Archive Dive: Duluth’s Lost Lumber Mills

From the early 1880s until about 1910, the nation’s lumber industry was centered on Duluth and Superior. In the mid 1890s thirty-two lumber mills operated along both sides of the St. Louis River in the Twin Ports. But by 1920, only one mill was operating in Duluth. How did the local lumber industry get its start, and why did it it disappear almost as quickly as it boomed? The answers to these and many more questions can be found in this week’s dive into the Zenith City Archive, where you’ll find this history of Duluth’s Lost Lumber Mills.

The Mitchell McClure sawmill in West Duluth. (Image: Duluth Public Library)