Who, what, when, where, why and Howard


I have some questions about various “Howards” in the Duluth area, and I’m hoping someone on PDD can provide the answers:

1. What is/was the “Old Howard Mill” referred to in Old Howard Mill Road?

2. Why does Old Howard Mill Road have two parts so far apart (see Google map excerpt above)? One segment is north of Glenwood Street, and the other is across the Northland Country Club and a bit farther, in what would be… the Congdon neighborhood? Hunters Park? Not quite sure. In any case, why the gap? They don’t even seem to line up.

3. Howard Gnesen Road: It goes up to Gnesen Township, so that half makes sense (Gnesen Township was named for a city in Poland, by the way). But what does the Howard refer to? Is there a connection to the Old Howard Mill?

I think that exhausts my Howard question file. Can anyone out there provide some info?


Mark Ryan

about 15 years ago

I think the Old Howard Mill road was dissected by the building of Northland Country Club. It used to be the only route up to the back-country farms above eastern Duluth but was evidently very steep making it difficult for farmers to haul loads up the hill. It's steepness was one of the reasons Sam Snively built Snively Road (part of which is today's Seven Bridges Road) so he'd have easier access to his hilltop farm (later to become Springhill Dairy). Snively began constructing his road in 1899, the same year Northland was established, but I don't know when the golf course construction actually split the Old Howard Mill road into two disconnected segments. Probably not long after the club was established.


about 15 years ago

A potential namesake: John Dow Howard was a very early (1850s) Duluth settler, politician, lumberman and wealthy land developer. He owned several thousand acres in Duluth and Superior. Two sons continued the family businesses after JD's death. Not everyone was allowed to share the family fortune. From the Chicago Tribune, Sept. 29, 1891:

THE WILL OF THE LATE J. D. HOWARD OF DULUTH PROBATED. His Card-Playing Son Left $100, His Daughter, Who Married Against His Will, $200 a Year, and the Balance of His Fortune Left to His Other Children.



about 15 years ago

Howard is just an awesome name. Surprised there aren't more Howard streets, or that the city wasn't named Howardopolis.


about 15 years ago

Just for the record on Old Howard Mill Road being split. Northland Country Club was founded in 1899, but at that time, the golf course ran across what is now East Superior Street, on the land where Ordean Middle School is located. I'm not an expert, but I don't believe the golf course went as far up the hill as it does now, when it was first constructed. The original clubhouse burned in the 1917 (I think) fire that raged along the shoreline during the flue epidemic. The clubhouse was rebuilt on its current site, and that's about the time the golf course was expanded and moved. So, if the course split Old Howard Mill Road, it wouldn't have happened until close to 1920. There must be documents on this entire question; how would one start researching? It's a great topic!


about 15 years ago

Mark is mostly correct about Northland Country Club's role in the the disconnected Old Howard Mill Road. NCC was founded in 1899 (though most of the course was below Superior Street then) and OHMR cuts through the property. The neighborhood southwest of NCC, called Crescent View or Valley, was developed between the late 1940s and early 1960s, with the bulk of the homes built by the early 1970s. You can see from the photos I've linked to that OHMR is one continuous street from southwest of NCC though NCC, to Glenwood. Somewhere between the 1970s and the early 1980s the road grew over. I'm not sure when it stopped being an actual street. (Way before my time.) I've seen other plat maps, not on the web, that show that OHMR is platted for single family lots all the way through NCC's property. So at some point the goal was to have the Crescent View neighborhood connect below Snively at Glenwood.





about 15 years ago

A slight correction: the Great Fire and the Spanish flu pandemic happened in 1918.


about 15 years ago

Patsy - I didn't see your post.....


about 15 years ago

Have you tried submitting this as a reference question to the public library?


about 15 years ago

Rob, where does a guy come by ariel images like that? I'm intrigued.

Todd Gremmels

about 15 years ago

I have lived here since 1975 and I have been told (by several sources) that there was a mill on top of the hill on Lester River; ergo the Howard Mill Road.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.


about 14 years ago

Old Howard Mill Road was originally Howard Ave (later 36th Ave) and ran from London Road north to the city limits, concluding at about where it does now.

There was a mill at the northern tip of the road, hence the 'mill' part of it. It was chopped up by Northland.

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