It’s not known who shot this photo or the names of the people posing in it, but based on the woman’s flapper outfit and the fact that the Aerial Bridge in the background isn’t a lift bridge yet, it must be circa the 1920s. Can anyone find other clues?
This photo from the National Archive was taken on an airplane from the McCook Field aviation experimentation station in Dayton, Ohio, which was flying in the region for a photographic mapping expedition of the Canadian border in October and November of 1925.
The caption on the photo reads:
Duluth Harbor Basin, the main business section and portions of Lake Superior, showing the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Aerial Bridge connecting Duluth proper with a long neck of land known as Minnesota Point, which really makes the Duluth Superior Harbor.
The song “Cincinnati Dancing Pig” was released by everybody and their brother in 1950, and in this post several versions are gathered. The words were written by Al Lewis and the music by Guy Wood. The internet purports the first recording was by Dick Jurgens and His Orchestra in May 1950, but the first release was by Red Foley in August 1950.
The Duluth-related lyric:
From Duluth to Birmingham
He’s the pork chop Dapper Dan,
He’s the keenest ham what am,
Cincinnati dancing pig
If you’ve ever hiked Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail to the Wisconsin border you know the trail ends there, but doesn’t really end there. Despite a sign on a tree that reads “Southern Terminus of SHT” and a separate post sticking out of the ground that reads “Not a trail,” there is clearly a trail there leading into Wisconsin. But it doesn’t go far.
The rest of the text on the terminus sign explains: “Spur trail from here to be built by North Country Trail to a parking lot in WI. Trail now dead-ends ahead.”
I explained all that 17 months ago in a Saturday Essay titled: “North Country Trail: Wood Tick Flats,” which was the first report on my quest to hike the North Country Trail across Wisconsin. That summer I covered exactly zero miles on the trail, which is not a great start to a 200-mile journey. If you read that first North Country Trail essay from June 2017 you know I didn’t hike on the trail that day because the grass was long and loaded with ticks. So I waited and saved the hike for a day with more favorable conditions … 17 months later.
What I lack in ambition I make up for with tenacity, right? My motto is: “Never quit. Take a nap and try again later when you feel more up to it.”
Duluthian Charles O. Nelson — presumably the same Charles O. Nelson referenced in a PDD story about the West End Furniture Row — filed for and was granted a patent for a “Coffee-boiler” in 1901. The text of the claim is below.
Chicago-born composer Joshua Musikantow references Duluth on three tracks of his 2006 new-classical album Etched in Twilight and Other Works. Above is “Duluth 99: In the Garden with Mary.” Below are “Duluth 99: Rope” and “Duluth 99: Haiku.”
Musikantow notes “Duluth 99” is “a duet for flute and percussion consisting of three movements, each inspired by a different personal experience in Duluth.”
This 1960s-era postcard shows off the Social Science Building on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. Today the building is known as Cina Hall and serves as home to numerous liberal arts programs. It was renamed in 1985 in honor of UMD Regent Fred A. Cina, and underwent a $4.1 million renovation in 2016.
Saxophone virtuoso Jim Snidero for some reason titled an instrumental piece “Duluth at Noon.” Whether the tune sounds like a midday stroll on the Lakewalk is up for interpretation.
Perhaps coincidentally, the song is on Snidero’s 2015 album Main Street, which is the same title as Sinclair Lewis’ famous satiric novel from 1920. Lewis had visited Duluth while in the early stages of crafting Main Street, and moved to Duluth 23 years after it was published.
The above photo, submitted by Jay Sonnenburg, shows businesses on the 400 block of West Superior Street. At right is the WEBC Radio studio. At left are the Fargusson Building, Manhattan Building and Spalding Hotel.