Huron Portland Cement Terminal

The Huron Portland Cement silos in Duluth. (Image: Dan Turner, substreet.org)

According to Devan Burnett of Lake Voice News, “In the early 20th century, the Huron Portland Cement Company was rapidly expanding a cement empire that would form the foundation of an infrastructure boom in the United States as lumber gave way to concrete. Increased cement demand in Duluth warranted a terminal to link the city with Huron’s flagship cement mill on the shores of Lake Huron in Alpena, Mich.” The Duluth facility was built in 1917 and the first shipment went out the following year. Burnett’s story explains the facility’s history in this tightly packed paragraph: “The plant enjoyed decades of productivity under the Huron Portland Cement Company, later by the Huron Portland Cement Division of the National Gypsum Company, and lastly the LaFarge cement company in the late 1980s and 1990s.” The facility was eventually shuttered in the 2000s. In 2016 the Lafarge site was developed into the Pier B Resort, featuring Silos Restaurant, named for the cement silos, which have been left standing.

Story by Tony Dierckins. Originally published on Zenith City Online (2012–2017). Click here for more stories by Tony Dierckins.