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History Posts

Aerial Bridge from end of Ship Canal

Aerial Bridge 1909 postcard

The message on the back of this postcard, mailed April 3, 1909, might require an interpreter — as often seems to be the case.

Video Archive: Mayor Bergson says he won’t seek re-election

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsJ16ji3d0g

This clip from KDLH-TV 3 is from 10 years ago — June 14, 2006 — the day Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson announced he would not seek re-election the following year in order to focus on solving the city’s unfunded retiree health-care liability without politics interfering. At the time, the city’s health-care debt was projected to reach $300 million by 2014.

In early 2007, Bergson hinted he might run again after all, then announced two months later that he wouldn’t, only to reverse course three months after that and file to run.

His opponents in the race were Charlie Bell, Meg Bye, Joanne Fay, Greg Gilbert, Todd Gremmels, Sunny Helbacka, Reiner Nelson, Don Ness, Jim Pratt, John Socha and Robert Wagner. Bell and Ness advanced to the General Election, with Ness ultimately replacing Bergson as mayor.

J.M. Gidding & Co. | Gidding’s Millinery Duluth

Knox Five and Dime Fire 10 June 1910After posting about Duluth, the City of Electric Lights, I of course wondered what the deal was with the Gidding’s building. A quick search of the internet produced the photo at left, which depicts the Knox Five and Dime fire of June 10, 1910, and shows the Gidding’s building at left.

A more thorough search pulled up a number of other tidbits:

J.M. Gidding & Co. opened in March of 1904, according to Millinery Trade Review. The magazine noted before the store was set to open that it would be “devoted to the sale of dry goods, millinery and women’s wearing apparel, which, in elegance of equipment and decoration, will surpass anything in that section of the country.” Clothier and Furnisher magazine also reported March 1904 as opening month for Gidding’s, noting the store would have “departments for clothing, furnishing goods, hats and shoes.”

Duluth, the City of Electric Lights

Duluth the City of Electric Lights

Circa 1907.

The Old Riverside Store & Auditorium

1 Industrial Avenue2

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThe large, weathered building on the corner of Industrial Avenue and Spring Street in Duluth’s Riverside neighborhood is a bit of a curiosity. Does someone live there? Is it basically a storage building? What was it constructed for?

The “One River, Many Stories” community journalism project in April seemed like a good excuse to track down some answers. The owner of the building, Douglas J. McEneany, did not respond to requests for an interview, but searches at the Duluth Public Library for historical data were fruitful.

Mystery Photo #34: UMD Majorette June Feick

June Feick UMD Majorette

This mystery photo comes from the folks at UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library. The majorette featured front and center is June Feick, leading her fellow majorettes and the UMD Marching Band during the 1952 Homecoming Parade on Superior Street in Duluth.

The mystery? “June doesn’t appear to have enrolled at UMD for the 1953-54 (school year),” reads the caption on the Kathryn A. Martin Library Facebook page. “We are curious about what happened in her life after she left UMD. Can anyone help us find more information?”
 

Three guys leaving Duluth 100 years ago

Also Leaving Duluth

Who are they? W.M. Matheny, A.F. Vance and J.W.A. Abb. When were they leaving Duluth? One hundred years ago — June 2, 1916, at 1:45 p.m. Did they plan to return? Yes. Two days later. It’s all written in pencil on the back of the postcard.

Clyde Iron Works ad from 1927

1927 Clyde Iron Works Duluth Ad 1

From pages 162 and 163 of The Road Builders Catalog Directory, 1927.

Historic heart of Superior’s East End faces changes

Walter Haugen stands outside the former East End Drug store his father operated for almost 70 years in Superior. The set of buildings on East Fifth Street are planned for demolition this spring.

Walter Haugen stands in front of buildings on the 2100 block of East Fifth Street, all planned for demolition this spring.

Walter Haugen stood inside an old corner pharmacy his father operated for close to 70 years on Superior’s East End. A junk pile was pushed near the plate glass front windows. Empty shelving units displayed old merchandise tags. A pungent mercurochrome smell filled the dusty store.

He pointed through a hole in some foam panels overhead. The hole exposed a tin ceiling most likely installed when the building was constructed in 1878. Dozens of silver, square tin tiles decorated the ceiling.

Haugen said someone could be hired to take down the tin, which could be sold for a hefty price to antique dealers or architectural salvage specialists. But it won’t be done.

“It would be like gutting a relative,” he said. “It would be like if you had a pet deer that you raised and someone asked you to chop it up and sell them the meat. You just wouldn’t do it.”

The East End Drug Store, on the corner of Fifth Street and 22nd Avenue, anchors a collection of storefront buildings in the oldest business district in Superior. The 19th Century buildings are expected to meet the wrecking ball in the coming weeks, opening a prime corner to commercial redevelopment.

Thanks, Telly

Telly Savalas Duluth

Clip from an advertising supplement in the May 29, 1984 Duluth News Tribune, referring to the classic “Duluth, who loves ya baby?” TV spot.

Zenith Quartette circa 1908

Zenith Quartette Duluth

The Zenith Quartette was a Dutch vocal group based in Duluth. Members shown in this old flier are Carl Hvaal, first tenor; J. Olsen, second bass; O.A. Gronsette, baritone and O.O. Hovday, second tenor.

The NorShor Experience: A Strip Club Retrospective

NorShor Experience NorShor Adult Club

It was ten years ago — May 24, 2006 — that the NorShor Theatre first hosted exotic dancers, with two simple words on the marquee: “Live Girls.” Later, the words “Adult Club” would appear above the theater’s new business name: the NorShor Experience.

Video Archive: Charlie’s Club Fire of 2006

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syz-GSHW00M

Ten years ago — on the evening of May 22 and into the morning of May 23, 2006 — Charlie’s Club in West Duluth was destroyed by fire.

Lake Aire Motel and Bottle Shop

Lake Aire Motel Bottle Shop exterior

Johnson Appliance and TV Center Ghost Sign

Johnson Appliance and TV

Remodeling for the future home of Boreal, a coffee shop, farm-to-table cafe and smoothie and juice bar with intentions of opening in Spring 2017, has revealed the old sign for Johnson Appliance and TV Center.