Did you know that Minnesota has a wooden road? I didn't know wooden roads were a thing until I stumbled on this 'road' in Minnesota that is made from wood 'cobblestones'. Apparently many roads were made this way, but the Great Chicago fire amongst other disasters have made these types of roads nearly extinct.

The road in question is an alley that runs parallel to Summit Ave in St. Paul, and if you go to Google Maps, then Street View, you can kind of make out the wood poking out from some asphalt repair!

The wooden cobblestones were highlighted on Reddit a few years ago.


Cobblestone street paved with wooden “stones”
byu/archibaldwhitman inmildlyinteresting

The Summit Ave neighborhood was built around 1870, during which wood roads were commonplace, so it makes sense that if the original road was in good enough shape, they'd build over it, which it looks like the City of St. Paul has done.

In the picture below, you can see a thin layer of asphalt that's cracked and broken to reveal the cobblestone.

Image Credit: Google Maps
Image Credit: Google Maps

Using wood for roads was probably common back then as it was widely available, especially in the timber-rich state of Minnesota, and the other reason wood might have been used here specifically would be, that it's probably quieter around rich people and churches, compared to wheels going over stone.

The process of making a wooden 'cobblestone' road has a real name, it's called Nicolson Pavement.

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I'm glad we've gone to the roads we have now, as I wouldn't want to be dealing with slippery wood during the winter months.

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