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Paul Lundgren Posts

Old Central chimes will return in a few weeks

Central-Clocktower-BellThe chimes of the 125-year-old Central High School clock tower fell silent last week when one of the clock’s gears failed. A new gear is being made and should be in place within about six weeks, according to Dave Spooner, manager of facilities for Duluth Public Schools.

“We’ve got the clock apart and we’re in the process of having another gear made,” Spooner said. “It’s not something you can buy, you have to have them made. … It’s just a failure of an old part.”

Central High School opened in 1892, built with a clock tower that rises 230 feet. A new Central High School opened in 1971, and the original building was converted into the school district’s administrative offices. The building has since been known as the Central Administration Building or “Historic Old Central.”

Postcard from Grandma’s Saloon & Deli

Grandma's Saloon Duluth

Founded by Andy Borg and Mick Paulucci, Grandma’s Saloon opened at 522 S. Lake Ave. on Feb. 8, 1976. The undated postcard shown above depicts the restaurant’s early days, when it went by the name Grandma’s Saloon & Deli. The moniker eventually was changed to Grandma’s Saloon & Grill.

Duluth Book Releases in 2017

David-Pagel-The-Forever-GirlThe Forever Girl: A Love Story
David Pagel
amazon.com
(Jan. 12)

The Release - Tom IsbellThe Release
Tom Isbell
harpercollins.com
Harper Collins (Feb. 14)

Hiking the North Shore - Andrew SladeHiking the North Shore, Second Edition
Andrew Slade
amazon.com
There and Back Books (March 14)

Happy 4/20

Duluth Family Sauna Carrot Cake 420

Help yourself to some carrot cake on the steps outside Duluth Family Sauna.

Mystery Photo #50: Children racing at Bayfront Park

Bayfront

The fundamentals of what’s happening in this old photo are fairly simple. It’s obviously shot at Bayfront Festival Park in the days of the old yellow canvas tarp-covered stage, prior to the 2001 construction of the 76-foot-tall steel-canopy pavilion that stands today. And clearly the image shows kids running a race.

So the mysteries are: What race is this? Can we zero in on a date or are we limited to the vague guess that it’s the mid 1990s?

First Tick of the Year — 2017 Edition

Wood Tick 2017Happy Resurrection Day! I wish I were referring to the savior Jesus Christ and the Easter holiday, but today was the day I found my first tick of 2017. So April 16 marks the beginning of the 2017 tick resurrection. It’s something I’ve posted about almost annually on Perfect Duluth Day since 2005. Sometimes it happens as early as March, sometimes not until June, but the ticks always come back.

I picked up this year’s first tick by walking to the eastern terminus of the Millennium Trail in Superior and continuing past the parking lot there on a grassy trail to an overlook of Kelly Bay. I found two ticks while hiking; by the time three body searches were completed at home, the total count rose to six wood ticks and one deer tick.

Hiawatha

Hiawatha

The stamp was removed from the back of this postcard, and the postmark went with it, but it appears to be circa the 1960s. The caption reads: “Daily excursions during season from Grand Portage, Minn., to Isle Royale National Park. For further information write the Sivertson Bros., in Grand Portage or Duluth, Minnesota.”

Vulgar Graffiti

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayThe most common word in graffiti is “fuck.” It often appears by itself — a single word left for others to ponder for decades or else paint over. It is probably meant to express general dissatisfaction with life. An expanded version of the sentiment might read: “I wish to say ‘fuck you’ to every random person who passes here. Such is my anger with the state of affairs in this world and the specific circumstances I deal with in my personal life. Though most people are not necessarily responsible for the things that upset me, I nonetheless hold everyone in contempt.”

It is also not uncommon to see the word “shit” spray painted as a one-word message, which leads me to believe the act of graffiti is often more about exercising the ability to be profane in a public and semi-permanent way than about getting across an idea. At least, I hope so. It seems unlikely that graffiti artists write “fuck” and “shit” as instructions to encourage public fornication and defecation. If they did, they could be much clearer by writing, for example, “shit here.”

There are actual graffiti artists who paint brilliant and thought-provoking murals on concrete pillars, the sides of train cars and so on, but their rebel collages are a bit less common than the scribbled words of the artistically challenged.

Costello Block rubble of 2007; Wieland Block of 2017

Costello Block Demolition 2007

Weiland Block 2017

The top photo is from April 5, 2007; the bottom is from the same spot on April 5, 2017.

Ten years ago the Costello Block was a pile of bricks, brownstone and timber at 22-24 E. Superior St. It was demolished to make way for A&L Properties’ redevelopment and expansion of the Wieland Block, which incorporated two century-old structures to the east of the Costello Block — the Hayes Block and the Wieland Block, shown in both images above.

The view from Duluth’s “House of Rock”

View of Duluth and Lift Bridge from Skyline Parkway

Perhaps second only to Glensheen Mansion in fame among Duluth homes is the Arthur and Ella Cook House at 501 W. Skyline Parkway. For those who have looked at the property and wondered what the view of the city is like from that bluestone stairway, the postcard above offers an illustrated perspective from roughly the 1930s.

Air Canada Silver Broom 1976 World Curling Championship

Duluth-World-Curling-Championship-1976

Duluth Technical College baking classes TV commercial

We’ve had bits of luck on Perfect Duluth Day in the past when we’ve put out requests for someone to step forward with video of old Duluth TV commercials. Well, here’s another attempt.

A query in the PDD inbox reads:

I’m searching for an obscure commercial for baking classes that were held at the vo-tech college, old LSC, from the 1980s. We’ve recently had a family member pass away and he was in the commercial as the baker. If you have any ideas of where to get the footage, that would be fantastic. We believe it was on Channel 10, WDIO, with Jack McKenna.

Lake Superior College was known as Duluth Technical College in the 1980s. It merged with the Duluth Community College Center in 1995 to form LSC.

Video Archive: Insane Clown Posse in Duluth

Crack open a Faygo soda and … do something other than watch this video if you know what’s good for you. Nothing of much interest happens, unless you are enough of a Juggalo that listening to professional wrestler Pat Tanaka talk about the size of Andre the Giant’s penis sounds appealing. Nonetheless, for the purpose of novelty if not entertainment, Perfect Duluth Day presents two segments from the earliest days of video blogging, when the Detroit-based horrorcore duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope brought their Insane Clown Posse to Duluth.

Duluth helps Uncle Sam kick the Kaiser off the map

Kicking the Kaiser off the map

This photo was shot about a century ago, outside the American Exchange National Bank at 230 W. Superior St. in Duluth — where Wells Fargo Bank has its main Duluth branch today.

Popular Mechanics: Duluth adopts system of community garages

Popular Mechanics 1921 Duluth Community Garages

According to this very vague story from the November 1921 issue of Popular Mechanics, Duluth may have been at the forefront of developing community garages. What happened? One of the garages shown in the magazine still exists today in the Morgan Park neighborhood.