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History Posts

In Duluth, it helps to have clothing that is “bigger than weather.”

Patrick-Bigger-than-weather

Postcard from Grandma’s Saloon & Deli

Grandma's Saloon Duluth

Founded by Andy Borg and Mick Paulucci, Grandma’s Saloon opened at 522 S. Lake Ave. on Feb. 8, 1976. The undated postcard shown above depicts the restaurant’s early days, when it went by the name Grandma’s Saloon & Deli. The moniker eventually was changed to Grandma’s Saloon & Grill.

Video Archive: Duluth Speech with Found Sound Animation

Ten years ago Scott Bateman found an audio clip online “of a really fascinating speech about Duluth” and turned it into this animation.

Mystery Photo #50: Children racing at Bayfront Park

Bayfront

The fundamentals of what’s happening in this old photo are fairly simple. It’s obviously shot at Bayfront Festival Park in the days of the old yellow canvas tarp-covered stage, prior to the 2001 construction of the 76-foot-tall steel-canopy pavilion that stands today. And clearly the image shows kids running a race.

So the mysteries are: What race is this? Can we zero in on a date or are we limited to the vague guess that it’s the mid 1990s?

Hiawatha

Hiawatha

The stamp was removed from the back of this postcard, and the postmark went with it, but it appears to be circa the 1960s. The caption reads: “Daily excursions during season from Grand Portage, Minn., to Isle Royale National Park. For further information write the Sivertson Bros., in Grand Portage or Duluth, Minnesota.”

Costello Block rubble of 2007; Wieland Block of 2017

Costello Block Demolition 2007

Weiland Block 2017

The top photo is from April 5, 2007; the bottom is from the same spot on April 5, 2017.

Ten years ago the Costello Block was a pile of bricks, brownstone and timber at 22-24 E. Superior St. It was demolished to make way for A&L Properties’ redevelopment and expansion of the Wieland Block, which incorporated two century-old structures to the east of the Costello Block — the Hayes Block and the Wieland Block, shown in both images above.

The view from Duluth’s “House of Rock”

View of Duluth and Lift Bridge from Skyline Parkway

Perhaps second only to Glensheen Mansion in fame among Duluth homes is the Arthur and Ella Cook House at 501 W. Skyline Parkway. For those who have looked at the property and wondered what the view of the city is like from that bluestone stairway, the postcard above offers an illustrated perspective from roughly the 1930s.

Air Canada Silver Broom 1976 World Curling Championship

Duluth-World-Curling-Championship-1976

Video Archive: Insane Clown Posse in Duluth

Crack open a Faygo soda and … do something other than watch this video if you know what’s good for you. Nothing of much interest happens, unless you are enough of a Juggalo that listening to professional wrestler Pat Tanaka talk about the size of Andre the Giant’s penis sounds appealing. Nonetheless, for the purpose of novelty if not entertainment, Perfect Duluth Day presents two segments from the earliest days of video blogging, when the Detroit-based horrorcore duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope brought their Insane Clown Posse to Duluth.

Duluth helps Uncle Sam kick the Kaiser off the map

Kicking the Kaiser off the map

This photo was shot about a century ago, outside the American Exchange National Bank at 230 W. Superior St. in Duluth — where Wells Fargo Bank has its main Duluth branch today.

Popular Mechanics: Duluth adopts system of community garages

Popular Mechanics 1921 Duluth Community Garages

According to this very vague story from the November 1921 issue of Popular Mechanics, Duluth may have been at the forefront of developing community garages. What happened? One of the garages shown in the magazine still exists today in the Morgan Park neighborhood.

Duluth and the United Nations

 Portrait_of_George_W_Johnson_Mayor_19451953_Duluth_Minnesota1

A new posting at Vintage Duluth / Duluth Public Library (formerly Reference @ Duluth) is about “Duluth’s bid to become headquarters of the U.N.” in 1945.

Duluth Golden Girl Friendship Postcard

Duluth Golden Girl Duluth Golden Girl back

An oddity circa the 1970s from the minds at Gallagher’s Studio of Photography in Duluth.

A Zenith City Ballad

I am studying abroad in Rotterdam, Netherlands via UMD. Today I missed Duluth a little more than normal and wrote a piece for my own blog, but I wanted to share it with you all because the PDD community inspired it.

Ice Formation on Minnesota Point

Ice Formation on Minnesota Point