History Posts

Steamer Columbia on St. Louis River near Fond du Lac


OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThis postcard, mailed in July 1914, depicts the steel excursion steamer Columbia cruising the St. Louis River. The best synopsis of the ol’ picnic cruise experience of yesteryear is perhaps the one on the back of the card, where “Aunt Carrie” writes to Miss Virginia Stanbridge of Westminster, Mass. If the message and penmanship seem a little too perfect, take a closer look. It’s a fill-in-the-blank card.

Duluth White Sox Team Photos

Duluth White Sox 1909

Happy start of baseball season to all. In a previous post on PDD it was speculated that photos of pitching great Hooks Dauss in a Duluth uniform are “seemingly nonexistent.” Well, there’s ol’ George wearing #4 in the 1909 team photo above. Search completed.

Dalles of the St. Louis River

Dalles of the St Louis River

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThe illustration above is from William Cullen Bryant‘s classic book Picturesque America, published by D. Appleton & Company of New York in 1872 and 1874. Bryant was editor of the book; the illustration is by Alfred R. Waud.

Welcome to Our City (and the National Regatta of 1916)

Welcome to Our City 1916

Duluth Regatta 1916The song “Welcome to Our City” appeared in the magazine section of the April 2, 1916, Duluth News Tribune. It was written by two Duluthians — Donald Wade and D.J. Michaud — as a “contribution to the city’s welcome to the visiting oarsmen who will come to the Head of the Lakes next August.”

Duluth hosted the 44th annual regatta of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen on Aug. 11 and 12, 1916, winning nine of the 12 events entered.

History Unearthed: The Du Luth Stone

Duluth RockA stone that bears the marking “Du Luth 1679” has been found in Pine County, one hour southwest of Duluth. A prominent geologist says the discovery could be one of the oldest carved artifacts ever found in Minnesota, potentially carved by the French explorer Daniel de Gresolon, the Sieur du Lhut.

Forensic geologist Scott Wolter, developer of archaeopetrography, a scientific process used to date the origins of stone artifacts, says the stone is “absolutely authentic.”

History texts indicate Gresolon landed his canoe on Minnesota Point on June 27, 1679, with the mission to meet with natives and persuade them to trade fur with the French instead of the British. Five days later he took possession, in the name of the King of France, of the Dakota territories at the village of Izatys, attaching the coat of arms of King Louis XIV to a tree on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake, just west of Pine County.

Marshall-Wells Paint

Marshall-Wells Paint

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeNot sure if someone brought this sign to the Western Waterfront Trail and propped it up for public display for some reason or if it was dredged out of the St. Louis River. One River, Many Stories is upon us. Maybe you know the story. Fact or fiction would be fine.

Let’s get baked … in the human bake-oven

Roasting in Human Bake Ovens 17Dec1910

An Epic Voyage to Whiteside (Clough) Island

Aerial views of Clough Island in the St. Louis River estuary, Duluth, Minnesota.

OneRiverMN-Logo-FC-BadgeThis is my contribution to the One River, Many Stories project, and is epic as ever. Right here, on this fascinating island within the St. Louis River estuary, a millionaire built a large vacation home and an impressive farm that may have been the largest in the area. Here they harvested 3,500 bushels of wheat in a season, kept pigs, trained numerous racing horses, tended a herd of black angus cows, kept 40 brown swiss milking cows at one time, had 500 sheep, cared for an enormous vegetable garden, and much much more.

This was a quest to uncover remnants of the past and be immersed into an incredible story. What I discovered on kayak, on foot, and by personally meeting the author of the only book on the subject, was most surprising. See more at Ed’s Big Adventure, and perhaps be inspired to see this place for yourself.

Duluth Tintype Photography

Duluth Tinplate 1 Duluth Tinplate 2 Duluth Tinplate 3

The latest Duluth artifacts to fall in my lap are three unlabeled tintypes — photos processed onto thin sheets of metal. I don’t think I’ve come across Duluth tintypes before, but surely others must exist, so I post here with the hope that someone can enlighten me in the comments section and perhaps share their own tintypes.

Ferryboat in Harbor at Duluth, Minn.

Ferryboat in Harbor at Duluth Minn

The Story of Iron and Steel

Loading iron ore into steamer at a Duluth ore dock 1919 sepia photogravure

We have arrived in Duluth and our hats are impeccable

Duluth Hat Family Postcard

Would anyone like to take a stab at translating the message on the back of this postcard? It was mailed from Duluth to Miss Lillian Carlson of Minneapolis at some point during the era of one-cent postcard postage and fancy hats. The postmark date is not readable.

PDD Quiz: Ides of March

Flood-Damage-Duluth-1972-First-Ave-WIt’s nigh the ides of March which is a good time to be wary. How much do you know about disasters that have befallen our fair city? Take the quiz and find out.

Thanks to Paul Lundgren for contributing to today’s quiz.

Our next quiz will be on March 27 and we will be looking in the rear view mirror at what’s happened in and around Duluth this month.

Send your suggested quiz questions (and answers) to lawrence @ perfectduluthday.com by noon on Wednesday, Mar. 23.

Vilkome to our city of Duluth

Vilkome to our city of Duluth postcard

Postcard from the Hill Top

Duluth from the Hilltop 1923

Mailed in 1923, six years before the Aerial Transfer Bridge became the Aerial Lift Bridge, this postcard depicts the old days when a gondola car carried passengers, streetcars and wagons over the canal. Numerous buildings in this postcard are long gone.