Researching Duluth Houses

When was my house built?

  • St. Louis County Assessor’s Website:
    • Choose Parcel ID or Address search tab.  
    • Information usually available includes name of owner, date house was build, dimensions and assessed value of house and land.
  • St. Louis County Assessor’s Office, County Courthouse, Rm. 212, 218-726-2304 
    • Bring the address or plat and parcel number. 
    • The same type of information that can be found on the website should be available in the  office.      

Who was the architect or builder?

  • Duluth Public Library 
    • Historical Neighborhood Surveys have been done that include Duluth houses.
    • Ask for the surveys at the reference desk.

What did my house look like at an earlier time?

  • Duluth Public Library 
    •  “Duluth Houses, A Key to Slides, Clippings & Other Selected References” 1992.      
    •   Ask for this index at the reference desk. 
  • Duluth Public Library clipping files “Duluth Houses”—Ask at reference desk.              
  • Duluth Public Library 
    • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps 1884 – 1949 (microfilm)
    • Sanborn print format, 2 Sets.  1954/55 and 1909 – 1950’s
    • Rascher Insurance Maps, 1892 (microfilm)
    • Include footprints of houses and indicate if structure was made of wood, brick or stone.

Local House History

Photo of London Road residence in the 1870's from the Duluth Public Library slide collection.

Were there other houses in my neighborhood when my house was built?

  • Duluth Public Library     
    • Atlas of the City of Duluth. St. Louis Co, Minnesota and Vicinity. F.B. Roe, 1890
    • C.P. Frank’s Atlas of the City of Duluth, Minnesota, 1902
    • Minnesota Duluth Board of Realtors Atlas of the City of Duluth, 1924
    • Duluth City Directories (see below for details)
    • Sanborn & Rascher Fire Maps (see above for details)                      

Who lived at my house before I did?

  • Duluth Public Library   
    • Duluth City Directories - 1883 to the present   
    • Print directories are located in the North Shore Room beginning with the 1930 volume and are searchable by address.  Earlier directories are available on microfilm and are not searchable by address.   
    • Occupations of the adults in the household are usually listed if they worked outside the home.
    • Census records will show children and other household members who may not be listed in the city directories, as well as neighbors. 
  • Duluth newspapers may contain obituaries of previous owners. 
    • Search for death dates in the Duluth Area Obituary Index, St. Louis County Death Index or the Minnesota Historical Society Death Record Index
    • Biography Clipping File - Contains articles about Duluthians.
    • Abstract of Title  -   Held by the home owner or mortgage holder
      • Indicates previous owners of the land that your house occupies. Especially useful for tracking the people who lived in your house before 1930, as the Duluth City Directories are not searchable by date before that year.                             
  • St. Louis County Recorder’s Office, County Courthouse, Rm. 101, 218-726-2677
    • This office contains the same information as that on the abstract, but it takes much longer to search. This should be a last resort for your research.





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