Twin Ports by Trolley
The Streetcar Era in Duluth–Superior

By Aaron Isaacs  


Twin Ports by Trolley

An international seaport and an industrial powerhouse, Duluth was a natural for streetcar service, but making it successful was a challenge. The city, some 25 miles long yet only three miles wide in most places, has the tallest and steepest hills in Minnesota and a harbor separating it from its sister city, Superior, Wisconsin.

Twin Ports by Trolley charts the history of the streetcar system that met the unique difficulties posed by Duluth, from the Interstate Bridge that crossed the harbor to the Incline Railway that carried travelers more than 500 feet above Lake Superior. Following the rails as horse-drawn cars gave way to electric trolleys, Aaron Isaacs takes readers into the workings of the Duluth–Superior streetcars: politics and corporate maneuvers, engineering and maintenance, scheduling and setting routes, running and riding the trolleys.

Along the way we meet motormen and conductors (including twenty-one women who stepped in during World War I) and learn what it’s like to run a streetcar through obstacles ranging from heavy snowstorms to Halloween pranks to the heroism of evacuating a burning neighborhood.

Isaacs traces traffic patterns and geographic features for each line and describes imaginary trips on three of the most interesting routes.

The book is, ultimately, a tour of the Twin Ports over time, with a wealth of maps and photographs illustrating routes and landmarks and picturing the people who made the rails hum.

The lost era of the streetcar in the Twin Ports comes to life in this detailed, richly illustrated history. Hardcover, 9 x 10", 320 pages, 366 black and white photos, 18 maps.

ISBN: 978-0-8166-7308-7

Price: $39.95

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