Viking Ship Sails the Streets of Duluth

Posted at: 07/11/2013 5:46 PM | Updated at: 07/11/2013 6:40 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Duluth's viking ship sailed the streets through downtown on Thursday. The temporary move will allow for repairs before a new display structure can be built.

It took a crane and semi-truck to make it happen, but the replica viking ship was much more visible rolling through town than where it was tucked away in Leif Erikson Park.

“Well the spot that it was in was out of sight, out of mind. Open to vandals and the elements,” Restoration Project Co-chair Neill Atkins said.

Atkins said the ship was moved to a private location for repairs before becoming center stage at a new display in the park.

“The spot that we're going to have is going to be right off Superior Street by 10th Avenue East and London Road. It will be visible from all sides. You'll be able to see it from the park and you'll be able to see it where ever you're driving. It'll be glassed in so that it'll be viewable,” Atkins said.

Atkins said the City of Duluth must purchase some land before they can build the display. He hoped that will take less than a year to accomplish, and it will finally allow the piece of history to be showcased.

“You can't replace something that sailed 10,000 miles, crossed the Atlantic when nobody had ever done it since Leif Erikson,” Atkins said.

A four-man crew started that trek from Norway and made it to Duluth in 1927. Atkins said that voyage was made to honor Leif Erikson landing in North America in 997 A.D. The ship has been in the park since then, and restored twice according to Atkins.

The move on Thursday was made possible by Viant Crane and Jeff Foster Trucking donating their services. Atkins said the move would have cost $30,000.

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