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History Posts

Postcards from Congdon Park

Congdon Bridge Postcard One Cent

Perfect Duluth Day in Nashville

I really enjoy rhetoric guy’s posts with details about a typical day in Duluth from his perspective. After spending a day in Nashville leading up to an evening of Duluth musicians performing on an iconic American stage, I couldn’t help thinking about sharing this profound experience in a similar way.

Palace Theater tour from 2002

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj9JvYJnbPw

The Palace Theater in Superior was torn down in 2006, but this video of a tour in 2002 has emerged on YouTube.

Cool Duluth Minnesota: Summer City of the Continent

Cool Duluth

This little item was recently unearthed by Michael J. Martens of Portland, Ore., and sent PDD’s way via Jess Koski.

History Mystery: Point of Rocks

Google Map of Point of Rocks
Google Maps

Across from the M&H gas station at Point of Rocks Park, there is a gap in the rocks, a ravine, for which in the past appeared to have many buildings around it. Was this the location of Duluth’s Little Italy? It seems like it may have been. The big question, however, is what is with the ravine there? It seems to be man made, and almost as if they were attempting to continue Superior Street, as it lines up near perfectly. The buildings slowly disappear over the decades, until they all seem to be gone by 1989. Was this ravine an attempt to continue Superior Street, or was there some other reason for it? It’s been fascinating me for some time. (I’ve included links to historical aerial photos of the area).

Bobby Aro: King of the Great Northwoods

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoWp21HD4eo

WDSE-TV presents this one-hour documentary on Bobby Aro, the famed 1950-90s Northern Minnesota disc jockey, singer/songwriter and entertainer who put St. Louis County’s Highway 7 on the map. Aro’s Finn-glish novelty songs are well known throughout the Finish communities of the United States and Canada.

Duluth Matchbook Collection

Duluth Matchbook Collection

Inspired by the Duluth Button Collection, Perfect Duluth Day now presents the Duluth Matchbook Collection — a gallery of small cardboard folders with a striking surface on one side, featuring images promoting select enterprises of the Arrowhead region.

PDD Video Lab: 1972 Birnamwood Homecoming Parade footage

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

Birnamwood, Wis. is in the vicinity of Wausau, a roughly four-hour drive from Duluth, but this 43-year-old parade footage is lovely enough to share anyway. Kudos to Duluth’s Kip Praslowicz for digitizing his grandfather Emil’s fine film work. Below are some possible soundtracks to go with the film.

Feel free to write your own caption

Leaving Duluth postcard image circa 1910

“Leaving Duluth” postcard image from Arcade studio, roughly a century ago.

Duluth-Superior Transit Company Token

Duluth Transit Company Token Good for one fare

I recently acquired a Duluth-Superior Transit Company token from a friend and thought I’d post it in case anyone can pinpoint the year of its creation or share any interesting details.

Balloon View of Duluth/Superior Harbor

Balloon View Harbor, River and Natural Breakwater; Duluth to Left, Superior to Right

This postcard, captioned “Balloon View Harbor, River and Natural Breakwater; Duluth to Left, Superior to Right” raises a few questions. Perhaps the most important one is, how did that tree on the left edge get so tall?

The Minnesota Historical Society dates the card “approximately 1900.” An eBay listing puts it at “pre-1907.” A version from the Marie & Doris Boldt Collection in the Port Huron Museum Collection has a postmark from 1910.

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:

greyhound

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

Denfeld1934-1Art

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.