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History Posts

Hooks Dauss of the Duluth White Sox

George Dauss baseball card George Dauss baseball card backside

George August “Hooks” Dauss pitched in the Major Leagues for the Detroit Tigers for 15 seasons following his stint with the Duluth White Sox. There are numerous images of him on the Internet in a Tigers uniform, but Duluth images are seemingly nonexistent. The baseball card above is a bit of a deception, because the “D” on the cap is for “Detroit.” The card is a “Corona Centennial reprint,” although the word “reprint” implies there was an original card like this 100 years ago, which wouldn’t seem to be the case. Anyway, as shown below, the image on the card is of Dauss as a Tiger.

Mesaba, Missabe or Mesabi? What’s correct?

This is a perfect question for all you PDDers. Is Mesaba spelled Mesaba, Missabe or Mesabi? Was the street named after the area of Northern Minnesota? The two are spelled different. What was the building named after? It has a third spelling. I’ve lived here 25 years and am still trying to figure this out. Help!

Postcards from the Arrowhead Bridge

New Arrowhead Bridge 1927b

Arrowhead Bridge in the 1940s

The Arrowhead Bridge connected West Duluth to Superior’s Billing’s Park neighborhood across the St. Louis River for 57 years. Built by the Arrowhead Bridge Co., it opened on March 15, 1927. The company charged a toll to cross the bridge until 1963, when Minnesota and Wisconsin state officials paid $200,000 to make it a toll-free public bridge.

The Arrowhead Bridge was dismantled in 1985 after the opening of the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge.

Best Underwater Footage of Duluth’s Atlantean Ruins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2srpiWdd0kw

Underwater footage of Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum off the Duluth Lakewalk in relatively clear conditions. First I videoed the collapsed column in 9 feet of water, Then because visibility was so good, I swam around the base of the building structure too. That is 16 feet deep according to a depth chart I saw once.

Exploring Ruins of Column at Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=453VotIIJ94

Ruins of the column that collapsed this winter at “Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum” off the Duluth Lakewalk. Water is really murky as its proximity to the shipping lanes stirs up a lot of silt this time of year. I intend to keep trying to get clearer shots but this is all I could manage during this initial foray. Water depth: 9 feet. Basically what you’re seeing here is a base of concrete sprouting metal bars and telephone-pole-like wooden posts that in some cases are splintered or splayed. The tops of some posts were sheared off and smoothed by ice sheet movement and lie just below the surface. The concrete top of the column lies on its side at the bottom, along with eroded steel jacketing that sheathed the base.

I was very cautious during these dives as the danger of getting snagged or nicked in the gloom was fearful to contemplate. I heard nearby swimmers claim a member of their party had scraped himself on the posts while swimming. Not to be a bringdown but this area has to be considered a hazard to swimmers and boaters alike. It is also the most interesting thing to look at in Lake Superior right now.

Confederwhat?

flagDon’t hate on me; I was not shopping. However, as I was looking up some stuff out of curiosity, I found this Google search result to be interesting.

WDSE-TV Documentary: Lost 50s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwk9MX9-02c

This WDSE-TV documentary showcases the era when drive-ins were all the rage, when the Arrowhead region met a major mining challenge and the region played a strategic role in the Cold War. Local milestones included the passing of the last Civil War veteran Albert Woolson and the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Baseball at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Dave Birdsall - The Old Man Babe Ruth Yankee Contract

On display at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Duluth through Aug. 31 is a stunning array of baseball history. At left: A 1866 baseball card featuring “The Old Man,” Dave Birdsall — considered to be the very first baseball card. At right: Babe Ruth’s 1922 contract with the New York Yankees.

Mystery Photos #22 – #32: UMD

1 Overlook

The University of Minnesota Duluth’s Alumni Association sent out an email featuring eleven old photos. The organization is collecting UMD memories for the upcoming Bridge magazine and is requesting help identifying memories and people from these heritage photographs.

Looking down Fifth Avenue West in Duluth

Fifth Avenue West 2015

The image above is from two weeks ago; the image below is from about 100 years ago.

Fifth Avenue West - Duluth

Souvenir Folder from the 1920s

DSC05293

DSC05295

Select Images from the 1930 Denfeld Oracle

The Oracle 1930 Denfeld High SchoolWith graduation ceremonies taking place this week, we look back 85 years ago to see what the Denfeld class of 1930 looked like. That year the school’s Oracle strove to inspire students “with a steadfast purpose to build well upon the foundations of the past,” and was dedicated to “the spirit of industry and progress which has existed in the hearts and minds of the citizens of Western Duluth.” The inside folds of the book feature a “Decorative Map of Western Duluth, with which we begin this post.

The senior class held two successful paper sales, a Christmas card sale and a class play to fund the yearbook in 1930. The organizations that typically funded the Oracle instead gave money to the pipe organ fund; Denfeld’s pipe organ had been purchased in 1926 for $25,000.

Decorative Map of Western Duluth

Google updates satellite view, old things found in Duluth

Jay Cooke

In general I’m not too pleased with the new Google Maps, but the satellite view was very recently updated — with images from possibly just a few weeks ago — which is pleasing because there was no greenery, so you can more easily spot hidden gems that would normally be obscured from view in a more summer-like setting. Here are some of the things I’ve found and rediscovered:

Half an old railroad trestle in Jay Cooke State Park.
Ruins of old homes in Duluth.
An old abandoned road near Arrowhead Road.
A long abandoned logging railroad bed near the Duluth International Airport.

Note: on Internet Explorer, it activated some 3-D feature with the older satellite view and crude 3-D layout, not sure how to turn it off.

Duluth Milk Company

Duluth Milk Company

MPR News is running a series this week featuring photos by St. Paul native John Vachon, who worked for the Farm Service Administration and Office of War Information. From 1938 to 1943 he documented American life and how relief programs were helping those struggling through the Great Depression.

The image above is the only Duluth photo, but there are a few Iron Range and Beltrami County gems.

A look at Bunyan territory in 1939
Minneapolis’ milling history through John Vachon’s lens
Twin Cities streets at the end of the Depression
John Vachon captures Minnesota at work, 1939-1941
John Vachon captures Minnesota farm life at Depression’s end

Duluth in Stereoview

View in Duluth Harbor by P. B. Gaylord new

Ah, the stereograph — a nineteenth-century wonder in which almost identical photographs, side by side, can viewed with a stereoscope and appear three-dimensional. On a website they just appear silly and pointless, but in this case there’s some fairly fancy historical scenes to browse.