Hermantown is a prosperous residential suburb of Duluth. The US-53 (Miller Trunk Highway) corridor, which continues seamlessly from Duluth, is quite built-up with strip malls, motels, restaurants, light industrial businesses, trailer parks, and surrounding housing developments; the rest, especially the western part of town, retains a rural feel.
The eastern part of Hermantown has an appearance typical of a lower-density bedroom community, with large, leafy lots and occasional subdivisions. The car-oriented "Miller Hill area", or Miller Trunk Corridor of Duluth, has sprawled well past the city boundary line into this part of Hermantown. The western part of Hermantown is dominated by a more rural landscape, reminiscent of the past agricultural focus of the city. Hermantown's motto is "The City of Quality Living". It has about 9,700 residents in 2018.
The first inhabitants of the area were Native Americans. They lived in the area often called in early Duluth references "the land up over the hill."
In 1867, August Kohlts and his friend Lambert "Pat" Acker were the first settlers in the area now known as Hermantown. Both families had emigrated from Prussia to the area around Buffalo County, New York. The Kohlts and Ackers arrived in Duluth in 1870-71. By January 1872 August Kohlts had established an 82-acre site in the wilderness outside Duluth. In the years that followed, Kohlts and Acker alternated between working in Duluth and clearing land at their rural homesteads on what is now Five Corners Road in Hermantown. They traveled between Duluth and their homesteads on a Native American trail that later became Piedmont Avenue and the Hermantown Road.
The Jackson Project was completed in 1937. It is one of Hermantown's more interesting features, with a proliferation of "Jackson Homes" on certain roadways. These single-family dwellings were built during the Depression as subsistence homesteads. Many retain their original brick appearance, albeit with additions. Each of the 84 homesteads had a brick veneer farmhouse; half also had a garage-barn combination. Each had five or 10 acres (40,000 m²) of land, and the family also received a pig, a cow, and 35 chickens. The idea was that the family would be able to raise its own food and use the profits from selling any surplus to work off its debt to the government. The units were sold to homesteaders on very liberal terms: the average price for the home and property was $2,687.40 plus interest.
Hermantown's population got a boost from a new wave of homesteaders during the Great Depression when the federal government built nearly a hundred "subsistence homestead" projects designed to move people from the cities to new homes in rural or suburban locations.
The community of Adolph is within the southwest corner of Hermantown.
There are two major arterial routes running through Hermantown. The first is the above mentioned US-53, locally known as the "Miller Trunk", which connects International Falls and the Iron Range to Duluth and points beyond. The second is US-2, which briefly runs through the western part of town before entering Proctor and is much less developed.
The only practical way of getting around Hermantown is by private automobile. The DTA (Duluth Transportation Authority) bus system lines end at the airport, Wal-Mart, and run along Haines Road, which are only on the outer edges of Hermantown.
Hermantown is adjacent to Duluth, so you'll be spending most of your time there.
- Go bowling at Skyline Lanes, 4894 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ .
- Popular pastimes among the youth include hanging out at the Walmart Supercenter (Miller Trunk Hwy & Mall Dr) and loitering in its parking lot, and gathering at the nearby McDonalds (slightly off Miller Trunk Hwy & Arrowhead) and watching movies at the Lakes 10 Theater (Miller Trunk Hwy & Stebner Rd.).
- Swim, fish, or golf at Pike Lake (Midway Rd & Martin Rd).
Hermantown is home to about half of Duluth's "Mall Area", so expect to find the usual selection of national and regional chain stores. Ones within Hermantown city boundaries include Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Gander Mountain, Menard's, and HOM Furniture. Farther along US-53, the selection becomes more local.
- Gordy's Gift & Garden, 4899 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ .
- Wood Magic, 5105 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ . A variety of crafts, collectibles, and decorating items.
- Adolph General Store, 3710 Midway Rd, ☏ . Looks like a simple gas station from the outside, with obnoxious canned advertisements and country music playing over the PA system near the pumps, but don't be deceived: Adolph Store has a great selection of fresh meats, whether in stick, patty, or slab form. Vegetable stand outside in the summer months.
- China Star Family Restaurant, 4224 Haines Rd, ☏ .
- Do North Pizzeria, 5094 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ . In the "Downtown Hermantown" strip mall development.
- Larry's Coneys and Cafe, 4899 Miller Trunk Hwy, ☏ . # 100,
- Maya Family Mexican Restaurant, 4702 Miller Trunk Hwy, ☏ .
- Starvin Marvin, 5691 Hwy 2, ☏ .
- Zen House, 4147 Haines Rd, ☏ . Contained in the ICO gas station on the corner of Haines Rd and Maple Grove Rd, this local Japanese restaurant's first location (2006) serves up surprisingly good food and ambiance. Try their udon noodle soup. Entrees $6 - $15, (big) sushi rolls $4-15.
- Beacon Sports Bar, 5044 Hermantown Rd, ☏ .
- Chalet Lounge, 4833 Miller Trunk Hwy, ☏ .
- Foster's Sports Bar & Grill, 4767 W Arrowhead Rd, ☏ . Karaoke Friday & Saturday nights.
- McKenzies Bar & Grill, 5094 Miller Trunk Hwy. Suite 700. In the "downtown Hermantown" strip mall development.
- Runway Bar & Grill, 4766 W Arrowhead Rd, ☏ .
- Airliner Motel, 5002 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ .
- Country Inn & Suites, 4257 Haines Rd, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Econo Lodge Airport, 4197 Haines Rd, ☏ .
- Edgetown Motel, 5150 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ .
- Ogston's RV Park, 5020 Ogston Dr, ☏ .
- Park RV Camping, 5109 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ .
- Skyline Court Motel, 4880 Miller Trunk Highway, ☏ .
|Routes through Hermantown|
|Bemidji ← Grand Rapids ← Jct W ←||W E||→ Duluth → Ashland|
|International Falls ← Virginia ←||N S||→ Duluth → Eau Claire|