Meet Frederick Buckingham, Namesake of Buckingham Creek

Most Duluthians and plenty of visitors are familiar with Twin Ponds just east of Enger Park, but few realize they were engineered in the 1890s by damming Buckingham Creek. Fewer still know who Buckingham Creek was named for. Like most of Duluth’s creeks, Buckingham was named for an early resident who lived on or adjacent to the creek that bears his name. In this case, its Frederick Buckingham, a surveyor who reportedly hated Abraham Lincoln and, as biographer Heidi Bakk-Hasen reports, ”liked to strut about half-naked in sub-zero temperatures.” Read Bakk-Hansen’s bio of “Old Buck” here.

Terrace Parkway winds between the newly created Gem Lakes sometime in the early 1890s. Known today as Twin Ponds, the ponds were formed by excavating basins and damming the flow of Buckingham Creek. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)