Seven Bridges Road
From Zenith: A Postcard Perspective of Historic Duluth, copyright © 2005, Zenith City Press, Duluth, Minnesota
Back in 1899, Sam Snively had an idea while strolling through his four hundred-acre spread near Hawk Ridge and Lester Park: a roadway to rival any other found in the city. He donated sixty acres of his own, then convinced his neighbors to donate land or provide rights-of-way for his vision. He even raised some cash. Although Snively had originally wanted his road, which would take thirty years to complete, to be called Spring Garden Boulevard, it became known as Snively Road. It has long been called Seven Bridges Road, but that name is somewhat misleading. In 1910 the road became the property of the Park Board, which hired a landscape architect to draw up plans which included blueprints for ten stone-arch bridges to replace the ten wooden spans Snively and his crew had built, but in the end only nine were necessary. Plans also included connecting the road to Rogers Boulevard (later Skyline Parkway), which pleased Snively to no end. When it reopened in 1912, it was named Amity Parkway for the creek its bridges crossed nine times.
Today, the road technically has seven bridges, although from Superior Street to Skyline travelers cross eight. Two of the original nine were abandoned when Skyline Parkway was completed, and a newer bridge near Superior Street is not considered part of Mr. Snively’s road. The bridges, damaged by misuse and neglect, were restored in the 1990s.
For a more complete history of Seven Bridges Road, see Mark Ryan’s website on the history of Skyline Parkway & Seven Bridge’s Road: www.amitycreek.com.