History Posts

Video Archive: KBJR-TV spots circa 1990

A few commercial clips from KBJR-TV circa three decades ago.

Postcard from Marshall Wells Slip and Building

This postcard was mailed July 31, 1911 — 110 years ago today — to Miss Emma Perkins of Cleveland, Ohio. It shows what is today known as Minnesota Slip, where the William A. Irvin is docked. At right is the headquarters of Marshall-Wells Hardware Company, one of the world’s largest hardware wholesalers a century ago.

Bob Dylan on Hibbing from 1966 Playboy interview

Dude reads highlights from the 1966 Playboy interview. Dylan on Hibbing: @6:40-8:53.

West Duluth’s Allyndale Motel circa 1971

Allyndale Motel

The Allyndale Motel has been in operation at 510 N. 66th Ave. W. since 1952. The backside of the postcard image above boasts the motel’s features circa the 1970s: “Overlooking Duluth – Free TV – Room Phones – Tubs and Showers – Large Units – Individually controlled Hot Water Heat.”

An Elaborate Contrivance for Suicide

One hundred years ago a delusional Superior man hung himself in his home in front of a wall painted with a crucifix. The June 19, 1921 suicide was reported in the Duluth Herald on June 20.

Postcard from the St. Louis Hotel, Duluth

This postcard was mailed July 18, 1911 — 110 years ago today. The recipient was Mrs. Anna Carlson of St. Louis, Mo. The written message seems to be in a foreign language; the sender’s name looks like Mrs. Emma Ellstrand.

Photos from Old Central’s 1890s Classroom and Clock Tower

This oil painting of Old Central was donated to the school in 1970 by the class of 1949. It was painted by Central alum Jo Kossett.

The original Central High School, which later became Duluth Public Schools’ Central Administration Building, aka Historic Old Central, will soon enter its next phase. Saturday Properties, a development and management firm based in St. Louis Park, plans to turn the Richardsonian Romanesque-style building into 121 mixed-income apartments. The project is called Zenith DCHS.

Collected in this post are images from inside the 1890s Classroom Museum at Old Central and the interior of the building’s clock tower, shot during a tour on July 2.

The Proctor Community Fair of 1921

One hundred years ago today the Duluth Herald editorialized about the upcoming “St. Louis County Community Fair,” to be held Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, 1921. It was the inaugural edition of what is now known as the South St. Louis County Fair, which has continued on for a century.

The 100th annual fair was supposed to have occurred in 2020, but was canceled due to COVID-19, making the 2021 fair the 100th edition.

Accuracy!

This newspaper ad from 1981 promotes weathercaster Pat Kelly of KDLH-TV in Duluth. A Twin Cities native, Kelly arrived in Duluth in 1979 and worked for the AM radio station WEBC before adding television to his résumé. He eventually became a television news anchor at both KDLH and KBJR. He retired in 2008.

PDD Quiz: Named Buildings

This week’s quiz tests your ability to match named buildings in Duluth with their current occupants. The Zenith City website has more information on these (and many other) historic buildings; all images were accessed via Google Maps.

The next PDD quiz will review the news that made headlines in July 2021; it will be published on July 25. Submit question suggestions to Alison Moffat at [email protected] by July 21.

Duluth, Minnesota and the Lost Confederate Gold

In 1861, Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey was in Washington D.C. when the Confederates started the Civil War. He was in the Oval Office when Lincoln received the fateful telegram detailing the attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina — the most serious in a string of Southern aggressions, including the seizing of Federal armories across Dixie. Heeding Lincoln’s call for troops, Ramsey walked right up to the President and said, “Mr. President, let Minnesota be the first state to commit 1,000 volunteers to answer this latest outrage from the disloyal states.”

Ramsey’s commitment created the famous fighting force known as the Minnesota First Infantry Regiment. They were the Civil War’s earliest northern enlistees, and they saved the Union at Gettysburg as every Minnesota schoolchild knows. On the third day of that pivotal battle, after Pickett’s Charge, Pvt. Marshall Sherman of St. Paul emerged with the scarred battle flag of the 28th Virginia Infantry. Virginia whines about it to this day but we’re not giving it back neener neener neener.

Pretty Drive Around Lake Superior Near Duluth in 1921

This postcard image is dated 100 years ago today — July 9, 1921. It appears to be two families parked on the side of old Highway 61.

Postcard from the Central Part of Superior Street

This undated postcard, published by the H. C. Wick Company, shows an aerial view of Downtown Duluth from about Second Avenue West looking northeastward down Superior Street. Perhaps the photo was shot from atop the Alworth Building.

Mystery Photo #140: Fourth of July Gals

All that is known about this photo is the information written on the back. “4th July Celebration in Duluth” gives us a date, along with the vague understanding that it’s from sometime in the early half of the 20th century. And we get the first names of the girls: Bonita (?), Rosemary, Helen, Jerry and Kathryn.

Can anyone figure out more?

Video Archive: Duluth Bridge Tournament of 1978

Duluth’s bridge tournament in 1978 drew players from North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Mary Ellen Miller had the story for KBJR-TV.

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