History Posts

Postcard from a Winter Residence on Minnesota Point

Then and Now: Grand Avenue at Knowlton Creek

The image above shows Grand Avenue at Knowlton Creek, looking from Duluth’s Norton Park neighborhood toward the Riverside neighborhood. It’s dated 100 years ago today — Feb. 16, 1918. At the time, Grand Avenue was named Third Street. What does it look like today?

Duluth Trivia Deck, Feb. 15 Edition

More from the deck found at Savers …

1. In what year did the U.S. Commerce Dept, designate the Port of Duluth a Foreign Trade Zone?
2. In what year was the $8.5 million Duluth International Airport passenger terminal and industrial park complex completed?
3. In what year was Northland Country Club built?
4. In what year was Wade Stadium dedicated?
5. Who was Sid Peterson?
6. Who were the 1961 Minnesota State High School basketball champions?
7. Who was Bruce Bennett?
8. Who was “Heat Wave” Richard Berler?
9. What was the White City on Park Point?

Video Archive: The Hart Foundation and Honky Tonk Man cut a special Duluth Valentine’s Day wrestling promo in 1988

Trade in your candy hearts for some “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation. The World Wrestling Federation was in Duluth 30 years ago today — Feb. 14, 1988 — for its fifth card at the Duluth Arena. (The WWF is now the WWE, and the Duluth Arena is now the DECC Arena. Times change.)

Some Historical Notes on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

This video is part of a DVD Kenneth Newhams of Duluth Shipping News produced in 2005 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Aerial Lift Bridge. It features archival video courtesy of Don Hermanson at Keweenaw Video Productions.


I saw an article in Slate today about the economic imperative for bands to tour and the need for childcare on the road. I was disappointed that Duluth’s own Scott “Starfire” Lunt was not consulted, let alone mentioned. His duty as nanny on Low’s 2003 tour will serve as more good fodder for an “official, unofficial history of Duluth” on PACT-TV. What Mrs. Doubtfire is to in-home child care, rawk-legend Starfire is to tour-bus child care.

Slate: “The 21st-Century Family Band

Old Photos of Jay Cooke Statue in Duluth

Jay Sonnenburg shares this old photo from his family collection. It shows Duluth’s statue of Jay Cooke across Superior Street from the Kitchi Gammi Club, date unknown. The statue was moved a short distance in the 1980s when I-35 was extended through the area.

Postcard from Duluth’s Hill Top

Set the Wayback Machine 105 years; this postcard was mailed Feb. 3, 1913. The message on the back was written the day before, and will require a translator. Stay tuned for that. Someone will answer the call to duty in the comments eventually.

Duluth Trivia Deck, Feb. 1 Edition

More from the Duluth Trivia Deck found at Savers.

a. What famed product was sold by Duluth Tent and Awning?

b. What does a McGiffert loader [on view in the railway museum] load?

c. Who held the first motorized dairy operation in Duluth/the region?

d. Where is Mission Creek located?

e. T/F: A quarry near Mission Creek yielded much of the brownstone used in Duluth buildings.

f. T/F: The first brick structure in Duluth is still standing at E. Superior Street.

g. Where is Munger Terrace?

h. T/F: When the Torrey building was constructed, it was fireproofed by covering its iron and wooden beams with terra cotta or baked clay.

One of the great things you will see in Duluth

Video Archive: Harry Welty’s 1993 Bill Clinton Snow Sculpture

Twenty-five years ago today — Jan. 20, 1993 — William Jefferson Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd President of the United States. That winter, Duluth’s Harry Welty created a snow sculpture of the new president, and KDLH-TV’s Paul Guggenheimer was there to report.

Welty is still creating snow art on his front lawn, as covered in detail in a PDD “Selective Focus” piece last winter.

Postcard from Duluth’s Skyline Parkway

This postcard image of Duluth from Gallagher’s Studio of Photography appears to be circa 1970. The card is not dated and was never mailed.

Video Archive: Plugging the hole of the thousand-foot shitter

It was ten years ago that KBJR-TV news reporter Julie Pierce made her famous slip-of-the-tongue while referring to the 1,000-foot motor vessel Walter J. McCarthy Jr. The video clip above, viewed more than 200,000 times in the past decade, also shows KBJR misspelling “McCarthy” on its graphic; so it goes.

Duluth Trivia Deck, Jan. 15 Edition

From the Duluth trivia deck scored at Savers. Thanks to those who have corrected the previous entries and discussed them with vigor. I learned a lot.

a. Who was Duluth’s first mayor?

b. What was the name of the first ship to pass through the Duluth Ship Canal?

c. In what year was the Duluth Bethel Society founded?

d. In what year did the Duluth Board of Trade organize? (The link is about the building, not the organization.)

e. Who developed the Lake Vermilion Iron Fields?

f. When the Duluth Street Railway opened in 1881, how much did it cost to ride in one of its mule-drawn cars?

g. What part of Duluth was known as a “Hay Fever Haven“?

h. What did the City of Duluth do when it was found that its Lake Superior water had asbestiform particles which are linked to cancer?

i. What was Soroptimist International?

j. This one feels like it might be suspect: What was the first church in the Village of West Duluth?

k. True or False: Duluth once had a Duluth Toboggan and Snowshoe Association?

PDD Quiz: History of the NorShor Theatre

In anticipation of the NorShor Theatre re-opening in February, this month’s PDD Quiz looks back at the colorful history of this Duluth landmark.

The next PDD Quiz, on January headlines and happenings, will be published on Jan. 28. Please send question ideas to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Jan. 24.