In the summer of 1994, a group of West Duluth kids met with a group of senior citizens from the neighborhood and wrote down their stories for a booklet. Here is the entirety of When West Duluth Was Young: An Intergenerational Writing Workshop, with thanks to Aunt Becky for passing it along.
John Edward Roemer wanted to build a system of moving sidewalks up Duluth’s steepest hills. The power to run the system would come from storage batteries buried in chambers beneath Superior Street. Tunnels would be dug beneath cross streets so the sidewalks could pass under the streets. At the top of the hill where the moving sidewalk system terminated, Roemer proposed building a pavilion and an aerial rail line extending to Fond du Lac, with stops in the West End, West Duluth, New Duluth and Ironton.
Zenith Furnace Company was organized in 1902 and located on St. Louis Bay at 59th Avenue West. The company manufactured pig iron and byproducts of coal gas, ammonia and coal tar. In 1931 the company was acquired by Interlake Iron Corporation and was a source of steel during World War II for use in government defense equipment. It closed in 1962.
Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant grew up in Superior and played football, basketball and baseball at Superior Central High School. This photo recently showed up Reddit, posted by user “drunkinwisconsin.”
“A bartender’s dad in my hometown of Superior, WI went to school with Bud Grant,” the post reads. “Here is his senior basketball picture, #13.”
Some time around the year 1980, my parents acquired two giant four-drawer cabinets. Several decades went by before it was time to clean out the house and get rid of them. When one of them sold last month I pulled out a drawer and for the first time noticed the cabinets appear to have been built in Duluth. “United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, organized 1881, registered June 30, 1903,” reads the text on the ink stamp. “Union Made” in the “District of Duluth.”
I’m curious if anyone has seen anything like this or has any back story on who might have built them and when.
This mystery photo was sent by Ryan Sanders, a distant relative of the man at left in the photo above, Frank Lundgren. (Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is no relation.) Standing next to Frank Lundgren is his brother-in-law Joe Marceau. The photo was shot somewhere in Duluth around 1918. The mystery we are looking to solve is where specifically the photo was shot.
Impressionist painter Knute Heldner lived in Duluth for a good part of his career. The book Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, 1900-1945 dates his etching of Duluth’s Waterfront as “circa 1925.”
He was born in Sweden; differing accounts online put his birth year as 1875, 1877 and 1886. According to Hiro Fine Art he emigrated to Duluth in 1902 and “began working as a cobbler, miner, and lumberjack.” (Askart.com indicates he was a “lumber camp cook” and also notes he arrived in the United States “first in Boston” and later moved “to the Great Lakes region.”)
One of the more recognizable hunks of mineral matter in the Duluth area is Sunshine Rock. It’s located in Hermantown on Stebner Road between Morris Thomas and Hermantown roads.
There are two things about this rock I’m curious to know:
1) How long has “Sunshine 1ML” been painted on it? I’m certain that particular graffiti goes back at least 25 years.
2) What does “Sunshine 1ML” refer to? The rock happens to be sitting one mile outside of Duluth city limits, so maybe that has something to do with it, but it sits on the south side of Stebner facing northbound traffic, so it’s only noticed by cars heading out of Duluth. Is the insinuation that the sun only shines one mile outside Duluth?
Duluth’s Cascade Park still exists, but it’s nothing compared to what it used to be. In the late 1800s a sandstone pavilion and bell tower overlooked the city, with Clark House Creek running through it and down toward a pond and lush gardens. The bell tower was destroyed during a storm, and Mesaba Avenue eventually ate up part of the park, pushing the creek completely underground. These old postcards offer a look at what was once Duluth’s most extravagant park.