January 27, 1927: Park Point residents and land owners offer to pay for half the cost of aerial bridge conversion

On this day in Duluth in 1927, the Park Point Community Club told the Duluth City Council that many Pointers were willing to chip in to help pay for the cost of converting Duluth’s 1905 aerial transfer bridge into an aerial lift bridge. The Park Point Community Club was led by Samuel Clark Dick. He spoke on behalf of the club, arguing the necessity of a new bridge, which the club believed could be built with minimal disruption at a reasonable cost. The group estimated the cost at $550,000 and the Park Pointers, in a gesture of civic unselfishness, offered to pay one third of the cost—$180,000—through special assessments on their properties. As proof of its sincerity, the group provided a petition signed by 235 Park Point property owners representing 39 percent of the owners and 49 percent of the taxed property on the Point. Dick reportedly traveled to New York City to obtain the signature of Julius Barnes, the largest land owner on the Point; at the time, Barnes, who financed the Duluth Boat Club, was serving as the president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in New York. The Council recognized a good thing when it saw one. Council member Herbert Tischer moved to refer the petition for the construction of “a steel lift bridge” to the city assessor to look into property ownership matters. Acting at its regular meetings in February, the Council passed the necessary resolutions to get the project moving.

Samuel Clark Dick, the man behind the Park Point Community Club’s drive to convert the transfer bridge into the lift bridge. (Image: Zenith City Press)

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