The former Eighth Street Market building at 5702 W. Eighth St. is slated for demolition.
Built 100 years ago, in 1916, it served into the 1940s as Reuben Paulson’s grocery store and meat market. The store changed hands numerous times in the following decades, carrying the names M & J Market, Green’s Handy Market, Engstrom’s Handy Market and Clauson Handy Market. By 1973 it was known as Eighth Street Market.
On May 15, 2012, the Duluth Fire Department responded to a report of flames inside the building’s lower level. Firefighters controlled the blaze within 30 minutes. The building had been condemned for human habitation by that time, so it was unoccupied. Because there were no utilities in the building, the fire was considered suspicious. An arson investigation found no culprit.
The Eighth Street Market sign remained on the building until 2013.
Eighth Street Market was best known for its friendly proprietors, Mardell and Wilfred Pelican. Mardell’s trademark was to greet customers by saying hi twice in rapid succession. “Hi-hi!” The walls were covered with photos of kids in the neighborhood who frequented the store.
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