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The End of Streetcars in Duluth

Seventy-five years ago today — July 9, 1939 — streetcars ran in Duluth for the last time. Streetcar service had been gradually phased out by trolley buses for nearly 20 years before meeting its total demise. For more info check out Zenith City Online’s history of Duluth’s Streetcar Railways and the Duluth Transit Authority’s History of Public Transportation in the Twin Ports timeline.

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11 Comment(s)

  1. My dad, who didn’t move to Duluth until the mid 1950s, still used the phrase “end of the car line” to refer to a certain neighborhood/ intersection. I have a general idea of where it is but wonder if anyone knows specifically to where he was referring. I didn’t realize that people still used this term decades after the line no longer existed. As a kid I assumed it must have still been in operation when my dad moved here based on his use of the phrase.

    Rij | Jul 8, 2014 | New Comment
  2. Rij, there is a house on Woodland Avenue, possibly south of Oxford Avenue, that was once the “end of the line” station. It is now a home and, I believe, is on the National Register of Historic Places. I think it was seriously damaged in the 2012 flooding. Tony at Zenith City will, hopefully, correct any misinformation I am offering.

    emmadogs | Jul 8, 2014 | New Comment
  3. To my knowledge there are zero properties in the Woodland neighborhood that are on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Paul Lundgren | Jul 8, 2014 | New Comment
  4. Wow. The first home my dad owned in Duluth, long before I was born, was on Oxford street. My guess is that he picked up on the phrase from neighbors who described the area as such. Old -timers in Duluth still use the phrase.

    Rij | Jul 8, 2014 | New Comment
  5. Emmadogs, that was the first streetcar waiting station built along Woodland avenue, at 2012 Woodland. It is now now a private residence.

    Image of it here, in a great story by HBH on the development of Woodland:

    Duluth’s Woodland Neighborhood: Shaped by Streetcars

    Tony D. | Jul 8, 2014 | New Comment
  6. It was my understanding from researching the Woodland feature, and from talking to Mrs. Oesterreich of Woodland (who did a lot of research many years ago with old-timer Woodlanders), that the “End of the Car Line” was the “downtown” area of Woodland … where Woodland Marketplace Foods — or their parking lot — now is located. The main station was there for many years.

    hbh1 | Jul 9, 2014 | New Comment
  7. You can see the streetcar lines (in red) on map circa 1921.

    hbh1 | Jul 9, 2014 | New Comment
  8. ^this

    hbh1 | Jul 9, 2014 | New Comment
  9. I could have sworn that house had a National Register plaque, as I stalked the house when I first moved to Upper Woodland. The next time I’m up there, I’ll have to do a slow drive by and see if it is still there, or ever was there.

    emmadogs | Jul 9, 2014 | New Comment
  10. E-dawg, here’s a list of Duluth structures on the national register of Historic Places from the Zenith City Archives (I don’t see the streetcar station on it, but am also not sure if the list is up to date):

    Duluth Properties on the National Register of Historic Places

    Tony D. | Jul 9, 2014 | New Comment
  11. Tony, thanks for the link. Unless there is a ‘page 2′ that I don’t see (or unless I am losing my mind, always a distinct possibility), then the list is incomplete. A residence on the corner of 7th street and 26th Ave East, this beautiful old, big, red brick home, is on the Register, or at least was a few years ago. I noticed the plaque when returning the family dog to its home on a Dog Rescue Mission. Anyway, I don’t see that address on the list….

    emmadogs | Jul 9, 2014 | New Comment

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