August 2020 Posts

Reservoir ruins sale offers cliff views, odd history

The ruins of the 1884 Duluth Gas and Water Company reservoir can be seen from West First Street, just west of Point of Rocks. (Photos by Mark Nicklawske)

The sprawling and mysterious stand of stone and brick ruins that occupies perhaps the best clifftop view over Duluth’s harbor is for sale.

Duluth You & Me: Fourth of July Fireworks

Duluth’s 2020 fireworks were canceled … twice … so here’s the best we can do.

PDD Quiz: August 2020 in Review

Another month is nearly over, which means it’s time for the PDD current events quiz!

The next PDD quiz, on train and railroad trivia, will be published on Sept. 13. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Sept. 10.

Sharkgate: The Lake Superior Bull Shark Conspiracy

I confess to creating and posting the “Lake Superior Bull Shark Encounter” video which has rocked this community, even though, as is widely known, I have no credibility. This essay offers a full accounting of the affair, which caused a four-day firestorm as the video propagated online, through the media, and into the hallowed halls of academia.  I will debunk my own video to demonstrate it is, in fact, a poorly-made fake. In addition, I will carefully document my utter and total lack of credibility. Hopefully this will be enough to assuage an alleged army of enraged Redditors devoted to my destruction, the undead army I accidentally raised when I strapped on a toy shark fin.

My confession begins with my purchase of the toy. On Aug. 8, I posted a picture of myself wearing it on my personal public Facebook page and my public “Lake Superior Aquaman” Instagram account. The text of those posts reads, “It’s unclear where these rumors of sharks in Lake Superior originate. But I will be swimming up and down the beaches until I get to the bottom of it.” It was an open joke, a lark, an entrant to a well-established Duluth tradition of joking about sharks. You see variants on local bumper stickers such as “Shark-Free” on a map of Lake Superior. Keeping Lake Superior shark-free has even become a running joke among the mayoralty.

Postcard from Central High School in 1910

This postcard of Duluth Central High School is postmarked Aug. 29, 1910 — 110 years ago today.
The message on the back is to Miss Nevada Simpson of Crookston, Minn.

Evidence

Found: six to eight inches beneath soil, this children’s cap gun
Size: 2 by 1.5 inches by 1/2 inch
Location: Upper East Central HillChester
History: unknown
 

Selective Focus: Signs

This week, Portia Johnson and Cheryl Reitan provide thoughts and images regarding the often homemade signs around town supporting Black Lives Matter.

PJ CR: In Duluth, many of the signs arrived soon after George Floyd was murdered but new ones crop up from time to time. They appear on residential streets and throughfares. Most of them say, “Black Lives Matter,” but there are other words too, “No peace, no justice,” the chilling, “I Can’t Breathe,” and others.

The message appears, often hand painted and imperfect but always betraying a fierce determination. The signs make people look. They say, “this is important, Black lives matter.”

Kresge Girls’ Baseball Team of 1920

From the Aug. 28, 1920 Duluth Herald.

Potential Visit Duluth Campaign

Duluth’s North Star Festival and Golden Jubilee of 1920

The Duluth Public Library’s Vintage Duluth blog has published a feature on Duluth’s North Star Festival and Golden Jubilee, which took place 100 years ago. The events marked Duluth’s 50th year as a city.

The Brothers Burn Mountain – “I Won’t Wait for a Ride”

The Brothers Burn Mountain are releasing a new album, The Dark Exchange, in early September. It’s a collaboration with Alan Sparhawk of Low and several other musicians, including Rich Mattson and Germaine Gemberling. The video for “I Won’t Wait For A Ride” is directed by Roger D. Feldhans.

R.I.P. Mark Sertich, world’s oldest hockey player

Duluth’s Mark Sertich, the world’s oldest hockey player, was still skating on his 99th birthday in July. He died on Monday from complications of a stroke.

Postcard from Jay Cooke State Park

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography shows a waterfall and the famous swinging bridge on the St. Louis River at Jay Cooke State Park.

Selective Focus: UMD Bathroom Reviews

Students and faculty may not be on UMD’s campus for a few more weeks due to Coronavirus concerns, but you can enjoy a virtual tour thanks to the UMD Bathroom Reviews Instagram account.

Thomas X featuring Brandon Graves – “I’m Anishinaabe”

From the Red Lake Reservation, about 100 miles northwest of Duluth, comes this musical celebration of Anishinaabe Ojibwe culture.

Thomas Barrett, aka Thomas X, leads a group of Red Lake Boys and Girls Club members who sing and dance along to Barrett’s original song, “I’m Anishinaabe.”