Blog: Page Updates and Communication

Historic Photos from the Old Pigeon River Crossing

I just received two great photos from Mike Sebek of his grandfather and future uncles, the Johnsons of St Paul, on a family road trip in 1933 or 1934 at the old Pigeon River crossing between Canada and the United States on Highway 61.

The first image shows the Johnson family posing at the steel bridge completed in 1930, looking north across the Pigeon River into Canada. From left to right: Charles I Johnson “Chuck”, Wilfred T Johnson Sr, Wilfred T Johnson Jr “Bill”.
For comparison, here is me standing at nearly the same location in 2012, nearly 80 years later (the angle of the picture is to the northeast instead of to the northwest) The bridge has been removed, but the abutment remains.
The second image is at the Canadian customs station (this building is visible in the first image above the left shoulder of Mr. Johnson Sr.)

Many thanks to Mr. Sebek for providing the photos!

For more photos and history of the historic Pigeon River crossing, see my article HERE

Video of the Hastings Spiral Bridge

An amazing video has been digitized of the historic Spiral Bridge in Hastings, showing it in use before its demolition, and a brief shot of its demise. You can check it out here. Thanks to Cathy Wurzer for posting this on the Tales of the Road facebook page!

New Photos of Old Highway 28 at Westport

Just added a few new photos to the “Old Highway 28” article from a visit I made in February. Sadly, the historic Westport signs on the edges of town have been stripped of their 1960 census populations, and new green name plates have been bolted on.

New Article – Historic St Augusta Creek Bridge

Finally got around to posting something new, an article on a historic highway bridge near St Cloud that was bugging me to photograph it every time I passed it while driving back and forth to my friend’s farm via I-94 this summer. Click on the photo above to check it out.

Also, I’ve changed the articles section of the site a bit, consolidating all the articles on the site into one page for easier access. A map with markers for each is included for good measure.

Historic Concrete Pavement on Old 61 Revealed!!

Jeff Wulke was kind enough to share the following photos of what is now Chisago County Road 30 (former MN 361, U.S. 61) between Rush City and Pine Creek, where crews have temporarily stripped away the asphalt to reveal the historic original concrete pavement from the 1920’s!! The concrete was poured back in 1927 as part of the first paved highway between the Twin Cities and Duluth, and was covered when the road was widened and rebuilt in 1954. As you can see from the photos, the old road is in remarkably good condition. This stretch was recently turned back to county authorities after remaining under state jurisdiction as State Highway 361 for many years after I-35 was built to fulfill a legal obligation dating back to 1921 to have a trunk highway passing through the city limits of Rush City, which has since been expanded to encompass I-35. Many thanks again to Jeff for the photos!!

U.S. 61 Page Update and New Articles

Just finished a major update to the U.S. 61 section of the page to bring it up the snuff with the new routes being added. I also threw in a couple of brand new articles on old alignments along the north shore for good measure (click on the sample photos below to see them).

Back in April I undertook my first “overnight” expedition, photographing old alignments along the north shore for two days, with a night out in Two Harbors in-between (watch out for those $1 PBR’s, they’ll kill ya!) I have a ton of photos and articles to add in the next couple of months, so rest assured, these two are just the tip of the iceberg!

Gitchi Gami Trail at Tofte
Gitchi Gami Trail at Tofte
Private Driveway at Tofte
Private Driveway at Tofte

Introducing the new U.S. 65 page!

After several months of work, I finally have the new U.S. 65 pages ready for public consumption! I used a very different approach than I did with the U.S. 61 project. This time, the pages are built around a couple of dynamic maps created using KML and the Google Maps API that allow you to freely explore the historic route without having to wade through pages of narrative. The project includes a normal map showing the surviving historic alignments, and a new feature that allows you to see U.S. 65’s route in a given year!

The New Guide to Driving Old 61 Between the Twin Cities and Duluth

The Old Soo Line Trestle in Moose Lake.
The Old Soo Line Trestle in Moose Lake.
Its finally done!! I have finally posted my guide to driving Old 61 between Wyoming and the St. Louis County Line! It includes numerous maps, and nearly 100 photos taken in the last few months on my visits to the old highway. Enjoy!

New Article: Westgate Boulevard, Duluth

I have just added another article to the U.S. 61 Project on Westgate Boulevard in Duluth. This was one of my favorite old alignments of U.S. 61 to visit, due to an unexpected marker dedicating its construction in 1924, plus the great views of Duluth Harbor and the pleasant walk through the woods it provided after a long drive. Click the photo below to check it out!