Duluth up and down
It may shock some readers that our city a century ago was actually envisioned to be the richest in the nation. Yes, Duluth. We had the attributes of potential prominence. Our easily accessible ores were then probably the world's most valuable sin...
It may shock some readers that our city a century ago was actually envisioned to be the richest in the nation.
We had the attributes of potential prominence. Our easily accessible ores were then probably the world's most valuable single resource. A waterway halfway across the continent lay at our doorstep. Vast grain fields, dairy farms, fisheries, farm lands and inexhaustible forests lay within our perimeter. The commerce of the east eagerly awaited the opportunity to storm our gates.
We were in the happy confluence of multifaceted trade routes: The western terminus of shipping linked with the eastern terminus of transcontinental rail lines. Canada's prairies met our Midwest. A canal was even envisioned to the Mississippi. Duluth, the hub North America.
Within Duluth, foundries and factories spewed the smoke of industry. The population expanded from thousands near the end of the century rapidly to tens of thousands.
We never realistically factored in the incontrovertible decline of our resources.
Early on, our central entrepreneurship retreated into its eastern heartland.
Within this cycle of boom and bust, our fathers equivocated, reacting rather than acting, to dispel demands of a disparate electorate.
The Point of Rocks thrust it massive wedge into our heart, sundering unity to spawn dual distinctive communities, each warily ascribing unkind motivation to the other.
Our economy was recurrently in precarious balance, which reflected negatively on our civic psyche.
Competing communities trumped Duluth.
Nevertheless, Duluth consistently responded with fortitude, imaginative innovation and energetic ingenuity to adversity. We can thank the ceaseless devotion of our benefactors, humble and affluent, who enriched our community with both physical assets and multitudinous intangibles.
Truthfully, the haunting suspicion has always persisted, that maybe, just maybe, what we already have is just what we always wanted: our unadulterated jewel sited in its most natural setting.