The case for Superior, Wis.

Jen chats with the real estate agent outside the Hughitt Avenue home in Superior, Wisconsin.
Jen chats with the real estate agent outside the Hughitt Avenue home in Superior, Wisconsin.

Our hunt for a house in Duluth took us to Superior this week.

That’s Superior, Wisconsin.

A horsehoe over the back door means good luck. What does the outline of a horseshoe mean?
A horsehoe over the back door means good luck. What does the outline of a horseshoe mean?

I can hear the collective groan coming from Minnesota now. There it is coming up I-35 and slamming into the iconic lift bridge now: “Wisss-conn-skinnnn???”

Maybe I’ve read too much Anthony Bukoski, but I like Superior. It’s got a gritty charm, cheap beer and the Globe News. The hipster factor is low and most tourists can’t find it on the map.

Superior also has some really nice old houses at reasonable prices.

Jen and I toured a beauty on Hughitt Avenue this week. Built in 1913. Lots of natural woodwork. Small front porch. Big back porch. Antique light fixtures. Quirky rooms. Steeple views just like Nordeast Minneapolis. Sure, it needs a new kitchen, new wiring, and the toilet in the living room closet has to go. But hey, fixing up an old house looks like fun on TV.

A view out the front window.
A view out the front window.

Of course there’s the bridge. We can’t do anything about the mile-and-a-half long, 12-story high Blatnik Bridge over Duluth Harbor.

“You don’t want to be driving over that bridge everyday,” warned dad on the phone from North St. Paul. “The ice, the fog, that thing fogs up all the time. There’s more wrecks on that bridge than anywhere else….”

 

Plus the “High Bridge” doesn’t have a bike lane.

Professor Moore wants to bike to campus. Google Maps says the ride from Superior, Wisconsin to the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus is 24 miles. It includes a 15-mile detour through South Superior, several miles of Highway 23 traffic and a 450-foot climb up the central Duluth hillside.

An antique light fixture, old radiator and a back porch deck are featured in this bedroom.
An antique light fixture, old radiator and a back porch deck are featured in this bedroom.

Try doing that on a February morning with a lake wind in your face and laptop computer on your back.

As we walked around the place on Hughitt and gushed at the iron fireplace cover, working pocket doors and large rooftop porch, we could only say one thing to our realtor:

“Find this house in Duluth.”

Pocket doors!
Pocket doors!
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4 thoughts on “The case for Superior, Wis.

  1. Phew. I was a bit worried right up until that last line! I know it’s tempting, but once you factor in higher property taxes and a substantially diminished bikeability, I think the extra expense for Duluth’s city limits is worth it. The beer definitely is cheaper over there, though, so there is that….

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  2. You’ll find a gem eventually! Hope you are relishing Duluth 🙂 Just saw Larry and Magda today and they said you might be coming over this summer?!

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  3. The “outline of the horseshoe” means they took the luck with them… RUN! Get over to Duluth! You can always ride your bike TO superior for the cheap beer 😉

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