A glimpse of Duluth in 1948

Scenes of Duluth start at the 1:37 mark in this 1948 documentary on Finnish-American life in Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota. (Thanks to Dwight Swanson for the tip.)


Lawrence Lee

about 11 years ago

My friend Cathy lives in the house at 2:54! I just ate dinner in that house on Sunday. Wild.


about 11 years ago

Kiitos for posting this, Paul for so many reasons. As you know, I posted "Duluth and Helsinki forever..." last month. Motion picture documentaries and feature films of Nordic culture and its diffusion to North America is a subject that fascinates me. There is a rich Finnish heritage in Duluth and the Northland and I hope it is preserved and cultural ties with contemporary Finland strengthened through FinnFest and sister city links and student exchanges. 

I didn't know that Duluth had a Finnish consulate! How vibrant and bustling the outlying towns and Superior Street in Duluth were then. It is also wonderful to view related videos that are suggested when your upload ends. I watched a Minnesota-made film about the sauna and found an old video about "frontliner houses" in Finland that I watched several years ago. Wonderful! Thanks again.


about 11 years ago

Oh, and I really enjoyed the Sibelius soundtrack, too.


about 11 years ago

This is a fantastic video! Thank you for sharing. Are there more videos like it? I was researching through a 1950's newspaper which featured the Duluth store "Dove" fashion advertisements also seen in the film. 

This area was so alive back then.


about 11 years ago

I used to live in Duluth in my 20s. I grew up in New Jersey and was a member of the Swedish Council of America. I remember writing a paper for a social studies class back in the fourth or fifth grade. I chose the colony of New Sweden which occupied the lower Delaware Valley on the shores of present day NJ, Del and Penna.

I was very aware of the early Swedish colony and the cultural imprint the Swedes left. The American-Swedish Historical Museum is in Philadelphia, for example.  

I wasn't, however, aware that many of the "Swedish" colonists were actually Finns since Finland was an integral part of Sweden during the Kalmar Union.

After viewing the related videos and doing some light research, I discovered here, as I sit in London, that the oldest log house -- The (Braman) Nothnagle House, in America is actually in my native Garden State.

It was built by Finnish and or Swedish settlers and it stands in Gibbstown, New Jersey near Swedesboro in Gloucester Co.

Another discovery I made thanks to this post on PDD is that John Morton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was an American of Finnish parentage. Prior to being Anglicized, the family name was Martinnen and they came from Rautalampi, Finland.

I hope the readers will find this interesting.


about 11 years ago

Lawrence Lee, that's no mere "house," that's the "mansion of the Kyto family," a family led by a man who owns a hotel and "who also owns goldmines!" Nice scrambling touchdown pass by "Finish schoolchildren in Vermillion" at the 6:16 mark.

What a fun glimpse, both into a part of our region's past, and into the mindset of Finnish nationalism.

Thanks for posting, Paul.


about 11 years ago

2min26 - Hotel Fifth Avenue. I would like to know more about this hotel. This has all the hallmarks of a first-class hotel. Notice the art-deco sign, the luxurious bed linen, the well appointed bedroom with fine Scandinavian-style furniture, the opulent wall coverings.  

Can anyone shed any light on it, i.e., years of operation, is the building still there, address?

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