Winter Sports in Duluth, 1929

This brochure from 1929 highlights “Winter Sports in Duluth,” including the old toboggan chute at Chester Park, as seen on the cover.

Below is text from the sections of the pamphlet that are difficult to read in the images.

WINTER SPORTS IN DULUTH

No city in the country is better adapted by both climate and topography, for winter sports. Young and old get out and participate with keenest enjoyment. Those who stick by the fireside miss the biggest thrills of the year. One does not have to be a ski jumper or figure skater to have fun out of doors during this season. Any one can toboggan, skate or curl. There are ample facilities provided throughout the City for these sports.

Duluth also has 1500 acres of wooded parks with 4,000 acres of Jay Cooke State Park at its doors, affording many fine skiing and snowshoe hikes.

The Duluth Snowman is still on deck, but this year he’s not going to play for just one week, but all winter. There is always something doing for people of all ages, at Chester Park Winter Sports Center, at the municipal skating rinks, at Lincoln Park toboggan slide, at the Curling Club, or the Amphitheatre.

Secure additional copies of this folder from Park Department, City Hall.

THE DULUTH CURLING CLUB
Northwestern Curling Headquarters

The oldest existing Winter Sport organization in Duluth. Its large quarters have one floor devoted to skating and hockey, and one to curling, with twelve curling rinks, glassed spectators gallery and commodious social rooms.

Here every evening hundreds of men do more sweeping than they would otherwise do in all their lives. Here amateur hockey and figure skating thrive, and the gaily costumed couples slide smoothly over the ice to the rhythm of a martial band. The club caters especially to properly supervised skating for children.

THE AMPHITHEATRE
In Winter, the Home of Skaters

One of the largest and most modern of artificial ice rinks on this continent. Its doors are never closed to those of the public who enjoy the thrill of clean competitive sport and respond to the exhilaration of wholesome outdoor exercise under ideal conditions. The crowds of young people who spend their play-time here give evidence of the part this rink fills in the community, toward building up strength and character.

In addition to sponsoring a professional team, this institution contributes to the growth of the City by turning over its entire facilities to trial amateur hockey.

PARK AND SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Winter activities consist of skating and skating races, hockey, tobogganing, ski jumping and cross country skiing, snow modeling, snowshoeing dog sled races and ice-boating. Twenty free municipal rinks scattered throughout the City are maintained and a total of 350.700 participants was recorded last year. There were twenty-six amateur hockey teams last year playing 149 games.

These activities are all conducted under the supervision of the Board of Education Recreational Department, and the Park Department of the City of Duluth.

UPPER CHESTER PARK

Located in the beautiful Chester Creek Valley, sheltered from winds, Upper Chester Park affords a naturally ideal place for winter sports.

The winter recreational facilities, under management of the City Park and Recreation Department, are open to all, no membership fee required.

Attractive Field House with public club and lunch room. Four 600-foot toboggan slides. Large skating rink. Toboggans for rent.

The toboggan slides and rink are lighted, making it an ideal place for club and private parties in the evening.

THE DULUTH SKI CLUB

The Duluth Ski Club started winter sports at Upper Chester Park and has been largely responsible for its development. It built the first toboggan slide but has since turned this activity over to the Park Department for public use. The Club has a national reputation with two national champions.

The Club will feature three ski tournaments during in the winter of 1929: the first on January 20 to determine the city championship; second, the big event on February 3, the Sixth Annual Ski Tournament for the Arrowhead Championship; finally a Dual Meet on February 17.

WINTER SPORTS WEEK

The Duluth Winter Sports Committee composed of representatives of all organizations of the city fostering winter activities, has designated the week of February 3-9 as Winter Sports Week. Feature events of the season will be scheduled at all centers including the Skiing Championship, Dog-Sled Races, Snow Modeling Contests, Tobogganing Events, Skating Races and Figure Skating Competitions. It’s the one time when every one wears their winter sport togs, and gets out of doors. It’s the week when you will want to ask your out-of-town friends to come to visit Duluth.

* * *

The photo collage includes 19 captioned images. The captions are below.

1. In Congdon Park.
2. The Rink in Chester Bowl.
3. Steel Slide, Duluth Ski Club.
4. Toboggan Chute, Lincoln Park.
5. Skating at the Curling Club.
6. The End of the Slide.
7. In Mid-air.
8. Off for a Cross-country Run.
9. A Cabin Party.
10. Chester Park Field House.
11. The Snowshoe Trail.
12. Chester Park Field House.
13. Amateur Hockey Team.
14. Off for an Overnight Hike.
15. Snow Modeling Contest.
16. Harrison Municipal Rink.
17. In One of the City Parks.
18. Fairmount Park.
19. Snow Moose.

4 Comments

Kodiak

about 3 weeks ago

Exhilarating! Does this excite anyone else? Conveys civic pride and enviable credentials. And an outward looking CITY mindset. What happened? Where did it go?

Paul Lundgren

about 3 weeks ago

The power of nostalgia is strong, and cries of "rebuild the toboggan chute!" will no doubt emanate loudly from the mouths of people who aren't even aware that both Mont du Lac and Spirit Mountain have snow-tubing hills. 

On balance there are more outdoor winter activities available in Duluth now than in 1929, but the old-timey pictures always fill us with an imaginary sense that the front end of the Great Depression was a more delightful time to be alive.

Gina Temple-Rhodes

about 3 weeks ago

And back in the 20s/30s, there was always the "thrilling" possibility that you could injure yourself on the toboggan run and die from the resulting infection (no antibiotics). I think people were necessarily more active in those days (fewer cars and infrastructure for cars) partly because there simply weren't as many options for indoor entertainment. Even radios were fairly new in 1929.

Gina Temple-Rhodes

about 3 weeks ago

Aha! Also this apparent "civic pride" is partly sponsored by the "Kelly Duluth Company and the Bullard Knitting Company"... (in the caption below the second page collage).  I was suspicious based on the cover photo of the family in matching coats and the mention later that Winter Sports Week is when "every one wears their winter sport togs." These were fairly big manufacturing companies who had slick advertising staff in little 'ol Duluth (which was a manufacturing powerhouse back in the day).

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