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June 12, 1916: Street Car Line Extended to Morgan Park

On this day in Duluth in 1916, the Duluth Street Railway Company opened its newest line, extending the Grand Avenue line westward from 71st Avenue West to Morgan Park. Most of those on board the early and late runs were employees of the Minnesota Steel Plant and Universal Atlas Cement, both owned by U. S. Steel, which also built Morgan Park to house its skilled employees. One of the affect of the new line was that jitney cabs—unlicensed, privately operated taxis—abandoned their usual “stand” at 71st Avenue West and retreated to “the junction of the Gary and New Duluth pavement and the streetcar line.” (Many of the steel plants’ unskilled laborers were housed in Gary and New Duluth; it cost them 15 cents for a ride to work, a little over $3 today). Two days earlier, the company ran a special car down the line for the first time. On board were the railway company’s general manager, Herbert Warren, as well as 50 other employees, officials, and dignitaries, including Colonel Hubert Eva and Luther Mendenhall. Cheers greeted the streetcar, and while most agreed that the new line marked “the beginning of a new era in the business prosperity of the western section of the city,” some expressed regret that the line did not reach New Duluth and Gary. By 1939, all of Duluth and Superior’s streetcar lines were gone. Read a history of Duluth’s streetcar system here.

Conductors of the Duluth Street Railway Co. gathered for a group photo, ca. 1900. (Image: Duluth Public Library)et