Unique Duluth History Alive at Cotton Mansion

Dome 2  By Susie Medway

Cotton Mansion Part 1

The Cotton Mansion is a significant feature of Duluth’s architectural history. Its rich history makes it an ideal retreat when you visit Minnesota and it is a stone’s throw from the famous Canal Park as well as the Arial Lift Bridge. The mansion’s prominent position, as part of the historic district, draws visitors to this unique setting, which is steeped in the rich tapestry of the past.
City History and Development
The original inhabitants of Duluth were the Sioux and Chippewa tribes, who dominated the Lake Superior region until explorers came in the mid 1600s. The city was named in 1856 and, despite scarlet fever epidemics and an economic crash, it began to thrive because of its port. In 1871 work on the canal began to enable ships to enter Duluth harbor and the public and traders would enter Park Point by ferry. The Aerial Lift Bridge, which rises to 138 feet to allow big ships to pass through, means that the city is ‘the biggest inland harbor in the world’, explains the Chamber of Commerce.
The city’s history is very evident to the visitor today, seen in the architecture such as the DeWitt-Seitz building in Canal Park, which was once a manufacturing plant for mattresses. Now it is a shopping district. The industrial waterfront was revamped in the 1980s to make it a tourist attraction and the picturesque Lakewalk began to be constructed in 1988. It now leads visitors from the Bayfront Festival Park to Brighton Beach. The Aerial Lift Bridge, built in 1905 and upgraded in 1929, is a major attraction in the city, with its panoramic views of Lake Superior and its foghorn to announce the arrival of enormous ships. Cruise ships visit the port, making it an ideal stop over for travelers enjoying a sailing vacation and passengers can experience the history and culture of Duluth as part of their vacation. Imagine entering Duluth by water and passing underneath the historic bridge, as its foghorn announces your arrival.


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