History Posts

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.

Bulk Freighter Maricopa, circa 1900-1910

This Detroit Publishing Company photo of the bulk freighter Maricopa comes with little information. The Library of Congress dates it as “between 1900 and 1910.” There’s no photographer name and no location. It’s even filed as “S.S. Merick [sic] of Duluth,” for some reason.

Postcard from the Duluth Auditorium

The Duluth Auditorium — now known as the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center‘s Symphony Hall — opened in 1966. It has hosted an extensive variety of musicians, comedians, theatrical companies and other entertainers over the years and is the home stage of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Ballet. Seating capacity is 2,221.

Mystery Photo #122: La La

Yes, it’s another car-prop photo from either the Post Card Shop in Minneapolis or the Penny Arcade in Duluth.

PDD Quiz: Railroads, Trains and Depots

Photo courtesy of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth.

All aboard for this week’s PDD quiz! Test your knowledge of local railroads, depots, and other train-related trivia.

The next PDD quiz will review this month’s headlines; it will be published on Sept. 27. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by Sept. 27.

Stewart Shoe Company of West Duluth

One hundred years ago the Stewart Shoe Company was on its way out and American Bakery Company was on its way in at 324 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth. The building there was constructed in 1894 and today is occupied by Wussow’s Concert Cafe, which opened under the name Beaner’s Central in 1999.

Selective Focus: Creating Apart

The Tweed Museum of Art will be hosting an exhibition, “Creating Apart: Local Artists Respond to a Global Pandemic” with work by Ivy Vainio, Moira Villiard, Sarah Brokke Erickson, Karen Savage-Blue, Joe Klander and Brian Barber. Annie Dugan curated the exhibition and worked with local documentary filmmaker Mike Scholtz to create a series of short films about each of the artists involved.

The exhibition was originally scheduled to open on Aug. 31 in the Court Gallery of the Tweed. Shifting plans for colleges and gatherings have already affected the actual schedule. In the meantime, the Tweed has released the brief teaser above featuring the artists who were interviewed. Profiles of each artist will be released on a regular schedule in the coming days and weeks, and we will be posting them here on Perfect Duluth Day as they are available.

Minnesota Point Lighthouse has been old for a long time

This ad appeared in the Duluth Herald newspaper 100 years ago — Sept. 4, 1920. The Minnesota Point Lighthouse was built in 1858, and it seems its deterioration happened largely in its first 62 years.

Postcard from a Beautiful Lake Superior Shore Line

This postcard was mailed Sept. 2, 1935 — 85 years ago today. “Lois and Ben” sent the card from Duluth to Mr. & Mrs. Lewis Jones of Highland Park, Mich.

Searching for Oreck

My name is Steve Oreck and I am the great grandson of Louis Oreck. I am seeking information and items from my great grandfather’s store. Any help would be tremendously appreciated.

Postcard from Central High School in 1910

This postcard of Duluth Central High School is postmarked Aug. 29, 1910 — 110 years ago today.
The message on the back is to Miss Nevada Simpson of Crookston, Minn.

Kresge Girls’ Baseball Team of 1920

From the Aug. 28, 1920 Duluth Herald.

Duluth’s North Star Festival and Golden Jubilee of 1920

The Duluth Public Library’s Vintage Duluth blog has published a feature on Duluth’s North Star Festival and Golden Jubilee, which took place 100 years ago. The events marked Duluth’s 50th year as a city.