Warehouse buildings destroyed by fire as part of “Superior’s 1890s boom era”

Senior Mayor Jim Paine told us that discussions will continue on how to redevelop this space.

SUPERIOR, Wisconsin – The two buildings that burned to the ground were staples of Superior’s waterfront, providing storage and resale space since the late 1800s.

According to members of the Douglas County Historical Society, the East Building was constructed in 1893 as the Osborn Mercantile, a wholesale grocery start-up.

A few companies have made it their home, but the Lake Superior Bay company was the first major occupant.

The second building where the fire spread housed Twohy-Eimon Mercantile, also a wholesale food company.

Officials from the Historical Society say the two buildings were major features of Superior’s industrial past.

“These are 2 buildings from the boom era of the 1890s in Superior,” said Jon Winter, business director of the Douglas County Historical Society.

“We are now seeing less and less of those still in existence from that period,” he said, “so it’s really a great loss.”

Meanwhile, longtime residents of Northland have also felt the loss of waterfront properties.

City councilor and owner of the Spirit Room on Hammond, Lindsey Graskey said it would be sad to see the space empty – but she is optimistic about the future.

“I walked out of my house and saw the plume of smoke,” Graskey said.

“I think at this point we need to make sure that we document and need to make sure that these things are still alive and kept in an area that we can reference long term,” she said, “that may be sad for one but i think we can really do something great about it and really learn to fall in love with it again.

Senior Mayor Jim Paine told us that discussions will continue on how to redevelop this space.


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