History Posts

Postcard from Duluth’s Lincoln Park Pond

This 110-year-old postcard offers an illustrated view of the pond at Lincoln Park. The sender of this card, Anna Carlson, was kind enough to pencil her name on the front. The card is postmarked May 22, 1912 and the recipient is Mildred Wilkenson of Clare, Mich., courtesy of H. Hales.

Minnesota Historia: Hunting for Ancient Agates

What is it about agates that cause such an obsession? Let the experts in Moose Lake, the Agate Capital of the World and home of the Agate Stampede, fill you in.

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Have you seen Rollo, the Limit?

Big names have performed in Duluth in the past — you’ll find prideful mention of celebrities such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and Buddy Holly having graced our grounds with their talents. But alarmingly missing from this impressive list of notables is Rollo the Limit, the roller skating daredevil.

Duluth aerial photos, then and now, compared and combined

Sometime back, I included an aerial photo in a PDD comment and realized that because they are taken from straight overhead, the photos on Minnesota Historical Aerial Photographs Online can be matched up pretty easily with Google’s current aerial imagery. And then I put that thought aside for quite some months until I finally came back to it and put together this seven-part series of aerial photos showing places in Duluth that have changed somewhat dramatically over the past decades.

Ripped in Superior’s East End in 2002

[Editor’s note: For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. The Sultan of Sot visited drinking establishments in the East End of Superior for this article, which appeared in the May 1, 2002 issue of the Ripsaw newspaper. A few updates: The Office went out of business in 2015. East End Tavern and Hudy’s Bar remain in business. Mr. B’s later became Pudge’s]

I set out looking for Eddie’s Ribs in Superior’s Itasca neighborhood, following the left-handed, pencil-scrawled directions of some coffin-dodger I met at the Pioneer Bar in Duluth. At some point, I take a turn that I’m pretty sure is incorrect, driving into an area that common logic would demand turn into either a suburb or a swamp, when suddenly — whoa! — a bunch of bars. Needless to say, it’s at this point that the whole big-plate-of-ribs idea is immediately jettisoned to make way for the get-hammered-right-here-and-now idea. It’s a common occurrence in my life.

Duluth: A Great Place to Visit and an Even Better Place to Live

The aerial view of Bayfront Park during its yellow canopy days at the five-second mark of this 1991 Duluth tourism promo is perhaps the highlight.

Postcard from the Duluth-Superior Hi Bridge

Before the Blatnik Bridge was named for Congressman John A. Blatnik in 1971, it was called the Duluth-Superior Bridge and known colloquially as the “High Bridge,” but for some reason it shows up on a few postcards as the “Hi Bridge,” as if people were supposed to wave and say Minnesota-nice hellos as they crossed.

Minnesota Historia: The Root Beer Lady

Dorothy Molter was the last permanent resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. She sold candy bars and homemade soft drinks to paddlers for decades. But there’s so much more to her story than root beer.

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Postcard from the Hotel Duluth in 1942

This postcard was mailed 80 years ago today — May 12, 1942. The recipient was Constance Jarvis of Riverside, Calif. Ray Boyer sent it from Duluth.

Minnesota Historia: Superior Shipwrecks

Everybody knows the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the most famous shipwreck on Lake Superior. But what are the next five most fascinating shipwreck stories on the big lake called Gitchi Gumee? And is the #2 shipwreck story the scariest thing you’ll ever hear?

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Postcard from Duluth’s Grand Opera House

Duluth’s Grand Opera House at 333 W. Superior St. was designed by George Wirth and opened in 1883. It was destroyed by fire on Jan. 28, 1889.

Minnesota Historia: The Legend of St. Urho

As the patron saint of Finland, St. Urho is famous for casting the grasshoppers out of the country and saving their grapes. Except, of course, none of that ever happened. St. Urho was invented out of thin air in the 1950s by the manager of a department store in Virginia, Minn.

Minnesota Historia is a six-part WDSE-TV web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

Video Archive: Homegrown 2017 Movie

Sam Tuthill put together this documentary from select performances during the 2017 Homegrown Music Festival.

Postcard from Fifth Avenue West and Superior Street

One of the more common postcard views of Duluth in the early 1900s was the scene looking east down Superior Street from Fifth Avenue West, showing off the Spalding Hotel (right) and Lyceum Theatre (left).

The Spalding was demolished in 1963, and the Lyceum came down in 1966. The Ordean building now stands in the Spalding location; the Maurices headquarters in the Lyceum spot.

Minnesota Historia: Duluth’s Doomed Olympics Bid

WDSE-TV presents the story of an Olympics that never happened in a city that never stopped dreaming.

Minnesota Historia is a six-part web series dedicated to Minnesota’s quirky past. It is hosted by Hailey Eidenschink and produced/edited/written by Mike Scholtz.

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