History Posts

Postcard from Stromgren’s Motel

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography shows Stromgren’s Motel, located on Highway 61 in Duluth Township.

PDD Quiz: Duluth’s Historic Old Central High School

This month’s quiz looks at Duluth’s Historic Old Central High School, a property that has been hitting the headlines recently. Historic photographs come courtesy of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, housed in the Archives and Special Collections of UMD’s Kathryn A. Martin Library. Find these (and additional photos of the school) in the Minnesota Digital Library. As always, the Zenith City website was also a critical source of historic information.

The next PDD quiz will review this month’s news; it will be published on May 30. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by May 25.

How did the city of Cloquet get its name?

As mentioned in the “Northeastern Minnesota Nomenclature” post on Perfect Duluth Day last summer, the city of Cloquet gets its name from the Cloquet River. But how did the river get its name?

Postcard from Superior Street in 1871

What did Superior Street look like 150 years ago? Well, a little something like what’s shown in the postcard image above.

The Life and Times of Ignatius Donnelly

Silver Brook Township’s Mike Scholtz has a new documentary, produced for the southwestern Minnesota Pioneer PBS series Postcards.

The subject is Ignatius Donnelly, an American congressman, populist writer and amateur scientist known for his writings about the lost continent of Atlantis. The story begins near the town of Donnelly, roughly 200 miles southwest of Duluth, and takes viewers on a wild ride exploring the amazing legacy of the man.

Duluth actor Jody Kujawa plays the role of Donnolly in reenactment scenes.

St. Louis County Jail designs approved in 1921 … sort of

One hundred years ago today — May 11, 1921 — the Duluth Herald published a story about plans for a new St. Louis County Jail. The building that would eventually be constructed looks somewhat similar to the drawing here, but there were numerous changes to the plan.

Mystery Photo #139: Three Men in Caps

Anyone who wants to delve into the difference between a flat cap and a newsboy cap and a bakerboy cap and on and on can feel free to do so, but the main mysteries we seek to solve are who these three gentlemen might be and whether they were Duluthians.

City Bottling Company?

Found this bottle while cleaning out the old dump by our house. It’s an annual event where I commune with our forbears — white folks scratching out a living decades ago on stolen land and tossing all their garbage into the wetland.*

Postcard from the Duluth Shipping Canal and Aerial Lift Bridge

This undated postcard, published by Harry Wolf and P. T. Olson of Detroit, Mich., features a photo taken by Wolf of the Duluth shipping canal and Aerial Lift Bridge.

Mayor Snively welcomes Blackfeet chiefs to Duluth in 1921

On May 4, 1921 — one hundred years ago today — newly elected Duluth Mayor Samuel Snively welcomed to the city five chiefs from the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana.

Video Archive: Movie “White Palace” too racy for Duluth

This clip from The Tonight Show features guest host Jay Leno showing the evolution of an ad in the Duluth News Tribune for the 1990 film White Palace at Superior’s Mariner 4 Theatres. Watch as Susan Sarandon’s dress expands up her torso.

West Duluth kids rarely strayed from neighborhood in 1920s

An article in the Duluth Herald of April 28, 1921 — one hundred years ago today — calls attention to how western Duluth kids seldom ventured to the center of town, much less to the eastern side.

Postcard from an Outbound Freighter

This undated postcard from Zenith Interstate News Company shows a freighter exiting the Duluth shipping canal into Lake Superior.

Video Archive: Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway, 1961

This 1960s-era film by Bruce Ward shows Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone locomotives on excursions around and out of Duluth.

Video Archive: Norway’s royal couple given stirring welcome

Although Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha of Norway did visit Duluth in 1939 for the dedication of Enger Tower, the footage in this silent film seems to all have been shot in Los Angeles a month earlier. Nevertheless, images of Duluth News Tribune stories are splashed across the screen at the start of the film.

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