Amazing! Watch 1930s Footage Of Duluth’s Streetcars and Incline Railway
This is cool on so many levels. Everyone in the Northland needs to check this out and those who are history buffs will find these video and images even more rewarding.
Not too long ago, the Minnesota Streetcar Museum put together a video capturing a fantastic part of Duluth history. However, most people in Northland likely knew about it as they don't pay close attention to what the museum is up to.
According to their website, the Minnesota Streetcar Museum was created in 2004 and they collect, restore, and exhibit electric streetcars that operated in Minnesota. The collection includes streetcars from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Duluth, Winona, Moorhead, and the Iron Range. The Museum claims to hold the largest collection of Minnesota streetcars anywhere.
The Museum maintains an extensive collection of books, photographs, and reference documents relating to the history of electric railways in Minnesota. It includes the definitive collection on the Twin City Rapid Transit Company. The collection is available to members of the
community through educational outreach and interpretative programs.
The Minnesota Streetcar Museum also operates two separate demonstration railways that operate from May through November.
- The Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, located in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, operates on a mile of former Twin City Rapid Transit Company right-of-way between Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun).
- The Excelsior Streetcar Line operates in the City of Excelsior on one-half mile of track on the former Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway right-of-way through the south side of Excelsior.
In September, 2021, they placed videos featuring Duluth on their YouTube channel that mostly went unnoticed until Perfect Duluth Day shared the videos, and the story behind them, just this week on their Face book page.
The first video features a rare collection of Duluth streetcar footage from the 1930s and much of it is in color, including scenes from West Duluth, Woodland and Downtown. The video was written, produced, narrated and directed by historian Aaron Isaacs, with production assistance from Bill Olexy.
It truly is a nearly 12 minute trip back in time.
Isn't that a cool time capsule of Duluth! Seeing pictures is one thing, but be able to seem them in action, as well as the people from long ago takes it to another level of nostalgia. Ultimately, Duluth’s streetcars were replaced by buses in 1939.
The second video features bonus footage of historian Aaron Isaacs during a Zoom meeting last fall discussing photos of Duluth and Superior streetcars from his book Twin Ports by Trolley.
The book Twin Ports By Trolley is available at a wide variety of places, including Amazon.