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First Railroad --- A Soaring Achievement

First Railroad --- A Soaring Achievement

A defining moment of Duluth’s early history was completion of the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad from St. Paul in 1870 --- and the final spike was driven near Thomson on August 1.  Local railroad historian Jon Severson, who writes a section for the book, says the route from Thomson to Duluth across the deep ravines alongside the St. Louis River was the line’s “most grueling and labor-intensive.”  Severson said at times in June and July “more than 2,200 men labored on the cuts, fills, trestles and laying of iron…”  This trestle, photographed in 1870, rose above Gill Creek in what is now Jay Cooke State Park. (Photo courtesy of Jon Severson)  

Uploaded: Mon Aug 16, 2010 @ 07:59PM by Davis Helberg

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