Mystery Photo: Third Street Patriots

This image, found on eBay and still available for sale as of July 3, has “609 W. 3rd Dr. Duluth” written on the front. It looks as if the famous Duluth Incline Railway is in the background, which would seem to verify the photo was indeed shot on West Third Street.

The text on the back indicates the child in the photo is Charles Curtiss and the elderly mother is “Grandmother Holt,” who is apparently Kitty Karr’s great grandmother.


Matthew James

about 10 months ago

I think this 1938 photo shows the general location, with the house in the background circled in blue. 

In terms of perspective, it seems likely that the photo was taken from the location in red, but from the address the location circled in black might be more likely. I also know there is a now overgrown stairway going to the top of the wall at that spot. I walked up it last summer thinking it would be a good vantage point for a photo. It was not; the trees on the other side of the street are too tall. 

But I knew it used to be a good spot for taking photos because I believe the location of this post is a different perspective of the same location as a postcard discussed in a post from two years ago.

Matthew James

about 10 months ago

While I didn't get a good photo from the top of the wall, this photo shows somewhere near the likely location from the bottom.


about 10 months ago

There was a Charles Curtis (one "s") that was a photographer for the Duluth News Tribune. I believe I met him when I was a photographer for the "Teen Page" the DNT did in the late 1970s.

But, according to U of M library that has a collection of his work, he was born in 1936, which seems maybe a little late for the style of dress in the picture.


about 10 months ago

You can see behind the grandmother that West Third Street passes under the Incline Railway. On a recent tour of the Steps, Doug Stevens pointed out a remnant cement support or pillar high on the cliff above Third. He believes it marks the location of the original Incline Steps, which likely also passed over Third Street in the air.


about 10 months ago

The stairs ascending the avenues where the incline is too steep for a roadway are a Duluth treasure. When I last lived in Duluth I had a place on Observation Hill and I used to climb the stairs and discover so many neighborhood wonders. It would be great if some of those federal infrastructure funds were directed toward rehabilitation of the avenue stairways.

Mike Creger

about 10 months ago

Given the odd numbered address, I think this pic is flipped, right?

Paul Lundgren

about 9 months ago

It's a little challenging, looking at it from either direction, to determine for sure we're comparing images of the same house and which direction might be the proper perspective if we are.


about 2 weeks ago

I know this is an old thread but this is totally my house! This is so cool.

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