History Posts

Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project

Hello, PDD Community!

Imagine that 100 years from now you are researching the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Northeastern Minnesota. It’s easy to find dry statistics and numbers, but you want more. What were people thinking and feeling during this time? What informational materials and public art did they create? How were they helping each other? What did the day-to-day experience of this time look like in Duluth?

What if there were an archive of those experiences for you to explore?

The 2005 Duluth Art Institute Riot

Academic and Critical Excerpts, collated and footnoted by the Richardson brothers (Jim and Allen Richardson)

Who (or what) was Sonny?

This 1910 Duluth postcard raises at least one large looming question.

Masonic Temple, Duluth, Minn.

The Duluth Masonic Temple at 4 W. Second St. opened 115 years ago — March 24, 1905, and continues to operate today as the Duluth Masonic Center.

The Value of Duluth Telephone Service in 1920

This advertisement in the March 9, 1920 issue of the Duluth Herald notes Duluth had 20,706 telephones.

The Richardson brothers in the book “Haunted Minnesota”

This post could also be called “Bigfoot and Us.”

Starting in 1998, my brother Allen and I wrote a “weird science” column called “Gonzo Science” for the alternative Duluth newsweekly Ripsaw.

Superintendents of Duluth Public Schools, 1870 to 2020

As the search continues for a new superintendent of Duluth Public Schools, we present here a look back at those who have held the Independent School District #709 post throughout the past 150 years.

Duluth Trivia Deck Sampler #45

Another trivia card from a board game purchased at Savers.

PDD Quiz: Prohibition in the Twin Ports

To mark the centennial of the start of nationwide Prohibition, this week’s quiz explores how residents of the Twin Ports adapted to (and circumvented) laws banning alcohol.

The Zenith City website, the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center collections, and the book Naturally Brewed, Naturally Better: The Historic Breweries of Duluth and Superior by Pete Clure and Tony Dierckins were all invaluable sources of research for this quiz.

The next PDD quiz, reviewing headlines from March 2020, will be published on March 29. Please submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by March 26.

Do you know? Facts about Duluth from 1920

From Feb. 23 to March 25 of 1920 the Duluth Herald newspaper published a daily fact about Duluth on its front page. Some are pretty interesting, some are kind of silly. All in all, it’s a fun snapshot of what Duluth was bragging about a century ago.

Postcard from Astor Trading Post

This undated postcard depicts a replica of the American Fur Company trading post at Fond du Lac, which opened in 1935 at Chambers Grove Park in Duluth’s Fond du Lac neighborhood and was demolished in the late 1960s.

The original fur post operated from 1817 to 1847 at the present-day site of Historical Park, just a bit downstream from Chambers Grove Park along the St. Louis River.

Searching for Descendants of the Duluth Tooth-puller Incident

Perfect Duluth Day readers might remember a post featuring an unusual story from 1903 about a crazed Finlander and unwanted dentistry. Minnesota filmmaker Joshua Carlon is exploring a short documentary about the event and is looking for any descendants of the parties involved who would be interested in being interviewed on camera regarding the incident.

The only named parties in the event are the Finlander John Simonson, Police Chief Troyer, Officer O’Neill and one victim, a Mrs. Elaison of 329 St. Croix Avenue.

If any PDD readers are related to this event or have connections to anyone who might be, please reach out to Josh at josh @ jcarlon.com.

Duluth Trivia Deck Sampler #44

Another trivia card from a board game purchased at Savers.

Mystery Photo #103: Girl with Curls

What’s the deal with this curly haired lass? Was she a Duluthian?

Video Archive: Minnesota All Hockey Hair Team 2005

Last year John King announced he would end his annual series of videos reviewing the finest hair styles at the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament. Well, he didn’t. But that’s no reason not to dig into the archives and feature the original Minnesota All Hockey Hair Team of 2005, created for the short-lived TV program The Show to be Named Later.

Cade Fairchild of Duluth East makes the team for his “Ogie Ogilthorpe look,” and East Head Coach Mike Randolph gets special recognition for his “Lloyd Christmas look.”