History Posts

R.I.P. Irving Recreation Center

Irving Recreation Center 2014

Demolition of the Irving Recreation Center has been taking place this week. Above is a photo of the rubble. Below is a shot from February 2013.

Irving-Rec-Center-February-2013

Found Anthropological Artifacts from a Summer Beach Culture of Leisure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-4izE9azZw

What strange, rock-skipping culture of leisure inhabits these Duluthian shorelines in the Lake Superior summers? This is a brief survey of structures and artifacts discovered in my anthropological investigations of 2013-2014.

Diving the Breakwater Wall Ruins, 9/6/14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gF8CNHx3Eo

Duluth’s outer harbor, between the Vietnam Memorial and the red buoy, hides the submerged ruins of a hundred-plus-year-old wall (essentially stacked wooden cribbing filled with rocks) that predates the lift bridge and the canal. This is what they used to park ships behind for safe harbor — before its destruction in a gale. Been waiting to return here since last summer, finally got my window. Tried early in the day but the water was too cold. So I spent the day on Park Point beach, then hit it on my way back — water had warmed several degrees. Sun was going down so I had to act quickly. Similar imagery may be seen in my video of last year, “Freediving the Ruins of Duluth’s Outer Harbor.”

This current video represents going farther from shore (maybe halfway to the buoy?), and deeper than before (up to 15 feet or so as opposed to ~10). Next year maybe I will dive the buoy chain to the bottom (30 feet). It would have been nice to do this series of dives when I was fresher earlier in the day with more direct overhead sunlight (the water was clearer too), but it was simply too cold. By the time I got to it, I had walked several miles, was hungry, and had been given a beer and a couple slugs of wine (don’t ask). So I wasn’t as hardcore as I wanted to be — had to swim out far, then deep too, without benefit of a raft or anything, so I was pooped and not willing to risk any further depth. Next time!

Duluth school principals defend short skirts

For your back-to-school reading pleasure, from the Oct. 2, 1921 Duluth News Tribune:

1921-Duluth-school-principals-defend-short-skirts

 

Gems of Itasca: The Bovey Edition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxKkAWmTraE#t=142

Bovey is an historical jewel on the Iron Range, known for its rich mining history in the early 1900s. It’s also the home of the world-famous 1918 photograph Grace.

Mystery Solved.

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It was Chester Creek Spider-Man.

(photo album here of this hero in his natural habitat)

Duluth Mystery Photo #19: Denfeld football players from 1951

Help name these Denfeld Hunters. The image above is one of three dated Nov. 29, 1951, that are presently up for bid on eBay. The description reads: “These three photos were of the football players from Denfeld High School in Duluth, Minnesota. The sign in the background says Public Schools Stadium. The photos are from 1951. Two of the boys are identified: Eli Miletich and Richard Wilson. Eli Miletich gained some local celebrity later in life on the Duluth Police force.”

So, who can name the other two gridiron greats from West Duluth?

A Century of the Pickwick

Duluth’s oldest and longest operating restaurant is celebrating its centennial this week. Although it didn’t bear the Pickwick name in 1914, the establishment that would later become the Pickwick Restaurant and Pub opened 100 years ago. The centennial celebration continues through Saturday. See the PDD Calendar for details.

Duluth Album Releases in 2004

In the never-ending quest to further geek out on local music, here’s a work-in-progress list of albums released ten years ago by Duluth artists. Obviously some are missing, and all the album art isn’t available here. Fill in the gaps by commenting on this post or sending info to paul @ perfectduluthday.com.
 
 
Greg Cougar Conley
For You
HDC Records

Jerree Small
Mobius
Available on CD Baby

Trampled by Turtles
Songs from a Ghost Town
Available on Amazon

Death of Hugh A. Wetmore

The post “Buffalo Bill Cody, his little sister Helen, and their connection to Duluth” notes that Hugh Wetmore died in 1900. He did not. He died April 6, 1909 in Chicago.

What date, and in what state, if you know, did Alexander Calhoun Jester die? I have seen online at least three different dates and three different states.

Duluth Mystery Photo #18: BlueBird Landing on Lake Superior’s North Shore

This photo from the mid-1940s raises a few questions, and the Internet provides fast answers to many of them.

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

West Duluth Fire and Police Station demolition

The building at 531 Central Avenue in West Duluth was torn down on July 28, 2014. In its early years it served as the West Duluth Fire and Police Station, West Duluth Village Hall, Duluth Fire Department Engine House #8 and Duluth Police Department Station #3, among other things.

For it’s final three decades, the building was known as the home of Twin Ports Amusement, operated by the Kervina family until operations ceased a few year ago. (The business was also known as Twin Ports Vending & Amusement and Twin Ports Arrowhead Amusement). The most recent occupant of the building was Jody’s Auto Werkz, which was in the back of the building.

Prior to the Twin Ports Amusement era, the building served as Puglisi Toyota, an auto sales and service business run by Jack Puglisi in the early 1970s. Prior to that it was Crown Motors, operated by Leonard Caskey.

For more, read the history of West Duluth Village Hall on Zenith City online.

West Duluth Fire and Police Station demolition 2

for sale

Fire and Police Station

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.

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.

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?