History Posts

Derby racing in Hartley

Anyone remember when they had Soap Box Derby races in Hartley back in 1961-1968? I’m writing an article on it for a class and would love any help, information or photos that anyone may know or have!


NorShor Centennial

NorShorMarqueeActionA post from Feb. 3 about the Ripsaw’s history featured some comments about the NorShor Theatre’s history, which led to an interesting point:

The NorShor Theater turns 100 this year.

And so I put this question to PDD’s history detectives: What is the exact date the NorShor–then the Orpheum Theatre–first opened its doors?

UPDATE: As Gea reports, the magic date is Aug. 22, 1910.

Panoramas of Duluth over time

Check out more at the Library of Congress site.

Adams School in Duluth’s West End


School faculty must have thought this was a major pain, but I think in the long run it proves worthwhile to drag an entire student body out to pose for a photo in front of the building.

Adams School was built in 1885 at 1721 W. Superior St., serving children in Duluth’s West End neighborhood. Architects of the building were McMillen and Stebbins.

The school closed in 1951, and was demolished in 1960.

Remembering the Ripsaw’s Transition


It’s been 10 years since the Ripsaw published the last of its monthly scandal sheets and converted to an “alternative newsweekly” format. Here’s a look back at the old monthly editions of Duluth’s most infamous rag.

That’s Trouble of Some Kind, George

Previously unseen amateur video of Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Ski Jumping at Chester Bowl


You know you’ve always wanted to see somebody go off those jumps at Chester Bowl, now you can.
Just in time for the Olympics, learn about Duluth’s world-class ski jumping history, and support both Chester Bowl and WDSE public television at the same time. Come take in a movie and hear some stories from Chester’s ski jumping legends. Kid-friendly early and late showings, conveniently overlapping the Paul Lundgren Happy Hour right upstairs.

The Ski Flyers: a Jumping Tradition, including additional archival footage of ski jumpers
Wed Feb 10, 5:30 and 7:00 pm Zinema2
Tickets: $3 for 5:30 show, $5 for 7:00 show. Seating is limited; advance tickets and more info are available at this link. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

Brewhouse Triathlon, 1927

Well …

Northland’s NewsCenter 3: Haiti & other Good Stuff

Northland's News Center Volunteers at Haiti Telethon

Northland's News Center Volunteers at Haiti Telethon

Well, I’ve been critical of this operation twice before now, might as well make it a trilogy since no one else pointed this other stuff out …

So, when do we bring back the Winter Frolic?


I found this on the now-defunct Duluth Public Library Reference Blog. You think skijoring is fun? Try motorcycle skijoring on the lake ice.

Traditional Ojibwe Opening Ceremony for UMD Library Exhibit

“Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country,” a national traveling exhibition, is on display in the UMD Library fourth floor rotunda reading room. The public is invited to a traditional Ojibwe opening ceremony in UMD’s Weber Music Hall at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 15. The ceremony will include drumming, prayer, and welcome statements at the Weber, followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibit on the fourth floor of the UMD Library. Refreshments will be provided by Friends of the Duluth Public Library. Call 218-726-8130 for more information.

The exhibit, which tells the story of the explorers’ historic 1804-1806 expedition from the point of view of the Indians who lived along the route, is available for viewing during all hours when the UMD Library is open. You can learn more about the exhibit and check the library hours by going to the UMD Library web site:


Duluth Quarterback Club?

Does anyone have info on or remember a place called the Quarterback Club? It was up by where the mall is now during the 1960s, I think.

Park Point Park cabin?

On the hiking trail at the end of Park Point, there’s an old cabin on the harbor side.  Does anyone know the story behind this cabin?  I read that there used to be several “settlers cabins,” perhaps this is the one remaining settler cabin?  I can also of course speculate about blacklisted Finnish bachelors, but I suspect folk on PDD know the real story.

Duluth’s Corner of the Lake Building

Coal Train (Soultrane?)

Parked (?) train blocks view of Lake Superior

Parked (?) train blocks view of Lake Superior from http://duluthdailyphoto.vox.com/

I thought this was intended as a temporary winter seawall.

But Duluth Daily photo (above) and later the Duluth News Tribune had some good coverage of this that straightened me out, apparently these coal cars are just being stored on those tracks, even though they do sit in a storm prone spot. Now, DNT’s Brandon Stahl writes that the train will be moved to Leif Ericson Park.

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