of Second Presbyterian Church at 1515 West Superior Street.
Peter Dean was born in New York City in 1828 and worked in a number of professions in several towns around Michigan before moving to Duluth. He was elected to office twice, once as Mayor of the City of Duluth (1875) and again as President of the Village of Duluth (1880). Though neither of his terms lasted more than a year, he was well-remembered as an eccentric and good-hearted man who cared deeply for the community and its financial troubles. When he died on January 4, 1884, he willed most of his property to Duluth itself, however it was organized at the time.
This photograph by Paul B. Gaylord shows the wrecked hull of the tugboat "Amethyst," which was wrecked nine miles east of Beaver Bay about 1881, docked in front of Williams & Upton, contractors for river and harbor improvements, on Minnesota Point at Buchanan Street.
A description of the directory from the title page: A complete alphabetical list of business firms and private citizens; a classified list of all trades, professions and pursuits; a Miscellaneous directory of city and county ofices, public and private schools, churches, banks, incorporated institutions, etc. Sold only by subscription.
This is the annual report for the Duluth Public Schools for the 1883-1884 school year. This volume includes ""Rules for the Government of Schools,"" a syllabi of subjects covered in each of the grades, and a list of the ten individuals who had graduated from high school from 1879 to 1883.
This photograph by Paul B. Gaylord shows the Merchant's Hotel, 202-204 West Superior Street in Duluth after a fire on February 28, 1884. The hotel was designed by architect George Wirth and built in 1882.
This is the annual report for the Duluth Public Schools for the 1884-1885 school year. In addition to the Treasurer, Clerk and Superintendent's reports, this volume also includes a report from the Drawing Master, Adolph Rudolph.
This photograph by F.A. Taylor shows the Duluth hillside from below Superior Street and between 3rd and 4th Avenues East; probably from the late 1880s, it shows First Presbyterian Church (built in 1870) in the upper left corner, at 231 East 2nd Street.