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Red Cliff Lumber Company photograph album

Identifier: S4516

Scope and Contents

The album is a nearly day-by-day visual log of new construction of a mill at the Duluth waterfront, presumably at 39th Avenue West. All of the black and white 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch photographs are captioned and dated. There is one 8 x 10 inch undated, not captioned photograph. Buildings and scenes named are: machine shop, pile driving, cribs, foundation, dredge, slip, boat house, office building, RR track, dock, transformer building, bridge, as well as various view shots.


  • 1913 April 10-1913 December 2


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Red Cliff Lumber Company was founded in 1897 with the participation of Edward T. Buxton, a banker from Superior, Wisconsin. He held the office of treasurer from the company’s beginning. The mill was located in Duluth, at the foot of 39th Avenue West. In 1898-1899, its office was located in the Torrey Building in downtown Duluth with F. L. Gilbert, president; A. P. Lovejoy, vice-president; E. T. Buxton, treasurer; and H. H. Foster, secretary. It is described as a manufacturer and wholesale lumber business with mills at Bayfield, Wisconsin. Generally, the sawmills brought many other enterprises to Duluth. Along with Red Cliff, Alger-Smith Company, Duluth Log Company, and the Scott-Graff Company were crucial to local development contributing largely to railroad and lake traffic. By 1911, city directory entries place Red Cliff at 39th Avenue West in Duluth. All of the sawmills were located around the bay. It is still listed in the Duluth city directory in 1925.

Roland C. Buck, engineers, is stamped on the one loose 8 x 10 print. Architect Roland C. Buck of Superior, Wisconsin was hired for many projects in the region. Lakehead Constructors was founded in 1916 by Roland C. Buck, a civil engineer, under the same R. C. Buck Company. The business specialized in design and construction of large scale harbor facilities. The young company rapidly earned a reputation for innovation, honesty and integrity and soon began to expand into other areas of construction. In 1934 a young engineer, Floyd Bernard joined the company and worked his way up to ownership with two others and in 1955 incorporated as Lakehead Constructors.


167.00 Photographic Prints

Language of Materials



The album is a nearly day-by-day visual log of new construction of a mill at the Duluth waterfront, presumably at 39th Avenue West.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Guide to the Red Cliff Lumber Company photograph album
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526