History Posts

Mystery Photo #130: Going Some

Going some? Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Seems like a weird name for a fake boat.

The back of this postcard photo indicates it was shot at the Owl Studio, 10 E. Superior. St., next to Duluth’s Empress Theatre. Estimated year: 1912.

Postcard from Duluth’s Downtown Motel

This undated postcard from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography offers a view of the Downtown Motel at 131 W. Second St. in Duluth. Built in 1959, the motel later became known as the Best Western Downtown and is still in operation, now as the Downtown Duluth Inn, owned by ZMC Hotels.

First Presbyterian Church of Duluth circa 1870

Duluth’s First Presbyterian Church was built at 231 E. Second St. in 1870. It was replaced by a larger building in 1891, across the street at 300 E. Second St., which still stands. The original church was used by other congregations until it was demolished in 1971. The area is now a parking lot for Rainbow Senior Center.

Breaking Ice to Bring in Freighters on the 20th of January

This postcard, published by the Hugh C. Leighton Company, was never mailed and has no year marked on it, but the caption on the front would indicate the illustration is based on a photo shot on Jan. 20 of some year in the early 1900s.

Whether the artist drew people standing on the edge of the ice as a creative choice or whether they were really standing there is not known, unless the photo exists somewhere. Either way, file the act of walking out to ice breakers in the “no, don’t do that” category.

Matchbooks from Duluth Restaurants and Bars

It’s been five years since Perfect Duluth Day published its first gallery of Duluth-area matchbooks. Since then, the collection has grown significantly. This new post features only matchbooks from bars and restaurants in Duluth. Some of them have been pulled out of the original post and placed in this new post; others are appearing for the first time.

Enjoy the nostalgia and, whatever you do, for the love of humanity, please close cover before striking.

PDD Quiz: Snow Foolin’

Step up to this week’s quiz and test your knowledge of snow-related events, celebrations and disasters.

As with all history-related quizzes, the Minnesota Reflections and the Zenith City websites were indespensible resources.

The next PDD quiz, reviewing headlines from January 2021, will be coming your way on Jan. 31. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Jan. 26.

Clark House Hotel, West Superior Street circa 1870

This uncredited photo, presumably shot by Paul B. Gaylord, shows the 100 block of West Superior Street in Downtown Duluth looking northeast. The Clark House Hotel, in the foreground at left, was Duluth’s second hotel, opening in July 1870.

Postcard from London Manor Motel

This undated postcard, published by Gallagher’s Studio of Photography, shows the London Manor Motel, one of several lodging businesses that comprised London Road’s old “Motel Row.” London Manor later became the Chalet Motel, which was torn down in 2011. A Sherwin-Williams paint store was built at the location in 2019.

Postcard from Duluth’s Hotel Lenox

This undated postcard, published by E. C. Kropp Co. of Milwaukee, highlights some of the features of the Hotel Lenox in Downtown Duluth. The hotel was torn down in the 1960s.

Mystery Photo #129: Trolley Car and Conductors

This undated postcard photo of two conductors standing next to a trolley car comes with a few details. The trolley car has a destination sign that reads: “W. Dul. & Aerial Bridge.” And the word “Duluth” is handwritten on the back of the card.

Happy New Year from Duluth Lumberjacks

Avant-Garde Women: Michele Bernstein, Queen of the Situationists

In which I continue writing about the Situationists by telling the stories of the women involved.

Boats Docked at Duluth Harbor Circa 1875

Photographers William Caswell and William Henry Davy ran a studio in Duluth circa 1870-75 and were responsible for many of the stereographs circulated during the era. The image above shows boats docked somewhere in the Duluth Harbor.

Mystery Photo #128: Duluth Residence in 1910

Based on the postmark and the last line of the scrawled message on the back, we might presume this image is of a Duluth house in 1910. What is the address? Is it still standing? Let the mystery solving begin.

Enjoying the Glorious Climb-it of Duluth

Oh, those wacky puns. This postcards was mailed from Duluth 115 years ago today — Dec. 26, 1905. It arrived in Newark, N.J. three days later, and eventually at the home of Mr. L. Volland.

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