Duluth is a city that financier Jay Cooke really seemed to take a liking to. Cooke influenced the Northern Pacific Railway, which he heavily financed, to run through Duluth so that he could help build it into the "new Chicago". He planned on Duluth becoming a major shipping point for rail and boat traffic. While Duluth's success never mirrored that of Chicago, Cooke's influence on the city can be felt even to this day. There is a nice statue of Jay Cooke located near the Lake Superior lakefront and a nearby state park (which happens to be a really great one) is named in his honor as it encompasses land that was owned by Cooke and donated by his descendents.
Upon reading about Jay Cooke during one of my visits to Jay Cooke State Park, I learned that he had spent a good deal of his life living not too far from where I grew up, on his Ogontz estate. While the estate no longer exists today, I learned that Jay Cooke is buried in Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Elkins Park, a church that he helped to fund the construction of. I decided to spend one of my days staying at my parents' house to visit Jay Cooke's grave and some other interesting local historical sites.
|Beth Shalom synagogue|
|Richard Wall House|
From the Cooke grave site I headed east on Ashbourne Road with my intended destination being Lynnewood Hall. On the way to Lynnewood Hall however, I made two unexpected discoveries. The first discovery was a small family cemetery containing the graves of members of the Shoemaker family. The Shoemakers were instrumental in the early development of Cheltenham Township and built a mill on Tookany Creek near the Wall House.
|Old headstone from Shoemaker Burial Ground dating to 1741|
|The Elkins Estate|