Duluth Pack Marks 135 Years in Business

Northland Uncovered: Duluth Pack

DULUTH, Minn. – The Northland is full of history and stories of how the area was developed.

One local company got its start helping the men who built the area.

Duluth Pack is the oldest canvas and leather pack and bag maker in the United States.

The company is now marking a milestone by celebrating 135 years in Duluth.

The first pack was created by Camille Poirer for timber cruisers after the shoe repairman had heard about a growing market in Northern Minnesota.

“He literally walked from the Twin Cities to Duluth with all of his tools and opened up a shop down on Superior Street,” explained Duluth Pack Owner Tom Sega.

The original style patented by Poirer is still used today.

“It’s one word and it’s very easy to put together and that’s called quality,” said Sega.

After 135 years, Duluth Pack still makes all items by hand.

“We could buy all kinds of fancy machinery and have machines making a lot of it, but really that’s not who we are,” said Sega.

Although the machines run with electricity now, they still use the same technology that was used when the company first began.

“We make them in 12 or 13 different colors of canvas, we make them in five different leather options, we make them in multiple wool options,” said Sega.

No matter the style, the goal is to have each owner feel a connection to their product.

“Maybe they’ve had it since high school, through college and now they’re in their fifties and they’re going to pass it down to their grandchild or something,” said repair specialist Tracie Salo.

The memories made throughout the years are even shared with their creators.

“We get packs in that have patches from all over the world on them” explained Salo, “they send us letters saying this bag is so important to me it’s such a part of my life and all my travels.”

The Duluth Pack retail store is located in Canal Park at 365 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802.

The factory is located at 1610 W. Superior Street.

If you’d like a tour of the factory call 800-777-4439, or head to duluthpack.com/tours.

For more information on Duluth Pack, or to purchase online head to duluthpack.com.

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