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Aerial Lift Bridge

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The Aerial Lift Bridge, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Minnesota, was constructed in 1904-1905 as the Aerial Ferry Bridge. Before that time, Park Point was only accessible by ferry boats and, during the winter months, a temporary suspension bridge. The original Aerial Ferry Bridge consisted of much of today's structure but, instead of the lift span, a suspended car, or gondola, ferried people and vehicles on a one-minute trip across the canal. The gondola could carry the equivalent of a loaded street car, two loaded wagons with teams, and 350 people.

The gondola made twelve trips per hour between 5:00 a.m. and midnight and two trips per hour from midnight until morning. The lift span was added in 1929-1930 to handle increased traffic. At that time, the bridge operators moved from running the gondola to working in the control house in the center of the span. The bridge first lifted for a vessel on March 29, 1930. The Aerial Bridge lifts an average of 5,500 times a year, and over forty times a day during the summer months.

It is owned and operated by the City of Duluth. The Duluth Public Library, 520 West Superior Street, will sponsor a free showing of the movie "You'll Like My Mother" on Saturday, November 3, at 1:00 p.m. in the library's Green Room. This 1972 movie, which stars Patty Duke and Richard Thomas, was filmed in Duluth, mostly in the Congdon Mansion, and had its Duluth premiere in the NorShor Theater on November 4, 1972. Retired Duluth News Tribune editor and columnist Jim Heffernan will share some of his recollections of the filming in Duluth and of the premiere.

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