June 6, 1889: Parks Commission approves Terrace Parkway

On this day in Duluth in 1889, the newly formed Board of Park Commissioners approved a resolution to start work on Terrace Parkway, later called Rogers Boulevard, Carriage Drive, and, beginning in 1929, Skyline Parkway. The roadway was the lynch-pin in William K. Rogers’s grand plan for Duluth’s Park system. In a letter to his friend (and former U.S. president) Rutherford B. Hayes, Rogers explained the early work on the parkway: “Work is also to be commenced on the system of parks and the connecting drive-way this spring…It will be over four miles long, and will cost not to exceed $5,000. This seems almost incredible, but nature has done the work. It is a natural road bed, graded and graveled by the wash of the Lake, when the subsiding waters reached that level—474 feet above the present level—only need to have the surface soil scraped off, the drainage attended to, and bridges over the ravine.  This is to be a great year for Duluth—the most eventful in its history, I think.” The first portion of the road to be completed ran from Lincoln Park on Miller Creek and Garfield Park (now Chester Park) at Chester Creek. Read a biography of Rogers here and a history of Skyline Parkway here.

illiam K. Rogers. (Image: Hayes Presidential Library)