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New Kiosks along the Duluth Lakewalk Commemorate the Mataafa Shipwreck and Duluth’s Waterfront History

(Photo by Fraser Nivens/Florida Keys News Bureau via Getty Images)

We all know the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald. If you don’t, you can listen to Gordon Lightfoot, as he recounts the full story in his classic song. What about the wreck of the Mataafa? Get to the Lakewalk in Duluth to learn more with some new kiosks.

The Friends of the Lakewalk, in partnership with the City of Duluth, is pleased to announce the installation of three new information kiosks along the Duluth Lakewalk. The first, commemorating the shipwreck of the Mataafa in 1905, is located along the Lakewalk as you approach the Duluth Shipping Canal. The kiosk tells the tragic story of the Mataafa which floundered at the Duluth Shipping Canal in a November storm that included gale-force winds, ice, freezing temperatures and difficult currents. Nine sailors lost their lives that night as Duluthians looked on in horror, unable to mount a rescue owing to the heavy seas.

Two additional kiosks tell the story of the creation of the beautiful Image Wall at Lake Place Park. Not only do the mosaic images tell the story of Duluth’s waterfront history, they beautify what would otherwise have been a dull concrete wall. The wall was necessary as Interstate 35 was constructed through Duluth. The Mosaics are a testament to both the maritime history of Duluth and the creativity of the architects, artists and others involved in the project.

These three new information kiosks are part of an ongoing project to enhance the cultural and historical value of the Duluth Lakewalk which is frequented by residents and millions of tourists at all times of the year. Future information kiosks will feature Tischer Creek and Glensheen, the Lakeside Business District, and other landmarks along the Lakewalk from Canal Park to Brighton Beach.

The Friends of the Lakewalk is a private non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and improving the Duluth Lakewalk. For more information about the kiosks, or for membership information, contact Andrea Agar, President at: fotlduluth@gmail.com

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