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Category: History

R.I.P. West Duluth Fire and Police Station / Twin Ports Amusement Building »

The building at 531 Central Avenue in West Duluth is being torn down today. It’s been known as the West Duluth Fire and Police Station, West Duluth Village Hall, Duluth Fire Department Engine House #8 and Duluth Police Department Station #3, Waelen Brothers Garage and the home of Twin Ports Vending and Amusements for many years, among other things.
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Goodbye Big Chester »

The city of Duluth has determined that the ski jumps at Chester Bowl will be coming down due to safety concerns. A public meeting will be held July 31.

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Remembering duluthtourism.com »

It’s probably not worth remembering this, but an image from it resides in PDD’s archives and the controversy surrounding it occurred ten years ago this month, so we’ll give it passing mention.

There once was a satirical website at duluthtourism.com that was far more sophomoric than funny, but famously raised the ire of Duluth’s then-mayor Herb Bergson, who asked the city attorney to look into the legal means to have the site shut down.
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Duluth Mystery Photo #17: Residence of Luther Mendenhall »

Did those asbestos shingles last a century? Is the Luther Mendenhall residence still standing? Where is it, or where was it?
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The End of Streetcars in Duluth »

Seventy-five years ago today — July 9, 1939 — streetcars ran in Duluth for the last time. Streetcar service had been gradually phased out by trolley buses for nearly 20 years before meeting its total demise. For more info check out Zenith City Online’s history of Duluth’s Streetcar Railways and the Duluth Transit Authority’s History of Public Transportation in the Twin Ports timeline.

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Yoerg’s Brewery »

On this date 165 years ago — July 6, 1849 — Bavarian immigrant Anthony Yoerg opened Minnesota’s first brewery in St. Paul.

Interesting side note on Yoerg’s Brewery: In 1871 the operation moved to a spot adjacent to the Lilydale caves. Yoerg used the natural caves to store his product, and added the phrase “cave-aged” to the label. There are a number of places online to read about Yoerg’s Brewery, but of particular interest is the Substreet underground history site, which profiles Yoerg’s lost cellars.
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Lost Iron Range »

For your Independence Day pleasure, one hour and four minutes of Iron Range history from the fine folks at WDSE-TV.

The persecution of Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century led many to flee to a safer place where they could build a future for their families. America was the land of opportunity and Minnesota’s Iron Range in particular was booming with the mining industry. The Range was also a place where a mosaic of ethnic groups was building communities without fear of prejudice. Subsequently the Iron Range saw a large influx of Jewish settlers.

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Duluth Scavenger Hunts »

Above is KBJR-TV video from ten years ago today of the Duluth Citywide Scavenger Hunt of 2004. Below is WDIO-TV video from the Scavaganza put on by Youth for Duluth last month.
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Postcards from Duluth’s Lester Park »

As usual, click on any thumbnail to see the full image, and use your arrow keys from there to click through and view as a slideshow.

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Inducing the gay and frolicsome lumberjack to stop in Duluth »

From the March 22, 1909, Duluth Evening Herald:

Auto ride for drunks
New police patrol will be in service next week
“Free ride with every jag” for every woodsman

Duluth’s new automobile police patrol wagon is due to arrive in the city next Friday. After a few trial trips on local hills, it probably will be put in active service the following Monday.

For several years past certain interests in Duluth have been trying to devise ways and means to induce the gay and frolicsome lumberjack to stop off here and spend his money.
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Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse: A few pre-fire photos of the adjoining bar »

The May 11 fire that destroyed the processing area of Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse in Knife River didn’t do much damage to the adjoining bar area, but nonetheless I thought I’d share some pre-fire snapshots I took of it in the fall of 2012, before it got “smoked” … so to speak. (The shot above is obviously of the fire, taken from the smokehouse’s Facebook page.)


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Mystery Photo #16: Holm’s Kaffe Stuga »

This photo is labeled “Holm’s Kaffe Stuga, Fond du Lac, Duluth, Minn.” From that we can assume the Fond du Lac neighborhood had a Swedish coffee cottage at some time in history. When? Where? And who is this Holm character?

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Duluth Public Library dedication riot »

Does anyone remember that in the early 1970s there was a dedication for the groundbreaking of the new Duluth Public Library, and suddenly a group of war protesters, marching down Michigan Street, were raided by the police.

I was about 4 years old and remember seeing the cops using their billy clubs to best long-hair teenagers.

Does anyone remember any details?

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The more things change … »

A 1972 cartoon featured in the book “Minnesota in the 70s.”

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“Such a delightful time” »

July 1909 — Seven billion gallons of water fall on the Duluth area in two days. Grass, trees, timbers, paving blocks, mud and debris are washed down the city’s hillside during the torrential rainfall. Two children drown after being swept out of their mother’s arms.

Within two weeks a postcard is made, and the mood on the back doesn’t quite seem to fit the mood on the front.
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Duluth Mystery Photo #15: Honor Brand »

This photo from 1910 depicts “Mrs. Goldsmith and associates ready to demonstrate Honor Brand pure food products at the Pure Food Show, Duluth.” That tells us quite a bit, but here’s the question(s): Where was the Pure Food Show held? What is the location of this photo? Is it an existing building or long-demolished one? Does anyone recognize that ceiling?
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Mystery Cable? »

While stopped at the stoplight at Superior Street and Second Avenue East this morning, I noticed a cable strung diagonally across the intersection. The cable is strung between Old City Hall and the Temple Opera building. It is a plain steel cable, not holding up any sort of utility cable. The cable looks fairly old, based upon the brackets fastened to the buildings. Anyone have any idea as to it’s purpose?  Lightning? Keeping one of the buildings from falling over? Old traffic signals?

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Happy 60th anniversary, Sammy’s Pizza »

It all began 60 years ago. Sam and Louise Perrella moved their small cafe from Keewatin to Hibbing. And with that move, expanded the menu with pizza. Sam had learned about the Italian item from the men who worked in the mines.

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Video Archive: Light Up the NorShor 2004 »

Here we are, ten years later, and the marquee at the NorShor hasn’t quite been lit up yet … but it seems like we’re getting close.

The “Light Up the NorShor” fashion show fundraiser was held on Feb. 28, 2004. There must be a video of the entire event somewhere; I seem to remember it aired on public access TV. The show was organized by Adeline Wright and Laura Scheu (who became Laura Ness two months later).

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Duluth Mystery Photo #14: Ice Monument »

The caption on this postcard reads: “Ice Formation on Fountain at Lakewood, Duluth, Minn.” There was a big fountain in Lakewood Township?
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