Preserving railroad and industrial history through research and collaboration.


Welcome to my Twin Ports Time Machine at Duluth-Superior. This is the official home of Twin Ports Rail History by Jeff Lemke. It's a place where you can look through many windows into the past. Some of the greatest industrial landscapes in North America once included the railways of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin—and the many businesses that they collectively served here. I hope that you enjoy and make good use of the images, content, and services that I provide—as I work to illustrate life and work in the Twin Ports—near the tracks.

While prosperity was often fleeting in these communities, the people at the Head of the Lakes area have always made the most out of what they were given. Their story is interwoven with the machines and bricks and roadways that make up this place. Make no mistake about it—it was their daily effort that built and grew these towns and allowed their businesses and families to survive—if not thrive. Since 1975, the goal of my project has been to uncover things relevant to telling a more accurate story about the industrial past at Duluth, Superior, and surrounding communities—including the great Iron Ranges of the State of Minnesota.

Beyond this home page you'll notice that the word 'we' is peppered throughout the dialog. The 'we' refers to you and me—everyone really—who has touched my life and been an active and valuable part of my virtual team. By sharing your knowledge and experiences, and making material donations along the way, the results of our collaboration are celebrated here. As they should be.

All photography provided by Jeff Lemke

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Find out about my organization, my mission, my methods, and the results of my decades of advocacy. As many of you already know, it's pretty darned easy to work with me because I place a high value on the collaboration that creates most of what you see here. While much of the work will remain an individual effort, there's plenty of opportunity for you to help. If you have stories to tell, please consider sharing them with me. I'll be adding a gallery of stories and the best ones will inject much more local flavor into the book I'm creating. It's this level of detail that I seek through interviews. If you worked for a railroad back in the day, or one of the rail-served industries, please consider sharing your story too.

Learn More →

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Take Action

Ready to take the next step?

Please consider joining my team by becoming a contributor today. Your stories and memories of your past help me to share what I wasn't able to see. Your material items (such as old pictures, maps, and blueprints) help me to bridge the gaps in my data archive. Your monetary donations help me to find, fund, restore, save and share much of what you'll see here. Working together as a team, we accomplish so much more. Every contribution is valued here. So please look through your own collection to see if there isn't something that would enrich my website or one of my projects.

Find Out How →