This undated photo shows the old Duluth Curling Club perched on a bluff at the shore of Lake Superior. The building at 1338 London Road stood from 1913 to 1984. More Duluth Curling Club history can be found in “Postcards from the Duluth Curling Club.”
[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. As construction continues on the new Ursa Minor Brewery at 2415 W. Superior St., this article harkens back to the days when the building was home to a pool hall and drinking establishment called Horseshoe Billiards. The article was originally published in the May 8, 2006 issue of the Transistor.]
I should know better than to expect middle-aged hustlers. I want to hang out with someone like Minnesota Fats tonight, and instead I’m surrounded by a crowd of mostly 25- to 35-year-olds who fall into two categories: 1) Unattractive men. 2) Unattractive women.
Now, I don’t require pretty faces to have a good time. But see, these creeps at Horseshoe Billiards are unattractive for reasons other than what nature dealt them.
There are a lot of men here wearing jerseys who obviously don’t play sports, for example. About half of these guys are wearing hats, and the ones who aren’t should be.
In Volume I of his two-volume 1926 novel The Duke of Duluth, author Thomas Shastid, a Duluth physician, depicts a scene in which the main character, John Gridley Smith, who is visiting Duluth, is walking on West Superior Street and comes upon the entrance to the Incline Railway on Seventh Avenue West. On pages 74 to 80, Shastid describes the Incline and John’s ride up to the top …
This picture postcard was mailed 110 years ago today — April 13, 1908 — from Minot, N.D. William Richert had just arrived in Douglas, N.D., presumably after a stay in Duluth, and sent the card to his brother Charles in Sublette, Ill. The card arrived on April 15.
High-definition videos of people surfing Lake Superior have become a fairly regular thing on Perfect Duluth Day in recent years. The short and fuzzy one above lacks the quality we’re used to these days, but is featured today because it’s ten years old and might be the first Lake Superior surf video published on PDD — or maybe anywhere else. (Prove that assertion wrong and find an older one.)
Barrett Chase posted this clip on April 10, 2008. He noted winds were at 40 m.p.h.
“Check out this short video snippet of some crazies surfing on Lake Insanity near Lester River today just before the onset of the blizzard,” he wrote.
“Who will you root for in this laugh-out-loud rockumentary about a Christian Battle of the Bands? Wrathful Old Testament hip-hoppers the Sons of Abraham or born-again hard-rockers Savior? Lapsed Catholic Angie Hynes, who’s gone from punk to country in search of success, or the folksy love-fest of harmony-laden trio Glory Authority?
A recording contract awaits the winner. Who that will be, only God (and perhaps the promoter) knows …”
This postcard image looking out from Skyline Drive at the city’s hillside, downtown, Aerial Lift Bridge, Minnesota Point, Lake Superior and so on has been used a few times as Perfect Duluth Day’s cover photo on Facebook, and more than once has been met with the question, “Who did this painting?” The answer is, we don’t know. Old postcards rarely credit the artist. But maybe someone out there knows.
Below are more items from an old trivia deck I bought at Savers. Some of the questions can be misleading and the answers wrong, but such is the way with history.
1. Name the master stone sculptor who carved the stone ornaments on so many Duluth homes and buildings.
2. What was the College of St. Scholastica’s earlier name?
3. Who were Bob Junkert and Don Rose?
4. In what year did the new Central High School open?
5. Where was the first junior college located in Duluth?
6. Which architect designed Endion School and the old Duluth Public Library?
7. What was the first building erected on the present site of the UMD campus?
8. What religious organization established St. Luke’s Hospital?
9. What was “Jeno’s Erector Set”?
10. A restaurant on Superior Street called Paddy Dorna’s was operated by Paddy. In what other career was Paddy locally famous?
11. Duluth’s first wedding, between Hester Crooks and William Boutwell, took place in what area of Duluth?
The Duluth Show Case Company, doing business as Duluth Store Equipment or simply Duluth Equipment, was a maker of display cabinets using the “Duluth Method” or “Duluth Unit System of Sectional Store Furniture.” Read the ad copy to determine what that might mean.
This illustrated map depicting “The Minnesota Arrowhead Country” is from the Hotel Duluth Coffee Cub menu, circa the mid-20th Century. The illustration is by wildlife painter Louis S. Raymer, who graduated from Duluth Central High School.