County History



St. Louis County was established by legislative act on March 1, 1856. It is named for the St. Louis River, which flows through the County's southeast corner into Lake Superior.

The courthouse in the county seat of Duluth was built in 1909, and followed the next year with the building of a courthouse in Virginia.

Today, St. Louis County continues to contribute to the state and national economy in a variety of ways. For instance, we are home to the majority of Minnesota's iron mines, which produce 85% of the country's domestic iron. The Port of Duluth-Superior is the #1 tonnage port on the Great Lakes, handling a variety of cargo including coal, iron ore, grain, limestone, wood pulp and wind turbine components. It's been said that the United States couldn't have won World War II without the iron ore mined on the Iron Range, and the shipbuilding that took place in the shipyards in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.

The mission of the St. Louis County is to promote health and safety, ensure sound infrastructure, embrace our natural resources, and support an environment where communities prosper.