History Posts

Trespassing at UMD’s Old Main in 1992


One summer night in 1992, when I was 19 years old, I came home from doing something forgettable and found three of my friends waiting for me. They said I should grab a flashlight and come with them on an adventure.

Video Archive: Dennis Anderson knocks down a few Grain Belts and shows off the film equipment

This video appears to be from the early 1970s. Watch the high-pressure air send Denny’s hairpiece flying! (Plus bonus footage: A Jack McKenna forecast.)

Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener 1907


Good luck this weekend, nimrods!

Ghosts of Halloween Past

A pair of photos from the Boogieman Project — the NorShor Theatre’s Halloween party on Oct. 28, 2000.

Independence of Duluth News Tribune Political Endorsements

The recent DNT endorsement of Chip Cravaack, a conservative Republican who enjoys a lot of Tea Party support, made me want to tap the PDD community for information and discussion of the DNT endorsements over the years. The Fargo-based, private company Forum Communications became owner of the DNT in 2006. Since then, the DNT and the many other Forum newspapers overwhelmingly tend to endorse conservatives and Republicans as a bloc.

Duluth in the 1970s

There’s now a Facebook page for 1970s-era Duluth nostalgia.

Monahan Brothers Make it to D.C.!!

Remember back in May!?!?! Well, 3,100 miles later, the old guys made it! This photo was taken at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, where organizers from movetoamend.org unfurled a ginormous (20×100 ft.) preamble to the Constitution for people to sign. It was quite a display, both visually and emotionally (I’m pretty proud of my pops). The crowd was receptive and security was … cooperative. Pics from the action made it into USA Today and the Washington Post. Anyway, what a day! If this is inspiring at all, consider signing the motion at movetoamend.org. If you’re curious, here are the rest of the pics from my epic political activism adventure:

SmugMug: Monahan Brothers in DC 10-2010

Duluth’s “Union Block” and its Tenants


The two buildings on the corner of First Avenue West and Fourth Street are known as the “Union Block,” though that name probably hasn’t been used much in the past 50 years.

Last Place of Commerce

I miss the days when the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce headquarters was next to the Last Place on Earth. That was synergy at its finest.

The photo above is from roughly 1993 1996. Last Place hadn’t quite finished moving in. I think the two were neighbors for at least 10 years before the chamber hightailed it to First Street.

William Canning — traveling evangelist known in Duluth for his strange gyrations in Canal Park

Apparently, according to the video description on YouTube, some guy named Jon was vacationing in Duluth in the 1990s and came across a fellow “making some very strange moves” that were “too good to pass up,” so he videotaped it. Earlier this summer, he uploaded it to YouTube.

As it turns out, I have the scoop on who the “man dancing in Canal Park” is.

The Seaway Market in Norton Park

Someone — I think her name was Gloria — posted this picture of the Seaway Market on Facebook a few months back and asked if anyone remembered the place. I saved the image, but can’t find the Facebook post anymore.

Here’s the deal with the Seaway Market:

Historic Lift Bridge featured on Shorpy

Here is a really neat photo looking back into the history of Duluth. The first version of our beloved Lift Bridge didn’t really lift at all. It initially was built in 1905 as a very rare transporter bridge.  It wasn’t until 1930 that it was converted into the form we know today.

Aerial Bridge: 1908 [Shorpy.com]

Inside Denfeld’s Renovation


This is the view looking up from inside the new main entrance to Denfeld High School. The main floor of the new addition connects to the old building through the auditorium lobby. The main floor of the addition will include a new cafeteria and common area, administrative offices and media center.

The Rentola


Here are two historic photos of the Rentola, a Finnish boarding house at 4 N. 59th Ave. W., in West Duluth. The top photo is from Karl Hagglund, whose grandmother was a maid at the Rentola. The next photo is from 1961, courtesy of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center. So the story goes, there was an old steam house nearby where Rentola residents took saunas.

Today’s vocabulary word: Varicocele

A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins of the scrotum, frequently causing a knotted or swollen appearance.

Fortunately, Duluth’s Progressive Medical Association had a “master specialist” back in the day. He considered the cause of a varicocele to be “often indiscretion” and listed as references some of “the leading businessmen of the city.”

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