Where is the banana tree?

I am wondering what happened to the banana plant that was collected by Chester Congdon and used to be at Lester Park Greenhouse. It’s not at the UMD greenhouse or at Glensheen. It might be in a senior apartment with a greenhouse but I don’t know which one. I saw the plant when the greenhouse was still open in early 2000. I wrote briefly about it in the current Look at Lakeside newsletter.

Bananas Grown in Lakeside?

Employees at the Lester Park Florist would enjoy a banana split made with bananas grown from a banana plant in the greenhouse. The plant had been a gift from Elizabeth Congdon to the shop in the 1950s and was brought from South America by Chester Congdon in the 1920s.

The beginnings of that greenhouse at 6030 E. Superior St. date back to 1897. The final owners were the LaFaves who owned it for 25 years. The business closed ten years ago in the Spring of 2004.

1 Comment

Tony D.

about 4 months ago

Wendy, while I don't know the whereabouts of the banana tree, I do know that Chester Congdon didn't bring it to Duluth in the 1920s. If he did it would have made headlines, as he died in 1916. We at Zenith City are at work on a project with Glensheen, and when we get to researching the greenhouse, I will let you know as much as we discover about that banana plant.

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