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History Posts

The Great Target Parking Lot Flood of 2007

Five years before Duluth’s most famous flood came Duluth’s least famous flood. Ten years ago today — Oct. 18, 2007 — heavy rainfall caused Miller Creek to swell and parking lot runoff to form a pool on the outer edge of Duluth’s Miller Hill Target store property. One driver managed to land in a sink hole; two Perfect Duluth Day contributors snapped photos. (Top photo by yours truly Paul Lundgren; bottom photos by Barrett Chase.)

Lost and Found Duluth Relics from Morgan Park and WDSM

Above are the letters that adorned the exterior wall near the entrance to Morgan Park School. They are for sale at Bauer Brothers salvage in Minneapolis. Below is an old WDSM-TV camera discovered at Axman Surplus in St. Paul.

Girls Wanted, Duluth, Minn.

This postcard was sent 105 years ago today, Oct. 6, 1912, to Miss Bell Hays in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Video Archive: Wally the Beer Man

As the Minnesota Twins attempt another playoff run, we take a look back 30 years ago to 1987 — when the team won its first World Series and Wally the Beer Man was in the limelight.

PDD Video Lab: Another Day

In this edition of PDD Video Lab we present 41 seconds of Duluthiness cut out of a 17-minute-long set of old movie clips that for the most part don’t seem to be shot in Duluth.

Mystery Photo #54: Jerry and Becky, August 1970

Just because this old photo was stored with a bunch of Duluth pictures doesn’t necessarily mean it was shot in Duluth or features Duluthians. Still, the odds are pretty good someone will recognize Jerry and/or Becky. They looked like pretty cool customers back in August 1970, that’s for sure.

Were they Duluthians? Are they still Duluthians? Who are these hot-rodding sweethearts? All the back of the photo indicates is their first names and the month it was shot.

Denfeld vs. Central: 1922 Football Stalemate

Duluth’s Jay Sonnenburg found these photos among his grandfather’s collection. They depict scenes from 95 years ago today at Athletic Park in West Duluth, where Duluth Central and Denfeld did battle on the gridiron.

Duluth: A Year ’round Playground

Promotional brochure from back in the day. Click the image to view it at a readable size.

Remembering the Vietnam War

WDSE-TV, working in collaboration with veteran’s organizations, community partners and the statewide Minnesota Public Television Association, produced this two-part documentary featuring Duluth-area veterans telling their stories of the Vietnam War.

Duluth vas dere best

Here is yet another “Dutch Kid” pennant postcard, similar to “I hafe a feller in Duluth,” “Mit best wishes from Duluth,” “Vilkome to our city of Duluth” and “Iff you vill come to Duluth ve vill lock up all de cops.

Because nothing illustrates Duluth exceptionalism better than a postcard gimmick where the same cards are distributed in various places with different city names printed on the pennant, right?

DuluthiLeaks: Historic Bridge Report for DM&IR Ore Dock No. 5

How historically significant is West Duluth’s old ore dock and its viaduct and bridges? The Minnesota Department of Transportation retained the consultant team of LHB, Mead & Hunt and 106 Group to produce a multi-purpose study in 2014 that was part of a more comprehensive process involving numerous agencies looking at 140 historic bridges. Part of the goal of the “Local Historic Bridge Report” for the “DM&IR Ore Dock No. 5 Approach” was to gather historical information should the property owner — Canadian National Railway — wish to request a nomination be prepared for the National Register of Historic Places.

For the third edition of DuluthiLeaks — Perfect Duluth Day’s feature in which public documents are released as if they contain secret information leaked from an anonymous whistle blower — we peak into a study of four steel-beam bridges that are part of the mile-long approach to DM&IR Ore Dock No. 5.

Video Archive: Denfeld Class of 1992

Break out the Aqua Net and backward baseball caps, we’ve dug 25 years deep into the video vault to bring you a little “DHS VHS.” Yes, it’s the full and glorious one-hour and 13 minutes of the clumsily titled Duluth Denfeld Senior High School Class of ’92 Senior Class Video, compiled by Cyborg Productions of Prior Lake, Minn.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1947 visit to Duluth

Two years after U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt traveled to Duluth. While here she was made an Honorary Ambassador Extraordinary of the Dushy of Duluth — the ambassadors program of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. The photo above shows her receiving the citation from Arthur C. Young, “Prince of the East.”

Postcard from the Duluth Board of Trade Building

The postmark is smudged and appears to be from May 1913, but the message on the back of the card is dated May 12, 1912. It shows Duluth’s Board of Trade building, which still stands at 301-307 W. First St. It was built in 1894 to replace the original Board of Trade, which was destroyed by fire that year. Duluth architects Oliver G. Traphagen and Francis W. Fitzpatrick designed the new eight-story Romanesque structure.

Mystery Photo #53: Commonwealth Avenue?

This old photo of someone’s hot rod seems to be from the early 1970s and the scene is very likely Commonwealth Avenue in Gary-New Duluth. But if this is showing Commonwealth Avenue, where specifically?