Listen: Railroad route unlocks Douglas County history
Archive Dive is a monthly podcast hosted by reporter Maria Lockwood. Episodes dip into the archives of historic events, people and places in Superior and Douglas County with local historians.
Before U.S. Highway 2 brought visitors into Superior from the east; there was the Northern Pacific Railroad. And in the early 1900s there were many small communities along that rail line. Communities that today have almost completely disappeared.
“I don’t like to call them ghost towns,” Brian Paulson, a local historian, said. “Mostly because they weren't towns, they were settlements that were located in the large and expansive town of Brule. And in the 1900s Brule covered a huge area in Douglas County, basically the northern third of the county.”
Paulson, a member of the Old Brule Heritage Society, explains that the logging boom brought people to the area but the railroad determined where these towns popped up. They came quickly, they served their purpose and then they were gone.
Today, the Tri County Corridor Trail follows the same route the Northern Pacific Railroad once did. On this week’s episode of Archive Dive, we travel east to Ashland along that route with Paulson who shares the stories of these vanished communities, many of which have been reclaimed by nature.
New episodes of Archive Dive are published monthly. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered, email Maria Lockwood at