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DECk37 Posts

Help searching Duluth addresses for old businesses

I’m a bit of a armchair history buff, especially when it comes to Duluth and the surrounding area. I love absorbing historic information, but one thing has eluded me: finding out information about old businesses and such. I just want to be able to type in an address and see old directories, find out the history, but I’ve had zero luck.

I tried Ancestry.com, which is close, but you can only search the old city directories by a person’s name, which does not help at all if I don’t know who to look for. I know there must be something out there. I know people on PDD seemingly have this very ability as they’ve contributed information on past posts, like “(insert business)” was listed at such address in 1985,” etc. So how is it done? Is there any online resource that can feed my history needs? Your suggestions and assistance would be greatly appreciated by this curious minded fellow.

What is Toasty’s on Ninth Street?

Formerly Chet’s (corner store), formally 8th Street Video on 9th (Steve’s), formally 8th Street Video on 9th (mainstream), formally Mean Beans Espresso & Creams is now looking to be something called Toasty’s. Does anyone know what this new venture will reveal itself to be? Will it be a toast joint? It’s a thing I guess.

Winter Wasp Woes

I have wasp problems. At least, I think they’re wasps … could be hornets, I hope not. Anyway I know I have nests in the porch ceiling pretty bad, but it’s possible they are also in the walls too. How bad? I’m afraid to know, but the real problem started last year on New Year’s Day, a couple hours into 2013.

Best … er, any fried chicken in Duluth?

Where can you get a good fried-chicken dinner in Duluth and/or the surrounding area? I’m not referring to KFC, or any take-home places, but a sit-down restaurant that serves fried-chicken diner that’s fresh and hot and doesn’t get cold by taking it into the house from the car during our cold winters. I’ve been searching and I’ve come up with nothing, I even found a post here that’s from a month shy of a year ago:

Best Fried Chicken in Duluth

However, the closest thing listed, Sammy’s, only has wings now, (which are great), but is not a real fried (or broasted) chicken dinner, no matter how many you eat. Cassidy’s down in Hinckley had a decent one, but last time I was there they no longer serve it and vaguely said they might bring it back at times. It seemed more commonplace when I was a kid, but no one seems to have a good fried-chicken dinner anymore, at least around here, because I see them all the time on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Fresh batch of suggestions welcome!

Before Big Daddy’s Burgers …

I’ve been to Big Daddy’s Burgers in Piedmont a couple of times and liked it, I need to go again sometime. However, I have a memory of another diner, an even smaller one, just next door to Big Daddy’s, (to the left at the end of the building). When I was kid, likely in the mid-to-late 1980s, my Grandma took me there when we were visiting my Great Grandma at Viewcrest nursing home. I may have only been there once, maybe twice, but it made an impression, mostly due to it’s size, it was the very definition of a hole-in-the-wall diner. There was a lunch counter that ran most of the length of it, the cook made the food right behind it, I don’t think there were even any tables, just the counter since it was so small.

Does anyone remember this place, the name, and I know this is stretching it, but perhaps pictures? It’s just one of those childhood memories that has stuck with me, and I’d love a little history? Thanks in advance!

Casa Motel and Duluth Motel History

In a vein somewhat similar to the Ye Olde Corner Grocery post, I recently saw that the Casa Motel is for sale. That shoebox-looking motel has been a curiosity since I was a kid. It had a certain “stigma” about it, but I’ve always wondered, why there? What made someone build a motel there, in 1965?

Now there are some former hotels and motels in Duluth that would be considered odd today, but these curiosities were built during a much older era, where it really wasn’t all that weird. However, since then they’ve either been converted for other use or torn down, yet the Casa remained. I mean just up the hill Buena Vista is no more, and that had one hell of a view, what did Casa offer? It appears that it could continue on as a motel, even if sold. I’ve noticed they removed the Coke add on top of their sign, too.

Speaking of those other curiosities, does anyone else know of any other still standing buildings around town that used to be a hotel/motel? I know a few myself, like the Cascade and just across the street the Arrowhead.

Curiosity: Mysteries Near Boy Scout Landing

I have a curiosity about the history of our town and the surrounding area, and PDD has been a great source for finding answers and discovering new things. I hope someone can solve these mini mysteries, (at least they’re a mystery to me).

Out by Boy Scout Landing, there is this wedge-shaped foundation, (Search Google Maps for: 46.654688, -92.224903). It looks as if it was some sort of industry long since gone.

Wikimapia

It’s kind of a weird name, it’s something that I discovered while doing “armchair” history research, and it’s become a hobby of sorts. Wikimapia is sort of like Wikipedia + Google maps, or as they put it; ”a multilingual open-content collaborative map, where anyone can create place tags and share their knowledge.”

So basically if you sign up, (which it’s free), you can draw polygons around locations like a building, park, or historical places and then add the information about it, add photos, tags and what have you. Once it’s saved, others can view it, comment on it, or even update it as well if they have something new to add. You can add lots of other information too, like roads or railroads.

I know that there are some people here who dig history and know a lot of facts about our area, so I just thought it’d be cool to share and hope that maybe they will share their knowledge on the site as well, or at the very least, simply just looking around it.

Wikimapia