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History Posts

The Zamboni Explosion and Peterson Arena Fire of 2004

peterson arenaIt’s been 10 years since Peterson Arena was gutted by fire on Dec. 19, 2004. The image of the wreckage at left is a Bob King photo for the Duluth News Tribune, boosted from USA Today‘s story about the unfortunate and scary, yet still undeniably comical, Zamboni explosion. The fire marked the end of Peterson Arena, which served as the only indoor ice rink in western Duluth from 1971 to 2004. It was replaced by the Duluth Heritage Sports Center at Clyde Park, which opened in 2008.

35,000 miles of scenic highway routes

Slate ran this article today from “The Vault,” its associated history blog. It details the history of Pacific Greyhound Lines, the company that eventually became Greyhound. This map is from 1935:

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I was struck by the amount of routes covering Minnesota — all the way up to Thunder Bay makes sense, but no other state other than Ohio seems to have the saturation that Minnesota does. What gives?

It turns out that the intercity bus idea has its home in Hibbing. Gary Belsky outlines the history of Greyhound here, from its origins in Hibbing (as the “Snoose Line” — yes, that snoose) to its expansion across the country. Greyhound’s headquarters were in Duluth until 1930, when it relocated to Chicago.

File under stuff you probably knew, but I didn’t.

Select Images from the 1934 Denfeld Oracle

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Back in the day, Denfeld art students competed in the Proctor and Gamble contest, the Scholastic Award or the House Beautiful Cover Design contest. Miss Genevieve Bancroft was the art instructor, with the assistance of Miss Nellie Smith.

57th Avenue Roadway / Flood Reconstruction Video

http://vimeo.com/112013398

The flood of 2012 left its mark on Keene Creek, Highland Avenue and 57th Avenue West in West Duluth. This relatively boring video was shot a few days before the roads were closed and one day after completion of the summer-long, 11-million-dollar reconstruction project. Let’s take a rip from Grand Avenue to Skyline for some before/after video.

Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Seven

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Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Six

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Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Five

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Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Four

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Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Three

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1984-85 UMD Bulldog Basketball Card Set

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The 2014-’15 UMD Bulldog basketball team plays its first home game tonight against UW-Superior. In recognition of that, we roll out this nostalgia from 30 years ago.

Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Two

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Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part One

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Duluth Rocks: Famous boulders and outcroppings across the city

Elephant Rock

Perhaps Duluth’s most famous rock is Elephant Rock in Lincoln Park. It looks a bit like a giant, half-buried elephant, hence the name.

The Duke of Duluth, Redux

"Finds Duke to be Insane," Duluth Weekly Heard, 15 January 1908

“Finds ‘Duke’ to be Insane,” Duluth Weekly Herald, 15 January 1908

In the interest of furthering the ongoing fascination with the “Duke of Duluth” on PDD [1][2] and in the broader Duluth community, I submit this 15 January 1908 clipping from the Duluth Weekly Herald. Given the description of the unfortunate Arthur J. Baird–”claimed to have acquired his nickname by reason of his hirsute adornment, his education and general demeanor“–it seems possible that he might in fact be the same man in the photograph Nemadji posted in 2010.

It would appear that some members of the local community, inspired by Nat M. Wills’ 1905 musical “The Duke of Duluth,” bestowed the mocking title on Baird, but that’s the limit of what I’ve (accidentally) found.  Stay tuned for more fascinating updates if/when they appear.

Mystery Photo #21: What was Cook’s Place?

Cook's Place Duluth Cook's Place - Good for 10 cents in trade

For sale on a couple websites are tokens for Cook’s Place, 527 W. Michigan St., Duluth. What was Cook’s Place? The address puts it on the western end of where the Duluth Public Library stands today.

A listing on tokencatalog.com offers what appears to be a list of various names the business may have gone by over the years: “Moses S. Cook Saloon 1898-1912; Mayer J. Cook Saloon 1912-1916, Beverages & Restaurant 1920; Homer L. Cook Restaurant 1937-1942; J. Earl Cook Confectionery 1947-1958.”

That seems to raise some questions, though, like: How did so many different Cooks carry out 60 or more years of business in one spot? When was it called Cook’s Place? Is Mayer a first name? There was no “mayor” of Duluth named J. Cook, although Jay Cooke played a big part in Duluth’s history in the late 1800s.

What’s the deal with Cook’s Place?