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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Duluth in St. Louis County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement

 
 
Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
1. Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement Marker
Inscription. The streets of this Duluth neighborhood are the first concrete pavements constructed in Minnesota. They were built of portland cement concrete in 1909 and 1910 and ushered in the era of modern roads and streets in the state. A distinctive feature of these pioneer concrete pavements is the scored surface pattern of rectangular grooves. This indented design was used, according to the records of the day, to provide a firm and substantial footing for horses.

Dedicated in 1959 by the
St. Louis County and Minnesota Historical Societies
Duluth Chamber of Commerce
and City of Duluth
[Seal of The Minnesota Historical Society]

 
Erected 1959 by the St. Louis County and Minnesota Historical Societies, Duluth Chamber of Commerce, and City of Duluth.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 46° 48.941′ N, 92° 4.478′ W. Marker is in Duluth, Minnesota, in St. Louis County. Marker is at the intersection of East 7th Street and East Clover Street on East 7th Street. Click for map. Marker is in Granitoid Memorial Park. Marker is in this post office area: Duluth MN 55812, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least
Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
2. Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement and Marker
8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Boat House and Pier (approx. 1.1 miles away); Glensheen, A Family Legacy (approx. 1.2 miles away); The History of the Duluth Rose Garden (approx. 1.2 miles away); Leif Erikson (approx. 1.3 miles away); Jay Cooke (approx. 1.5 miles away); Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away); Determined Mariner (approx. 2.6 miles away); Trotman Folding Stock Anchor (approx. 2.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Duluth.
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
3. Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement and Marker
Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
4. Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement and Marker
Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
5. Minnesota's Oldest Concrete Pavement
Dedication Plaque on Marker Pedestal image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
6. Dedication Plaque on Marker Pedestal
Dedicated August 27, 1980 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the construction of the first concrete street paving in Minnesota.
St. Louis County Historical Society
How Granitoid Was Made image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
7. How Granitoid Was Made
From Patent No. 856,105, issued June 4, 1907:
"Be it known that we, William J. Sinek and Rudolph S. Blome, citizens of the United States, residing at Chicago, have invented certain new and useful improvements in Pavements and Methods of Making the Same..."

Step 1: Roadway excavated.
Step 2: Macadam foundation laid - crushed rock, cinders, or gravel, compressed to form a smooth, hard surface.
Step 3: Concrete gutter/curb poured.
Step 4: Five-inch-thick base course of concrete laid.
Step 5: Wearing surface added - a composition of cement and crushed granite. In Duluth, a hard black stone called gabbro, found locally, was used, instead of Granite.

"Before the facing has hardened, it is grooved or scored to provide footholds for the horses' shoes... We also brush it crosswise with a bristle brush to slightly scratch its surface so that it will not be too smooth or slippery."
Paving the Way image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 12, 2011
8. Paving the Way
[newspaper article, council minutes, paving contract]

In 1908 a group of Duluth residents, eager to improve streets in their Chester Park neighborhood, petitioned the city for granitoid pavement. Over the next three years the patented material was laid on several streets. At the same time the city made other improvements, installing sidewalks and creating the small park where you now stand.

The granitoid streets served Duluth for more than 90 years. When deterioration set in, local preservationists worked to keep two blocks of the historic paving in place on Seventh Street. Other fragments were salvaged and installed here in 2004.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 858 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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