TO THE CITY
Rendering courtesy of Duluth Airport Authority
ceremonial gold shovel dug into the hillside last week beginning
construction on a new terminal building for the Duluth
International Airport. As a gateway to Duluth, the airport
terminal is an important building reflecting who we are as a
city, where we have been, where we are going, and what we value.
September 13th will be the 79th birthday of our airport. As with
any birthday, it is time to reflect on our aviation past and
provided Duluth with its first runway, St. Louis Bay. In the
winter of 1913 Oliver Rosto, Duluth’s first pilot and aircraft
designer, flew his Duluth #1 Rosto Monoplane from the
frozen harbor. In the summers of 1913 and 1914, the Lark of
Duluth Benoist Flying Boat flew from the Duluth Boat Club.
Owners Julius Barnes and W. D. Jones wanted to introduce the
city to flying. As president of the Duluth Boat Club, Barnes
initiated a citywide celebration. The Lark O’ the Lake
Summer Carnivals were held on weekends during the summers of
1913 and 1914.
January 1, 1914, the Lark of Duluth flew the inaugural
flight of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line and became the
world’s first airliner. A new era in transportation began with
one simple flight in the Lark of Duluth. Aviation became
a commercial enterprise and air transportation was born.
1928, Mid-Plane Sales and Transit Company flew a six passenger
plane between Duluth and the Twin Cities from Anderson Field at
Pike Lake. Arrowhead Region Airlines was flying from the bay
with two float or ski equipped Lockheed Vegas. The airline
offered schedule passenger and mail service between Duluth and
Port Arthur, Canada, and was one of the first services to land
at the new Duluth airport. Northwest Airways flew the
"Duck" Sikorsky S-38 flying boat from the Duluth Boat
Club with airmail and passengers in 1931. The Duluth Boat Club
was an "airport terminal" for the city.