November’s Past & Present Pic

Top image: Duluth Public Library | Bottom image: Jim Davis

This month we go back to 1892 and the corner of 46th Avenue West and Superior Street where West Duluth’s Methodists built the Merritt Memorial Church. When Lucien F. Merritt, its first pastor, died in 1900, the Church changed its name to L. F. Merritt Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1921 the merger of two congregations prompted elders to move the building to 728 Central Avenue North and rename it Central Avenue Methodist Church; it was razed in 1993. The church’s original site is now part of Reverend L. F. Merritt Memorial Park. You can read more about the church here, and catch up on past installments of Jim Davis’s Past & Present Pics here.

6 Responses to November’s Past & Present Pic

  1. I remember when they moved the place at the corner of Arrowhead and Woodland. I think they moved it about five feet or so. I was amazed they they could do that today, let alone decades ago.
    I can’t imagine doing that (and with barges!) nearly 100 years ago. Are you saying that many of the Morley homes are still there–the ones which were moved?

    When I grew up in So Cal, I remember homes being moved all the time. Police would block off streets so the houses could be moved. Then, from about 1965 onward, I never saw another house being moved until the one on Woodland.

  2. Yep, Tim, they moved it—they did that all the time back in the day. The first Good Shepherd Church was moved in 1914–parishioners rolled it down to Raleigh Street on logs. Most of the houses in Morely Heights neighborhood were moved from a company town in northeastern Wisconsin over Lake Superior on barges and right up Woodland Avenue, pulled by draft horses. And of course the entire town of Hibbing was moved house by house, building by building beginning in 1919.

  3. As a former member of Central Avenue Methodist Church I believe the actual building was moved. In my archives I have a booklet celebrating the 75th anniversary of the church and an article within states the church was moved and also the edifice was the same structure with the same windows, etc. as the one on West Superior St.

  4. did they really move that large of a building in 1921? or did the article just intend to say they moved to a different building. It would seem impossible to do in 1921

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