Duluth and its surrounding communities are not necessarily known for their famous podcasts, but in recent years about a dozen productions have been pushed out to the internet and smartphones with the notion that people across the planet might be interested in Duluth’s take on birds, professional wrestling or whatever.
Today marks 14 years since Barrett Chase and Scott Lunt launched Perfect Duluth Day. Celebrate with us tonight at Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be live music by Woodblind and free coleslaw.
This postcard hit the mail 110 years ago today, sent by Hazel Britts to Capt. Luther Haleto of Provincetown, Cape Cod, Mass. The card is hand-dated June 27 and postmarked June 28, 1907. The illustration shows a banker closing his doors to “undesirable customers,” two black bear.
The Viking Motel operated at 2511 London Road from 1961 to 2000, and was demolished in 2001. The two-story, 30-room motel overlooking Lake Superior listed these amenities on its postcard: “Room Phones. Free Color TV. Coffee. Air Conditioned. Bridal Suites. Water Beds.”
The Incline Plane Railway, a tram system operated by the Duluth Street Railway Company, began service in 1891. It carried passengers from a housing development at the top of the hillside into the downtown along Seventh Avenue West.
Jay Sonnenburg found this photo in his grandfather’s collection. It shows Denfeld High School under construction on the lower edge, which puts the year of the image around 1926. The groundbreaking ceremony for the building was held March 6, 1925; it opened for classes on Sept. 8, 1926.
Prior to a Heavy on Wrestling card in Duluth this past weekend, “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart sat down for an interview on Fox 21. At the very outset he launched into an anecdote that seems to imply a tag team he managed, the Hart Foundation, wrestled the British Bulldogs in Duluth in the 1980s.
In the dressing room before the match, so the story goes, a dog named Matilda, the literal bulldog that accompanied the two wrestler “Bulldogs” to the ring, became agitated by Hart’s megaphone and unexpectedly attacked it. The summation of the story is that the surprise attack by Matilda in Duluth inspired planned antics by Hart at Wrestlemania III, the famous wrestling card that attracted 93,173 people to the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., considered at the time to be the largest audience for a live indoor event in North America.
Minnesota Public Radio is moving the Duluth relay of its Twin Cities album-oriented alternative music station, the Current, to full-power frequencies at 104.3 and 94.1 FM.
The switch to 104.3 is already in effect; 94.1 will be in operation later this summer.
The tower for 104.3 is in Two Harbors. Broadcasting with an effective radiated power of 50,000 watts, the signal reaches Duluth’s eastern neighborhoods, but begins to break up in the Downtown area and is marred by static in most locations southwest of Lake Avenue.
Jen Keavy, senior communications manager at MPR, said the “reach is dependent upon topography and proximity to the tower in Two Harbors, which is why we will also launch 94.1 (which is in Duluth) once technical upgrades are made. It will help cover the gaps in the Duluth area.”
MPR purchased the two stations from Red Rock Radio for $300,000 in a deal that closed May 15. Both frequencies use the call letters KZIO and were previously branded by Red Rock as 94X “pure rock.”
You can’t start hiking the North Country Trail at the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin without first hiking in from one direction or the other. If you want to go southeast through Wisconsin, for example, you need to start on Wild Valley Road in Minnesota and hike in for 3.2 miles.
I don’t know how far into Wisconsin you’ll get if you try that. As of the date of this post, the interactive map on northcountrytrail.org is unclear. It’s hard to tell if the trail ends cold in the woods, dumps out on a highway or carries on uninterrupted.
On the gorgeous Sunday afternoon of June 4, I tried to solve this mystery and failed. It was still a fun scouting mission, though, and that’s what I’ll share in this essay. Obviously I could call the trail association or maybe spend an hour scrolling through Facebook posts to obtain the knowledge I seek about the state of the trail, but I’d still want to see it for myself, so why bother with the hands-off research, right?
It has been thoroughly documented in a series of 13 essays on this very website that I slowly and somewhat methodically hiked all of Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail in sporadic spurts from 2000 to 2016. That journey started at the Canadian border and ended on the Wisconsin border. But the trail doesn’t stop at either of those points. The SHT is part of a much longer trail — the North Country National Scenic Trail — which extends to Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota to the west and Crown Point in New York to the east.
With the Denfeld High School class of 2017 poised to receive diplomas tonight, we set the Wayback Machine for a glimpse of what the Hunter lifestyle was like five decades ago. The good boys and girls of the Denfeld class of ’67, by the way, will gather Sept. 15-17 for their 50-year reunion.