Postcard from Arch Street in Cloquet, 1912

Sidney Dahl of St. Cloud was the recipient of this postcard mailed 110 years ago today — April 23, 1912. The sender’s name was Ingga.

The message on the back reads:

Dear Lad,
Will see you soon. Leave for Duluth Sat. Will be home Tues. Will write when I’m in Duluth. Was in town yesterday. Had my new bonnet on. Gee, but it’s swell. How are you? I’m fine. Snowing out today.
Ingga

What shall I buy you in Duluth? Write right away if you want anything.

9 Comments

Mike Creger

about 5 months ago

Ingga was  21-year-old teacher at a one-room schoolhouse in the St. Louis County district (School No. 27) when she sent this to her kid brother in St. Cloud, who was 9. There was another oldest sister, Julia, who was a teacher in the Grand Rapids area. Ingga Dahl Martin died in St. Paul in 1966. Sidney became a city engineer and worked for the City of St. Cloud. When he retired, he ran the Shady Knowles Resort near Walker from 1954 to 1976. He died in 1986 and was buried in Walker. His other family members are buried in St. Cloud.

Matthijs

about 5 months ago

I really like that postcard although it seems like a bit of an odd choice for sending your kid brother. It's not exactly a cheerful image. I was trying to match where it was taken on Arch Street and had some success in finding a view of the same street from the top of the hill from around the same time, but still couldn't match anything with the present day buildings there.
  

Matthijs

about 5 months ago

Then I remembered the Cloquet Fire of 1918 and realized that none of those buildings likely survived. I found an image from just after the fire of Ave D, the cross street in the photo above. Arch Street is just out of view to the right but it doesn't look like it could have fared well.
  

Matthijs

about 5 months ago

And to add on a moderately related family story, my great-grandmother fled from Cloquet to Moose Lake during the 1918 fire and when the fire came to Moose Lake, she survived by running into the lake. A chicken, also wishing to escape the fire but not wanting to be in the lake, followed after her and perched on her head. I don't think she ever forgave the chicken.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 months ago

In a reversal of Matt's great-grandmother's 1918 fire survival story -- in which she saved an animal -- my great grandparents drove out of Moose Lake and followed a horse and buggy through the smoke because they knew the horse would stay on the road, hence being saved by an animal.

That story is in the post "Moose Lake Forest Fire of 1918."

Ghist1

about 5 months ago

MATTHIJS, that "ruins" photo actually looks like a bunch of rebuilding was happening. An interesting snapshot in time!

Matthijs

about 5 months ago

Yes, I think the rebuilding started happening almost immediately. Paul's link to the post about his family history in Moose Lake during the fire not only gave some context to my own family's story, it also contained another link to a yet older post about the Jay Cooke Swinging Bridge. My great aunt's family photo collection contains a couple of photos of that bridge on its final day, so I just added those pictures to that post, just to go one layer deeper in the PDD posts with family connections.

Matthijs

about 5 months ago

Well, it looks like I need to add a correction. The story of my great-grandmother comes from my great aunt from Cloquet, who is turning 98 today. I was talking with her about this post and she said that her mother was actually working as a teacher in Moose Lake when the fire happened. That makes a bit more sense than fleeing from one city that is on fire to another city on fire. The 1920 population of Moose Lake was 571, so there is actually a pretty reasonable chance that my great-grandparents knew Paul's great-grandparents and may have told these fire escape stories to each other at some point 100 years ago.

Mike Creger

about 5 months ago

Looking at topography, this shot was likely taken from in front of old city hall, just north of Avenue B. Area on left is todays VFW block, right is Avenue C restaurant area, now parking lot, smoke shop.

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