May 14, 1921: Snively purchases 330 acres, including Bardon’s Peak

On the day in Duluth in 1921, Mayor Sam Snively spent $37,000 to purchase 330 acres of undeveloped property—including Bardon’s peak—for Duluth’s park system. Snively had been mayor for just a few weeks, when he made the purchase. Shortly after his election, Snively announced his vision to make Duluth the most beautiful city in the area. “Beautiful parks, broad scenic highways, and modern tourist camp sites are the strongest advertisements a city can have,” Snively told the newspapers. “It is my hope that Duluth’s parks and beauty spots will make it universally known.” Snively also recognized the importance of the mature hardwood forest surrounding Bardon’s Peak, which had survived the 1918 Cloquet Fire. “A far-sighted person can see that forested areas of northern Minnesota are fast dwindling,” Snively said, “and that in not more than 10 years a stand of timber of this size will be almost a novelty.” He named the new land Magney Park in honor of his friend and predecessor in the mayor’s office, Clarence R. Magney, who also did much to expand Duluth’s park system. Today Magney Park is part of Magney-Snively Park. Learn more about Snively here, about Magney here, and about Duluth’s undeveloped parks here.

The view from Bardon’s Peak in Magney Park, 1932. Photo by F. R. Paine. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)