Paul Lundgren Posts

Mystery Photo #44: A Handsome Home


Next to nothing is known about this photo, other than the claim it was shot in Duluth. Does this handsome home still exist? Does anyone recognize it? Who are these people and what are they doing?

Open Tues. Thru Sun. Closed Tue.


Similar to the Green Door Lounge, ay?

Sixteen Years on the Superior Hiking Trail: Cascade River to Temperance River

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayThe second leg of my Superior Hiking Trail journey began Sept. 14, 2001, at Cascade River State Park. Two friends dropped me off that Friday night at a campsite in the dark, then immediately turned around and drove back to Duluth. My first job was to get out a flashlight and put up my tent.

The big clumsy contraption I slept in the previous year had now been replaced with a fancy Marmot model I could scrunch into a tight bundle, which would make hiking a bit easier. This tent has gone on to serve me well for 15 years and counting, but I wasn’t impressed the first time I set it up. Yes, I broke a tent pole before I ever slept in the thing. Perhaps setting it up for the first time in the dark led me to force things too much. Whatever the case, a single broken pole is not a big deal and did little to hamper my experience.

The next morning I was up early and on my way. Maybe an hour into the hike, a bit of morning mucus had built up and I did what anyone alone in the woods in such a situation would do: I pushed one finger against the side of my nose, turned my head and blew snot out the other nostril. It was at that moment I noticed a female hiker was right behind me, and this would be how we would get to know each other.

“Oh, good morning,” is probably what I said. She replied with a hello, or something like that, and kept on hiking at a rapid pace. I think I saw her again when she stopped for a snack and I passed her. Then she passed me again later. I don’t remember how many times this happened.

218-955-3416 | Breckenridge MN

The PDD Headquarters has been flooded with calls from this number. I’ve answered twice and no one responded.

In a meeting yesterday my cell phone rang with the same number. “Breckenridge again,” I said.

“I just got that call five minutes ago on my cell,” was the response from across the table.

Mystery Photo #42: SS Columbia of Duluth


This postcard image bears the ink stamp of the Russell Photo Co. of Fond du Lac, Minn. on the back, along with a handwritten note: “The ‘Columbia’ of Duluth, Minn.” There have been numerous S.S. Columbia’s throughout the world, but this one seems likely to be the same as the one profiled on Zenith City Online, which was launched in 1885 as the Mascotte. There are numerous physical differences between the ship in the image shown there and the one shown here, but the article notes “in 1912 Duluth’s Clow & Nicholsen purchased the vessel, lengthened it by over thirty feet, and renamed it Columbia.” If they are the same SS Columbia, why do both images (presumably before and after the redesign of the ship) bear the name Columbia and neither Mascotte?

Mystery Photo #41: Family Portrait from the Zweifel Studio


Quick internet searches indicte either John or Joshua R. Zweifel was a Duluth-based photographer from the very late 1800s to the mid 1900s, with a few different offices on West Superior Street and in the Phoenix Building. Who are the round-faced darlings in the photo? Well, that’s the Hail Mary pass being thrown here for the hell of it, just to see if anyone can figure it out.

Where in Duluth? #152


Time for another installment of Perfect Duluth Day’s ultra-thrilling photo-trivia sensation. Where in Duluth was this shot taken?

Sixteen Years on the Superior Hiking Trail: Swamp River to Cascade River

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayDigital cameras existed in the year 2000, but it wasn’t until about 2003 that using one became mainstream. I started my quest to complete the Superior Hiking Trail with a cheap 35mm pocket camera and a roll of black and white film … perfect for capturing lush fall colors. A grand total of four photos were taken during this five-day hiking trip.

By contrast, I have 35 photos and three videos from a five-minute window when I finished my hike in 2015. So the world has changed a bit. I worked for a newspaper then, I work for a website now. The World Trade Center buildings stood then, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum stands now. Time marches on at a faster pace than my hiking boots, apparently. My first trip covered nearly 60 miles of trail, however, and that’s not too shabby. Unfortunately, things slowed down after that.

On the sunny afternoon of Sept. 23, 2000, my friend Jeff and I drove the winding way of Highway 61 to Grand Portage. It’s not a place that is necessary or practical to go when seeking the start of the Superior Hiking Trail, but it’s a fun location to stop and look out over Lake Superior while there’s time to kill on the day before the adventure begins.

When Spirit Mountain had a pool


At some point in the early 1980s, Spirit Mountain did away with its swimming pool. It was probably a maintenance nightmare, and the notion of a pool on a hill overlooking the tributary to the world’s largest freshwater “pool” might be considered a little absurd in retrospect.

Trust me, though. It was fun while it lasted.

Iff you vill come to Duluth ve vill lock up all de cops


Similar to the “Vilkome to our city of Duluth” version, this is another “Dutch Kid” pennant postcard, popular from about 1900 to 1920. The same cards were produced for various cities across the country.

Jeff Morris – “The BPMs”

the-bpmsSteppenwolf meets Spinal Tap in this video for the greatest song since “Fighting for Duluth.”

According to bpmmc.com, the Minnesota Chapter of B.P.M. formed in the early 1960s and presently has chapters in Duluth, the Iron Range, St. Cloud, Anoka and New Prague. Although, as noted at the end of the video, this song does not “reflect any of the sentiments, attitudes or views of any of the members of the BPMs.”

Keep Cool with Coolidge in Duluth


Boulevard Around Duluth, Minn.


It’s difficult to read the names on this postcard dated July 13, 1907, so the transcript will represent them with blanks.

____ and I are having a glorious time. Took a beautiful drive this a.m. and saw this very spot. Be good till we get home.

Sixteen Years on the Superior Hiking Trail: Preparations

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayAt some point in the 1990s, I started hearing about the Superior Hiking Trail, a new footpath designed for hikers to see the sexiest peaks and rivers in the wilderness along the North Shore of Lake Superior. It didn’t come up very often in conversation until the year 2000, which is when it began to annoy me that I had never hiked a speck of it — other than maybe wandering away from the waterfalls at Gooseberry and noticing markings that told me I was on the not-yet famous trail I’d been hearing about.

It was April 2000 when an upstart Duluth newspaper called the Ripsaw began publishing weekly and I stepped up to be its managing editor. The paper had a weekly “Adventure” article and I suddenly found myself around people who had taken on parts of the SHT and heard stories about a handful of souls who had through-hiked the whole thing, which at the time meant trekking from Two Harbors to the Canadian border.

There was a rumor going around that Dusty Olson ran the whole trail in two days, which I found almost but not quite believable. The notion that such a feat could be close to true at least led me to think I could do it in fewer than two weeks. Then I heard the first documented person to conquer the trail had a fused spine and partially paralyzed legs, and hiked with forearm crutches. That made it hard for me to make any excuse that I wasn’t physically up to the task.

Job opening: Save the PDD Calendar editor from going batty

pddAre you ready to make slightly above minimum wage with no benefits while working in your pajamas at home? Then Perfect Duluth Day needs you. Running the PDD Calendar is sucking the life out of the editor and his previous assistant has too much collegiate stuff to deal with at the moment. So here’s a rare opportunity to get inside the PDD media empire. Read the full job description on the PDD employment page.