(q1) Where do streets get their names? (q2) Where does a name become a street? (q3) And why do fools fall in love anyways?
(a1) This well-researched article gets deep into the history of American street naming.
(a2) There are a few open street maps online, but I’ve had good luck with this one.
(a3) As far as I can tell, which is as far as Frankie Lymon has told me, probably for the same reason rain falls from up above.
There’s plenty to learn from street names inside Duluth (while on our cemetery tour, Heidi Bakk-Hansen touched on some Duluth street name origins — more on that later today hopefully). However, I’ve become interested in a different, more outwardly-focused question: “Where can ‘Duluth’ be found on street signs?”
With a little help from (a2), I found a bunch of Duluth Streets, Avenues, Ways, and Courts around the country. Then, I reached out to people I know (friends and family) in the communities where they’re located and asked them to take a picture and briefly describe their experience. A few more of these will crop up throughout the month, so keep an eye out!
[Also, if you know somebody who might want to document a Duluth street sign/street in their backyard, I would love some more submissions! Spread the word if you’re so inclined.]
The first submission comes from my wonderful friend Lauren, a Milwaukee friend who
currently lives in New York (also, we share a birthday). Lauren’s submission comes from her visit to Sioux Falls over Christmas — she dragged her whole family on a quick visit to Duluth Avenue. Lauren reports on the experience:
Sioux Falls is nothing if not…beige. In every sense of the word. Having visited South Dakota’s largest city more times that I can count (all my grandparents live there), I can really only recommend the best shopping mall, or my preferred Applebee’s establishment. (One huge exception to this rule is the pink-stoned Sioux Falls themselves, which really are quite beautiful).
The section of Duluth Avenue we visited, though, featured quaint rows of (did mom say “Victorian?”) homes vastly unlike my New York-hardened perception of Sioux Falls’ cityscape. A quick jaunt west of Minnesota Avenue [a main drag in Sioux Falls] on behalf of a temporarily-Minnesotan friend Adam was a spritz of humble air. For me, Sioux Falls has a little more color to it than before. Thanks Duluth (Avenue).