Payphones are a relic from the years before cell phones, largely only existing as memories in the minds of those old enough to remember them. Occasionally, one might find a weathered old shell from a payphone, but active payphones seem to be pretty rare thing to find "in the wild".

According to the American Public Communications Council, there are less than 500,000 payphones in the United States. That sounds like a big number, but it is drastically smaller than the number of payphones that existed in their heyday, with one on every street corner or in every bar in the country. Many of these phones are in places like airports and bus stations, however there are still some in various urban and rural places around the country.

We started wondering, are there any left in the Duluth-Superior area? I started doing some sleuthing on a number of different websites, including, and discovered there were potentially three locations in the area that might still have an active payphone.

These websites clearly state that the information may not be completely reliable, so we didn't know what to expect when we set out on our journey to a potential spot in the area. I went with my gut, selected what I thought to be the most likely option, and actually got lucky! We found one, and used it! See where it is and who we called in the video above.

Beside the location in the video, there are allegedly active payphones as well at the Holiday gas station near Spirit Mountain and at a Spur gas station in South Range, however no address was provided. One of my co-workers also insists there is an active payphone near the old movie theater in the Mariner Mall in Superior. We haven't confirmed any of the other locations (yet).