Mystery Photo: Drag Racing on Lake Superior

Allouez Bay in Superior was recently the scene of a stock-car racing event, which might have seemed like a newish idea, but … the undated photo above has a handwritten message on the back that reads: “Taken on Lake Superior. Duluth in distance. Thousands on ice at time of races. A new sport. 24 in. of ice at time.”

So when did auto racing on ice become a “new sport”? Can anyone help put a date on this photo?


Mike Creger

about 2 years ago

There is this little tidbit in the timeline of Oliver Rosto, which is quite an interesting read. The pic sort of resembles an Overland. Modified for the ice, I'm sure.

February: Rosto participates in the ice races on the Lake Superior. He wins one of the races in his Overland automobile.


about 2 years ago

1915 is certainly possible based on the one building in the photo that seems to be recognizable. Before America's heroes practiced at the DECC, they played for 60 years at Duluth Curling Club, which can be clearly seen in the background of the photo. This means the photo must have been taken after 1913 and it gives a general indication of where it was taken, which I've marked in the attached aerial image from 1970 when the old curling club building was still standing (after falling into disrepair, it was destroyed by fire in 1984).

Paul Lundgren

about 2 years ago

This article in the Aug. 22, 1916 Duluth Herald is the only thing I can find in an Oliver Rosto search. It's not related to ice racing, but it's amusing and demonstrates the behavior one would associate with an ice-racing champion.


about 2 years ago

Mr. Rosto is listed a chauffeur in the 1916 Duluth City Directory, rooming at 1012 E. First St. The building is long gone for medical district reasons.

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