History Posts

Then and Now: Looking Down 43rd Avenue West

The top half of the graphic above is from a real estate advertisement in the Oct. 22, 1920 edition of the Duluth Herald, promoting lots on 43rd Avenue West near Eighth Street in West Duluth. The bottom half is an attempt to capture the modern perspective via Google Maps. In the modern view, trees block three of the four homes shown in the 1920 view, but one of them can been seen and the other three, though not in view, are still standing.

Mystery Photo #124: Owl Studio

The back of this postcard photo indicates it was shot at the Owl Studio, 10 E. Superior. St., next to Duluth’s Empress Theatre. It’s the same address as the Wide Awake Studio, which was featured in a previous Mystery Photo.

Serpent Lake, 1920

This photo of Serpent Lake, about 80 miles west of Duluth, includes an illustrated map of the route. It appeared in the Duluth Herald 100 years ago today — Sept. 16, 1920. Let it serve as a reminder to wear a white shirt and a tie when paddling.

Matinee Musicale: 120 Years of Chamber Music

Matinee Musicale has been putting on chamber music performances in Duluth since 1900. This year the entire season of performances will be online, for free, released monthly on Matinee Musicale’s YouTube channel.

Duluth points of interest penciled on an old postcard

“Are well and trust this will find you all the same. Write soon. John.”

Postcard from the Moose Lake Fire of 1918

This postcard shows the aftermath of the infamous Moose Lake Fire. Written in white across the image is the date of the fire, Oct. 12, 1918, though the photo was almost certainly shot in the days that followed, not during the blaze.

PDD Quiz: Halloween High Jinks

Duluth News Tribune, Oct. 29, 1922.

There are more tricks than treats in this week’s PDD quiz, which looks back at bygone Halloween pranks reported in the Duluth News Tribune. All articles, photographs and cartoons come from database America’s Historical Newspapers, which covers the years 1855-1922. For a look at more recent Halloween shenanigans, check out Mike Creger’s 2014 Duluth News Tribune article.

The next PDD quiz will review this month’s headlines; it will be published on Oct. 25. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Oct. 21.

Postcard from Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Inner Light

This undated postcard features an image of the lighthouse on the Minnesota Point side of the Duluth Ship Canal. The card must be from the first half of the 20th Century, because the postage rate noted on the back is one cent and the U.S. postcard rate switched to two cents in 1952. The lighthouse was first lit in 1901 and remains there today. It was sold at auction in 2008 to Steven Sola and Matt Kampf, but the U.S. Coast Guard continues to maintain it.

Mystery Photo #123: Duluth Public Library Reading Room

At one time for sale on Amazon, but now marked “currently unavailable,” is this photo labeled “Reading Room, Duluth Public Library, 1890-1930, Minnesota, MN, Chairs, People, Books.”

Zinsmaster Bread Company of Duluth

This undated photo shows the Zinsmaster Wholesale Bakery facilities at 2831 W. Superior St. in Duluth.

Postcard from the Aerial Bridge in 1905

This postcard from the V.O. Hammon Publishing Company features an image copyrighted in 1904 by Crandall & Maher (presumably Robert S. Crandall and James Maher). The card was mailed out of Duluth on Sept. 29, 1905 and arrived in Ohio on Oct. 2. It was sent to Miss Emily Booher of Mt. Gilead. The sender’s name is not on the card but the message scrawled on the front reads:

“It was midnight on the ocean and a storm was on the lake.” Remember.

Video Archive: KDLH-TV Evening Edition from Sept. 28, 1990

Get ready for some “News for the Nineties.” Courtesy of an old VHS tape in the PDD basement archive, we present the complete KDLH-TV evening newscast from 30 years ago today — Sept. 28, 1990. And yes, the commercials are included.

Postcard from Downtown Duluth circa 1975

This undated postcard of Downtown Duluth shows off three buildings that were somewhat new at the time of the photo. In the foreground is the Gateway Tower apartment building at 600 W. Superior St., built in 1972. Shown most prominently at left is the Radisson Hotel at 505 W. Superior St., built in 1970. The Ordean Building, at 424 W. Superior St., was built in 1973.

Potato and molasses home brew odor vile

According to an article in the Sept. 22, 1920 Duluth Herald, the combination of potatoes and molasses in a home brew can be “quite potent.” The paper notes that Anthony Fiskett, Duluth’s acting chief of police at the time, might have needed to have his headquarters fumigated after hauling in an evidential keg of the pungent concoction.

The History All Around Us

The Duluth Library Foundation made a video history tour available yesterday as part of its virtual “Learning & Libations” event. The video was embedded on PDD for a few hours today, but … whoopsie … it was supposed to have been password protected on Vimeo and not available for free viewing.

So, to check out the video, featuring authors Tom Peacock and Tony Dierckins telling stories of life at the western tip of Lake Superior before the city existed and how it came to be 150 years ago, visit the foundation’s website and register for the virtual event.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!