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Our Founder Came to Duluth 144 Year Ago Today

Our Founder, Camille Poirer, in Duluth, MN

Our Founder, Camille Poirer, in Duluth, MN. Photo via Duluth Public Library.

Camille Poirer created the first Duluth Pack in 1882. Twelve years before that, he set off to Duluth, MN (our flagship location) from St Paul, MN to start a new life. The trip took him four days “of very cold and suffering,” he wrote, starting Feb. 10th, 1870 and ending on Feb. 13th, 1870. 144 years ago today, he would have been on the 3rd day of his trek.

Via Google Maps

Via Google Maps

Poirer walked from St Paul to Hinckley, MN (a 76.6 mile, 25 hour walk) even though in 1856, he injured his leg in a wood-chopping accident, and it never fully recovered. From Hinckley onward, he rode up to Duluth via stagecoach.

Once he made it to Duluth, Poirer started a shoe shop on Lake Avenue and Superior Street.

In 1882, he was inspired by the voyageurs of the northland, and created a new style of “packsack” which would later be called the Duluth Pack.

Poirer died on October 17, 1919 in Duluth.

Read more about this event, and Camille Poirer here.