Historic U.S. 61: Pt Douglas Road, St. Paul (at Carver Ave)
Pt Douglas Road, St. Paul
(at Carver Ave)
Located In: City of St. Paul, Ramsey County.
Length: 0.08 miles
Also Marked As:
A tiny stretch of Point Douglas Road at Carver Avenue in St. Paul was once on the alignment of the original paved highway between St. Paul and Hastings, first marked as U.S. 61 in 1926.
Point Douglas Road in the city of St. Paul was paved as a city street at some point before 1923. The pavement was concrete, 24 feet wide.
The original road at Carver Avenue was replaced in 1940 when U.S. 61 was rebuilt between the junction with U.S. 12 (now I-94) and a point just south of Carver Avenue. A short section of the old concrete pavement was left behind as a service drive.
In about 1949 the service drive was extended north. Otherwise, the concrete pavement remained intact well into the 1980's. Reconstruction of U.S. 61/U.S. 10 in 1986 resulted in the removal of the original pavement as part of a revision of the Carver Avenue connection with the main highway. The service drive was also extended south at this time to connect to another surviving stretch of the original highway (see article here).
Although the old pavement is gone, the site of the old intersection with Carver Avenue has managed to maintain a historic feel.
Looking north on Point Douglas Road towards the intersection with Carver Avenue at the former site of a piece of the original concrete pavement. Note the U.S. 10 marker (a U.S. 61 marker is mysteriously absent). Also note the used car lot on the right, formerly Dunn's Service Station. Photo from August, 2009.
The remains of "Billy Dunn's Playground", a collection of old pieces collected by Grandpa Dunn, former proprietor of what was once the nearby service station (as seen in the previous photo). These were possibly a memorial to his grandson Billy, killed in a tragic accident by a fuel truck in 1963 (history from Cathy Wurzer's book, "Tales of the Road: Highway 61"). All that remains are (from left to right), an elephant, a snowman, and a wishing well. Photo from September, 2006.
A close up of the concrete elephant. The trunk has been broken off, originally misleading me into thinking this was a polar bear.