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Wisconsin Magazine of History

Got my Fall ’09 issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History yesterday, and it contains an article that may be of interest to TPRers. The article focuses on James Roosevelt, FDR's father, and his investments in the Superior area. The elder Roosevelt saw Superior as the next Chicago and invested in a diverse set of business interests there. They included West Superior Iron & Steel Works (going from memory; don't have the issue in front of me), which made iron and steel for ship manufacturing and rails from local ore. Roosevelt, who was from New York, had his own private car, and a young FDR made several trips to Superior with his father in the car on business trips in the early 1890s. The article even goes on to say that around age 10, FDR was present in Superior for the launching of a whaleback boat, and was knocked into the water by the resulting wave and had to be rescued.

Photos include shots of streetcars on Tower Avenue, passing in front of what I believe is now the Globe. Though the article is related to the rails somewhat indirectly, it does give a good sense of the economic climate that led to the Twin Ports becoming a major rail hub. As a bonus, the issue includes a cartoonist's rendition of a train steaming into the ports from the Twin Cities, Kansas City, Omaha, and Winnipeg, stuffed with ore, wheat, etc. A good picture of what investors hoped the ports would be before the Panic of 1893 quashed their dreams.

The author is a prof at UW-Oshkosh. The article is a good read, and I'd recommend it to anybody with an interest in Twin Ports history.

Andy CummingsMukwonago, Wis.