Forgotten Landmark-Great Northern Railway Ore Docks, Allouez (WI)


Great Northern Railway Ore Docks (Foot of 37th Avenue East at E. Itasca Street)


This is the largest group of ore docks in one location in the world. Duluthians call them “The Necklace,” for, when lighted at night, so they seemed from their city’s hills. Strings of ore cars averaging 30 cars to a train, and containing 60 to 80 long tons of ore per car, were shunted from the railroad yards over the docks, where they dump their loads into large storage pockets. There were once over 1,300 pockets. As the ore ran into the hatches of the ships from the pockets, dropped through long chutes, water ballast, which keeps the ships navigable when empty of ore, was pumped out. The total storage capacity was 441,800 tons, and 16 vessels could be loaded simultaneously without interference. The first was constructed in 1892, the fourth and last in 1911.  The third was demolished in 1963.

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