January 1, 1893: Duluth annexes the City of Lakeside

On this day Duluth in 1893, Duluth annexed the City of Lakeside, which was made up of today’s Lakeside and Lester Park neighborhoods that stretch east from Fortieth Avenue East to the Lester River up to Skyline Parkway. A small portion of today’s Lakeside was established in 1856 as Belmont Township, but was never developed. Hugh McCullough, an Englishman who worked for Jay Cooke, purchased Belmont and the rest of the land between Fortieth Avenue East and Fifty-third Avenue east in 1870 and platted it as the township of New London. He sold the property to George Sargent, another Cooke agent, after Cooke’s bankruptcy caused the Panic of 1873. After Sargent died in 1875, the property went to his wife Mary, who in 1886 sold it to her son William and his friends, including Judge O. P. Stearns. They changed the name to Lakeside, formed the Lakeside Land Company, and also purchased the land from Fifty-fourth Avenue East and seventy-fifth Avenue East and named that Lester Park. They also set aside some land along the Lester River and named it Stearns Park. In 1889 Lakeside and Lester Park were reorganized as the Village of Lakeside. In 1891 state legislation turned the Village of Lakeside into the City of Lakeside in anticipation of the inevitable annexation of the community by Duluth. After a lively fight among local politicians, compromises were reached and the annexation of Lakeside went into effect on January 1, 1893. Following annexation, Lakeside and Lester Park became neighborhoods of the greater city, and the Lakeside Land Company donated Stearns Park to Duluth’s expanding park system. It was soon thereafter renamed Lester Park. Read more about Lakeside/Lester Park, including the park, here, and about the community’s historic ban on the sale of alcohol here.

From 1892 to 1934 the Lester Park Line of the Duluth Street Railway Company, also known as the Lakeside Line, provided streetcar service between Twenty-second Avenue east and Sixty-first Avenue East. Photo by Hugh McKenzie, date unknown. (Image: Zenith City Press)