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The Rise of the Selby Avenue Streetcar Line | Forgotten Minnesota
As the population of St. Paul grew, people began moving out of the city’s core and into quieter, cleaner residential areas west of downtown. One of the most popular areas to live in the late 1800s was the St. Anthony Hill (now known as Cathedral Hill) area. People still needed to get from their homes on top of the hill, to the offices, factories, and shops downtown, as well as into the transportation hub – Union Depot. To facilitate this, the Selby Avenue streetcar line was built in 1888 and was quickly extended to the Merriam Park neighborhood in 1890. By 1906 even more westward expansion was needed, so the Selby line merged with the Lake Street line in Minneapolis–which had just been completed the year before. In order to bring the two lines together, a track was laid across the wrought-iron Lake Street bridge. At that time the bridge, originally built in 1889, was the second oldest bridge in use that crossed the Mississippi River. With the newly christened Selby-Lake line up and running, the streetcars made runs between Minneapolis and St. Paul at all times of the day. Most of the ride was steady and uneventful; people often...